The Denver Broncos (2-0) should be able to handle the Buffalo Bills (1-1) this week, but the game has all of the making of a classic trap game for Denver.
Few of us here on Mile High Report think the trap game happens as we and Brandon Perna from That’s Good Broncos in the video above predict a Broncos 26-10 victory over the Bills on Sunday.
Here’s how each of us predict the game will play out:
Broncos 16, Bills 3
Is it a trap game? Yes. And no. The one saving grace is that the Broncos defense will have an opportunity to get retribution for 2016 as they go up against Rick Dennison and his not-so-powerful Bills offense. Averaging just 12 points per game, the Bills offense is predictably struggling to score under Dennison’s leadership. The Broncos defense will wholly dominate this game.
Meanwhile, the Broncos offense in 2017 has exploded under Mike McCoy’s leadership. With the Bills missing a big man in the middle in Marcell Dareus, they might be able to find some room to run on Sunday. However, I think they struggle in the red zone against this underrated defense in Buffalo. – Tim Lynch
Broncos 35, Bills 17
On the MHR Radio podcast, Ian St. Clair and I made some bold predictions. I can see Denver’s secondary having a really good game if Rick Dennison decided to draw up a game plan to challenge them. While the No Fly Zone may not be as stingy this season regarding touchdowns, they are still ball hawking and immediately looking to score when they make an interception. I like the defense for a couple of scores, because of that.
On the flip side, Trevor Siemian is playing well, and C.J. Anderson has been a wrecking ball to defenders trying to take him down. More of the same would not be a surprise. Three offensive touchdowns to go with two defensive touchdowns equals another big game. – Adam Malnati
Broncos 27, Bills 10
Cordy Glenn being out is a big deal for this game. Shaq Barrett is going to eat greedy from Tyrod Taylor’s blindside, and will demand some of the attention the Bills would rather give to Von Miller. I think both OLBs will notch at least a sack. They’ll be key to punishing Taylor for any rushing attempts as well.
On top of that, the Bills’ receivers are less than stellar. Dennison doesn’t draw up as much for them as he does for the TEs and RBs in the passing game. The Broncos can afford single coverage most of the time on the WRs and let the safeties focus on LeSean McCoy and Charles Clay. If the front 7 can repeat their work from the Cowboys game, it’s going to be a long and frustrating day for the Bills on offense. A defensive score for Denver is also in the cards.
Similarly, if Garett Bolles can play it’ll be huge for the Broncos’ offense. Siemian will still be under siege more than we’d like, but he should have the time he needs to let Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders get open. CJ Anderson should have a good day rushing, and though the offense doesn’t have another 35 point day, it’ll be more than enough to come out of Buffalo with a Win. – Taylor Kothe
Broncos 30, Bills 9
What’s laughable is people who actually think this game will be closer than 10 points. Look, it’s Rick Dennison we’re talking about here. Our all-world defense -vs- Rick Dennison. You surely remember him, right? He was here the last 2 years when our offense went from one of the best, to absolute garbage.
Sure, this game is in Buffalo where they’ll theoretically have a home field advantage, but it’s Rick Dennison. He couldn’t beat our defense if we were down 3/4 of our starters. Hell, he didn’t beat out defense with the first team offense when he was here and the 1’s were going against the 2’s in training camp. Plus they are down their best weapon in Sammy Watkins (traded). Their defense is losing people left and right, which means CJ and Jamaal should have a field day, and again, Rick Dennison.
If the Broncos don’t win this game by 20, I’ll “basically almost be disappointed”… right Peyton? I really do love that commercial, and I bet the over/under on how many times we see that Nationwide Commercial is higher than the Bills offensive points. – Pete Baron
The last time Denver faced LeSean McCoy was in 2013, when he was leading the NFL in rushing yards. He met the Broncos who at the time had the leagues best rushing defense through three weeks of NFL play. McCoy finished with 73 yards on 16 rushes and one catch for 21 yards. Knowshon Moreno, who McCoy stated, ‘sucks’ in a tweet unrelated to the game followed up that tweet by saying, ‘I meant it,’ likely won’t be saying the same about C.J. Anderson before this game. Moreno bested McCoy on the ground that day, four seasons ago and Peyton Manning had 327 yards and four touchdowns.
That’s what happens when you bring running backs to a touchdown battle, you get scored on through the air in a hurry if your opposition’s play caller is paying attention and in your rush to catch-up you end up getting your quarterback dinged and dunked, instead of the other way around. Last season Trevor Siemian had 10 touchdown passes inside the red zone in 14 games, this season he already has 6. Buffalo should be extremely susceptible to runs up the middle where Matt Paradis and Ron Leary will be making a push on a Marcell Dareus-less defensive front. What should not be overlooked is that 41 of Anderson’s 118 rushing yards in Week 2 came through the Max Garcia/Allen Barbre left guard gap. Both of those men can run-block.
Denver’s focus on offense will have to be keeping that phenomenal squaline (it’s a word, we’ve been working on it since 2005) free safety Jordan Poyer away from the football. Poyer has a Von Miller-esque ability to change the game, but the Buffalo Bills will still have to figure out how to score on offense and score big. Poyer does not have the supporting staff of Von Miller.
Tyrod Taylor’s rushing ability is minimized in this game as long as Von Miller and Shaquil Barrett remain on the field and it would be idiotic for Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison to try calling Taylor’s number given Dennison’s history in practice-planning against this very defense two of the last three seasons. Dennison will attempt to attack Denver the only way that Buffalo can, through the air and with LeSean McCoy. When McCoy is covered, Bills tight end Charles Clay is the only other option for Buffalo and with Broncos middle linebacker Brandon Marshall giving up eight catches on eight coverage targets, it seems like a heck of a time for Marshall to wrack up another interception. It is a game that will see Will Parks and Justin Simmons declaring their spots in the #NoFlyZone or fans will continue to wonder why Jamal Carter only has 13 defensive snaps this season. – Ian Henson
Broncos 24, Bills 10
To continue Adam’s bold predictions from the latest MHR Radio Podcast, I said Anderson and Charles would combine for 250 yards rushing against the Bills on Sunday – Anderson with 150 and Charles with 100. Von Miller also sits 3.5 sacks from Karl Mecklengberg for No. 2 on the Broncos’ all-time sack list. I said on the show Miller gets four and will sit behind only Simon Fletcher on the list after Sunday’s game, and that was before the injuries to the Bills offensive line. Also keep in mind great pass rushers have massive days against Dennison coached offenses, so it’ll be nice to finally see a Broncos player feast on his shitty offense. – Ian St. Clair