If Admiral Ackbar of "Star Wars" fame were a football fan, he would be screaming his trademark line to the Denver Broncos right now.
"IT'S A TRAP!"
The Broncos are currently in a sort of tailspin following two straight blowouts at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. If there ever was such a thing as a perfect opponent to bounce back against, it's the Washington Redskins whom the Broncos face Sunday.
That's the exact reason why the Broncos should not look past the Redskins this week. It seems all too easy, like Darth Vader thought fighting Luke Skywalker in "The Empire Strikes Back." This is the perfect week for a major letdown to happen for the Broncos, and it very well could. Who at this time last week thought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would not only beat the Green Bay Packers, but beat them by more than a touchdown?
Many Broncos fans are feeling confident heading into this weekend's matchup, but others have a such a bad feeling about this game, it would make Han Solo proud.
The Broncos offense has been stagnant the past two games and if there was ever a time for Josh McDaniels to take the leash off of Kyle Orton and see what he really can do, now would be the opportune time. Orton is notorious for being a dink and dunk passer and while that served him well the first six games of 2009, it must be dawning on Orton and McDaniels that the deep passing game has to open up for the Broncos to continue to win.
Washington's defense, for all the team's other flaws, is fairly stout. Orton and company will be challenged this weekend so it's important that the offense establish an early rhythm as well. The offense needs to do its part early so that the Broncos defense can do their thing while protecting a lead instead of trying to come from behind. Orton needs to avoid sacks and not commit the critical turnover.
As far as the defense goes, they need to regain the form they had against the Steelers in the first half. Ben Roethlisberger was under siege in the first half and the Broncos need to do the same to Jason Campbell on Sunday. Now, the Steeler offense Washington is not, and it's easy to overlook Washington's incompetency.
That said, the Broncos still need to make plays because what happens if this is the one game in his entire career that Campbell is actually on target? The Broncos need to make the plays on defense instead of waiting for play to come to them. I'm sure Mike Nolan has preached that all week.Any quarterback can get hot at any given time so the Broncos still need to be on their toes.
The Bottom Line
Denver has no excuses not to win this game. They are better than the Redskins in every area. As long as the Broncos offense gets moving early and doesn't make the critical turnover and let the defense do the rest, the Broncos should be 7-2 heading into next week.
If Washington comes out on fire and the Broncos offense sputters early and often, then the Broncos could be in trouble. A third consecutive loss would likely tie the team with the Chargers in the AFC West heading into next week's face-off in Denver. The Chargers would have momentum clearly on their side and some will even begin wondering if Denver is really the team everyone thought they were before the season began.
The Broncos need this game. It's not a matter of trying. All they need to go out there and do what they did the first six games of the season.
After all as the wise Jedi Master Yoda said: "Do, or do not. There is no try."
All of Broncos Country is hoping the team has those words at heart this Sunday.