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Current Record: 1-2
Where They Stand Right Now:
The Broncos' record makes them appear far worse than they are right now. Sure they lost to Jacksonville and Indianapolis, but on the field some very promising signs have emerged from a team that has been plagued with injuries.
First and foremost, Kyle Orton has looked great. He hasn't been top of the quarterback class, but he is flying under the radar in terms of performance. Secondly, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd found his feet against a tough Colts defense on the weekend, allowing Orton to have that go-to option in the coming weeks.
Perhaps the most promising factors to come out of Denver, though, is the fact that the team ranks second in overall offensive yards, and first on defensive pass yards. These two stats combined should equal wins for Denver if they keep this tough mentality up this year.
What They Need To Do To Make The Playoffs:
Just win, baby, win. Slip-ups against the likes of Jacksonville have cost the Broncos a 2-1 record, and they simply can't let that happen for the rest of the year.
Like many teams right now, the Denver Broncos need to find what works and stick with it, so don't be surprised to see Brandon Lloyd and Kyle Orton become the main theme for the rest of this season. Not only does this duo work, it allows the team to rely on a big-time playmaker, something that the Broncos needed following Brandon Marshall's departure.
Lastly, Denver really needs to play catch-up, fast. The Chiefs are atop the division, and the Chargers look flat, so the Broncos need to make the most of their chances while they can.
Key Games Ahead:
@Tennessee, @Baltimore, vs. New York Jets, vs. Kansas City, @San Diego, @Kansas City, vs. Houston, vs. San Diego.
By looking above, many big divisional games await Denver toward the second half of the season. More importantly, the Broncos now hit the road against two of the toughest AFC teams in Tennessee and Baltimore, after which Josh McDaniels could easily see numbers piled up in the loss column.
The playoffs are far from a lost cause for Denver. Kansas City could turn out to be a huge fluke, and San Diego are really struggling right now. The Chargers are notorious for starting out badly, so as already mentioned, Denver needs to pick up games when they can.
Should they accomplish that, the wild-card will become a certainty, if not the divisional crown. The Broncos have been in this position before and have failed to capitalize; let's see if history repeats itself this year.