Broncos Titans

Monday Night Football Preview: Broncos vs Titans

  • Bradley Chubb
  • Bryce Callahan
  • Courtland Sutton
  • Denver Broncos
  • Derrick Henry
  • Drew Lock
  • Jerry Jeudy
  • Jurell Casey
  • Monday Night Football
  • NFL
  • Noah Fant
  • Ryan Tannehill
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Von Miller
By Andy Martinez September 14, 2020 0 Comment

The NFL is officially back this week, and what better way to wrap up week one than a Monday Night Football matchup featuring the Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans. Here are a few things to watch for on Monday Night.

Offense

The hype surrounding the Broncos offense this upcoming season is justifiable considering the team’s new additions and Drew Lock’s performance in the final stretch of last season. However, it may be wise to pump the brakes on any early season expectations.

With limited practice and no preseason, the Broncos offense is sure to have plenty of hiccups early on. Lock will be running a newly implemented offense in just his second season under new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Fortunately for the Broncos, this isn’t anything new for the young quarterback. During his four-year career at Mizzou, Lock went through three different offensive coordinators. The ability to adapt and succeed in so many different systems will come in handy for the quarterback this season.

That being said, you can still expect the Broncos to rely heavily on the run game with the one-two punch of Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay. It’s likely Pat Shurmur will keep the passing concepts simple and quick before turning Lock loose.

Players to watch

Jerry Jeudy

The rookie wideout is about as NFL ready as they come. With an impressive training camp, it was no surprise to see Jeudy get the starting nod Week 1.

With his elite route-running ability, it shouldn’t be long before Lock throws a few passes his way. If Jeudy can do what he does best, that is causing mass separation in his routes, the Titans will have their hands full on Monday night.

The Broncos’ offensive success will rely heavily on a dangerous receiving corps that includes Jeudy, as well as Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, and possibly KJ Hamler.

Melvin Gordon

The Broncos created some controversy this offseason after they decided to bring in former Los Angeles Chargers running back, Melvin Gordon on a $16 million deal this offseason. He’ll have to prove why he’s worth the money starting on Monday Night.

At the moment, Gordon seems penciled in for the starting job. But he’ll have to make the most of his touches early and often with Phillip Lindsay hot on his heels.

Although the Titans acquired defensive end Jadeveon Clowney earlier this week, don’t anticipate him to cause too much chaos for the Broncos’ rushing attack. With limited practice and a change in altitude, we could see a slower start for the defensive end.

Gordon and Lindsay will have to capitalize on the opportunity presenting itself this week.

Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson

In spite of the fact that the left tackle position was thought to have been the biggest liability for the team in 2019, the Broncos did little to address it this offseason. The opt-out of JaWuan James this season has left the Broncos with a gigantic hole at right tackle, leaving Garrett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson as starters once again for a 2020 campaign.

However, a stat that glimmers with hope for the Broncos this year: Drew Lock led all quarterbacks with a sack percentage of 8.1% in 2019, despite the shakiness at the tackle position. Lock’s mobility was a key to victory last season and it will be again this year.

Defense

The Broncos’ defense took a massive blow when Von Miller ended up on the wrong side of a freak accident earlier this week. During one of the final plays in practice, Miller sustained an injury to the lower leg that is presumed to keep him out for the entire 2020 season.

This news comes just days after Bradley Chubb was pulled from practice in training camp.

Chubb reportedly tweaked the knee that had sustained a torn ACL just last season. Although he was cleared to go, he was warned to proceed with caution. With Miller out and Chubb possibly on a snap count, Jeremiah Attaochu and Malik Reed will have to step up in Denver.

Denver’s linebacking crew poses yet another reason for worry. After the surprising cuts of Todd Davis and Justin Hollins, the Broncos will look to Josey Jewell to rise to the occasion. Jewell has had his fair share of troubles, but he’ll be in good company with Alexander Johnson starting right beside him.

The move to cut Davis this late before the season was questionable. A big reason for it could be the confidence Vic Fangio has in Denver’s defensive front. Jurrell Casey, Mike Purcell, Shelby Harris, Dre’Mont Jones and McTelvin Agim make up a monster for the trenches.

The position group will have to minimize Derrick Henry’s production on the ground if they want to have any chance of beating the Titans on Monday.

As for the secondary, the possibility to be better than last season despite the departure of Chris Harris Jr isn’t too farfetched. The Top-5 safety duo of Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson will be returning alongside corners AJ Bouye and Bryce Callahan who will be rocking Broncos orange and blue for the first-time in this primetime matchup vs the Titans.

Players to watch

Malik Reed

After making the roster as an undrafted rookie last year, Reed went on to start in eight games in 2019. He recorded 27 tackles, two sacks, and five QB hits.

Now, Reed looks to fill in the void left by Miller in Week 1. His performance on Monday Night will be telling as to whether or not the Broncos will pursue a veteran pass-rusher. It is a heavy task to ask of a second-year player. But that seems to be the norm here in Denver.

Bryce Callahan

The wait is finally over. After a full year with no Callahan sightings, the cornerback will finally make his Broncos’ Monday night against the Titans.

Although injuries kept him off the field all of last season, his familiarity with Fangio’s defense should allow him to make an immediate impact this season.

What he lacks in size, he makes up in athleticism. He’ll need every bit of it against Tennessee’s bigger framed receivers.

Jurell Casey

After being traded to the Broncos for a mere 7th Round draft pick, this game is personal for Casey.

During the offseason, the veteran defensive tackle voiced his frustration and talked about the bad blood he now holds against his former team. Casey has gone on record stating he’ll be passing intel from his former team to the Broncos to use in their favor for the Monday night matchup.

Now without Von Miller and a limited version of Bradley Chubb, Casey will have to take it upon himself to wreak havoc against the Titans.

Final thoughts for Broncos vs Titans

Expect this Monday night matchup to be a gritty one that comes right down to the wire. In a night filled with plenty of mistakes, the ability to capitalize will be key for both teams.

Although Denver’s defense enters this game wounded, it still matches up nicely against this Titans offense. Their biggest task of the night will be to keep the Titans one dimensional. Stripping them from the rushing or passing attack gives the Broncos a good chance at running away with a win. Especially the running game.

They’ll also have to keep the game within reach for their young offensive unit that could struggle to find its rhythm early on.

As for the offense, all eyes will be on Drew Lock. His every move will be put under a microscope this season, starting with Monday Night. It will be key for him to build and instill his confidence in this offense. He can start by making the easy completions and being decisive with the ball.

This Titans defense could be the toughest unit Drew Lock has faced since taking on the Chiefs last season.

Be sure to follow Andy on Twitter @thatkidmtz and @broncosbrawl for more Broncos coverage.

Embed from Getty Images

Spread the love

0 Comments

Write A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *