By Marc Mandell

@mandell_w on twitter

360Sports Review on Facebook

Scooby Drew Brees. Wiley Sean Payton. A high powered offense and another bottom of the barrel defense. This is the team that our Denver Broncos have to do battle with on Sunday. Now I know what you are thinking. “Our offense is garbage!!” “Our defense is badly battered!” You are right about both of those things. Denver’s offensive production has been…..putrid to put it lightly. So what are the odds that Denver can go into one of the toughest stadiums in the NFL and get the W? You be the judge, our lines are open and we’re taking your phone calls. Or comments, whichever is easier for you.

So, the Broncos have zero run game and a shaky pass game. All stemming from an offensive line that has absolutely no confidence from the coaching staff. When the offense passes on a 3rd and 2 situation, message received. Both to the fans, and the o-linemen. But don’t lose faith! This is going to be a very difficult game for Denver, but nothing feels better than redemption. Especially at the expense of one of the top 3 QB’s in the league, Drew Brees. So for this weeks match-up, I’m going to focus more on the opponent rather than the Broncos, as I have no doubt we are all aware of their……deficiencies. So with that, here we go!

No Jimmy Graham, no problem. No Kenny Stills, no problem. They have Drew. Now brace yourselves guys, these numbers are going to make your stomach turn. Brees is on pace to throw for 5200 yards; he has 21 touchdowns with only 5 picks; he is completing 69.7% of his throws, and is averaging 331 yards per freaking game. The good news to all this? There is no good news to any of this. The only other QB with similar numbers is Matt Ryan of the Falcons. Remember how that went? Not great. I’m not going to sugar coat this guys, this is like looking down the barrel of a very talented gun. The Saints are hitting on all cylinders on offense. And without Aqib Talib, Derek Wolfe and maybe Brandon Marshall, well, it doesn’t look good for our lately flaccid Denver Donkeys.

Not only do the New Orleans Saints have Mr. Brees, they also have talent on the outside. Wide receivers Brandon Cooks, who makes me beat me head against a wall in fantasy football, on one side and a young talented rookie, Michael Thomas on the other. Both of these guys make defensive backs chase them all over the field. Willie Snead playing in slot, sharing time with Coby Fleener, allows the Saints to pass short, medium, and deep. Basically the trifecta of a passing game. The trio of Cooks, Thomas and Snead have accumulated 1650 of Drew’s 2600 passing yards. Almost completely evenly. The same trio has 12 TD’s. The passing game of the Saints in on point. Like, on point. Potentially record setting on point. Oh and there’s more. I know, it’s hard to believe, but hang in there.

The running game of the Saints. Mark Ingram has 500 yards on the ground. Even as I type this I can’t believe it. This means that 4 of the 5 skill position players mentioned so far are on pace to have 1000+ yards… each!!! in one year from one quarterback. Ingram is doing his best Marshawn Lynch impression. Truck stick is being used often and with authority. He can bulldoze defensive tackles and he has the speed to take it to the house from anywhere on the field. Basically the whole package.

So go ahead, take one guess as to why this offense is clicking. It might be difficult as a Bronco fan to identify because, well quite frankly we have forgotten what it looks like. That’s right!! An offensive line that is playing well together. They are communicating well, playing tough nosed, and finishing their blocks. What makes the Denver defense so difficult to beat is that they play through the echo of the whistle. That is what the Saints offensive line does. They punch you right in the mouth and then they punish you all the way through the end of the play. Nola.com is giving the Saints an A grade for the front 5 of New Orleans. With the high quality of play up front, which is where any considerable chance of winning comes from, a hyper competitive QB, a substantial WR core and a solid running back, it’s no wonder they are averaging over 30 points a game. They are also ranked at the top of the offensive standings so far in the 2016 NFL season. Thoughts?

This seems like an enormous hill to climb. That’s because it is an enormous hill to climb. And oh yeah, it’s in the Super Dome. Where it is loouuudd. Siemian hasn’t played in a dome yet in his young career, somehow. Coach Kubiak is talking about balance again, but until it shows on the field, it’s just talk. I think the most frustrating thing as a fan is that there seems to be no creativity with the offense. No bringing in a 6th o-lineman. No screen game. It seems like stubbornness is overcoming potential imagination. But I’ll cover that in the mid-season review as the Broncos go into the bye week after their meeting with the Saints.

I hate to say it Broncos Country, but I think Denver will be returning from the Big Easy with a Big L. Based on injury, the absence of offensive production and a general deficit of urgency in the early part of games, I have to give the W to New Orleans this week. I know, I know. It sucks to say, but maybe limping into the bye to give the coaches and players some time off to sort things out might be for the best. More on that next week. So for the last game before the bye week, I’m going to say Denver 20, NO 28. What do you think Denver will do? Give me your prediction in the comments.

Thanks again for reading as I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your time. I’ll see you all post game. Here’s to hoping!!

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