It’s a 2:05 Kick off in Tampa, FL. The Mile High City and Bronco fans everywhere will be watching to see our Denver team go head to head with last years number 1 overall pick, Jamis Winston and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Currently sitting at 1-2 in what looks to be something of a continuing weak division, the NFC South, they will be looking to get back to .500. How’s the matchup looking? Lets take a look eh.

 Offense. Doug Martin is still on the sideline and C Joe Hawley DNP (did not practice) today. Troy Renck has an update for us.

The offense of Tampa is struggling so far. Given the injuries stated above. Jamis is showing flashes of being a real franchise quarter back though. With a solid arm, super mobile legs and a developing ability to read a defense he will be a threat. Although I guess that’s not saying much though right? I mean it’s the NFL. If you are a starting QB, you’re a threat. No one who plays in this league is a slouch. Yes even the likes of Jay Cutlet and whoever the Browns are throwing out there on Sundays. So I don’t think that big blows will be dealt to Denver. Although Mike Evans is a fantastic receiver with a huge catch radius, crazy hand size, easy ladies, and incredible athletic ability, there isn’t a whole lot of weapons for the orange pirates. I don’t really see much outside of that. I know we can’t overlook them, and I know that this sets up as a trap game, but I can’t see Denver losing this one. It boils down to two words, De and Fence!!

Oh by the way, do you know what I heard on the radio the other day? I heard a national program compare the Minnesota Vikings defense to Denver’s. Is it true? Did my ears deceive me? Did a national radio show finally show the Denver Broncos defense some love? I couldn’t believe it either.

Anyway, even though Tampa plays the same style defense Denver does, they haven’t got the same personnel or talent. So no matter what they have seen from their own team in practice, its not the same as what will hit them square in the mouth on Sunday afternoon. Young master Winston is about to see what Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Andy Dalton have been put through. In the words of John Fogerty, “There’s a bad moon on the rise.”

 Now Denver’s offense seems to be clicking doesn’t it? I don’t want to jinx anything here, but if they can put it all together…that’s a scary team to face. Remember when I was talking about Sanchez? How he only needed to go something like 24-30 for 230 yards, 2 touchdowns and no picks? That’s all Siemian needs to do. If he can do that consistently and keep CJ fed for 90-110 yards, with this defense? Unstoppable. Before we go crazy and just claim that W right now, there are a few things to keep us planted. First is injuries. A number of them. Virgil Green and Donald Stephenson have not practiced and don’t look good to get the green light for Sunday’s match up.

DT is still dealing with his hip issue so I’m sure he won’t be 100%. The other note, worth….noting, is the consistency of the offense. Can they keep it up? Can our boy number 13 keep improving even when opposing teams are starting to get tape on him? I saw a great tweet from a very trusted NFL insider showing Trevor’s throwing chart. A lot of passes on the left side of the field.

If we are seeing it, you know other teams are. Can Siemian adjust after teams start taking away one of his strengths? For the record I am trying to reserve judgement on all rookie QB’s this year. I think three weeks is not enough of a litmus test in my very humble opinion. We need more time. Don’t believe me? Look at RGIII, Brock Oswieler, Kirk Cousins, Jamarcus Russell, Sam Bradford, Nick Foles. The evidence is condemning. Everyone can flash once or twice but can they do it over and over again. Sustained success is what counts in this league. This is also the reason one doesn’t give a guy like Kirk Cousins  20 million freaking dollars after just one year of production. I understand that they didn’t have much choice, but this is why front office performance is so important.

 On to the defense!! Bronco’s are the best, Tampa is the…..not best. Don’t you judge me. Not much needs to be said here right? We all know that Denver is killing it on this side of the ball and that Tampa has given up more yards than anyone else this season. I know the Bucs have some talent over there. I’m not trying to slight them at all, but when your home team has the best D in the league, it’s hard to bet against them. Sound familiar Seattle? However Denver does have some injuries on this side of the ball as well. D Ware and Shileo Keo both DNP today. If I had to bet on it, I’d say that they wouldn’t play this week. TJ Ward and Justin Simmons were limited in practice so I think the questionable tag fits these two.

Although I’m sure we will see them play. Shane Ray and Shaq Barrett look to get another large portion of snaps in place of Ware. Oh and can Bradley Roby get out of the funk that he might be falling into a little bit? I don’t think its anything to worry about really, I just want to see the best for him. So with the injuries and a few questions about young players, I think that the totter is teetering in Denver’s favor.

 Now, Riley Dixon and special teams. Field position Is always an underestimated, highly important part of football. The Broncos won Super Bowl 50, still don’t get tired of typing that, because of Defense and special teams. Flipping the field, putting the opposing team on the 20’s and making them go the length of the field over and over again. Both of Von Miller’s forced fumbles against Cam Newton in SB50 came on the Panthers side of the field. Can Riley Dixon get this football on the other side of the field and put Tampa’s offense at a disadvantage before they even take the field? He is young and untested. Again, I don’t see Denver losing, but every rep is an opportunity for improvement and growth. And by the end of the season, tenderfoot Dixon is going to need all he can get.

 I have Denver winning 27-13. I think defense will be stifling and the offense will be efficient and effective. I will be looking to see how the young talent on the defense will hold up in place for the seasoned vets. How does Trevor look in his second road game? Can he and the rest of the offense continue to build and grow? And can our special teams win every time they are on the field. Can the Broncos put it all together? Can they be consistent? All of these will be answered in just a couple days time. What do you think? Hit me up on twitter @mandell_w. Ill see you all later with more updates and to conclude the season predictions. Thanks again for reading.