The Denver Broncos (10-2) haven’t faced an opponent outside of the AFC west since week 8 against the Washington Redskins will face their first opponent outside of the group: the Tennessee Titans (5-7).
Peyton Manning, who said this week that he isn’t a different quarterback in the cold, is 3-7 in games colder than 32 degrees. The forecast for Sunday at Sports Authority Field (2:05 mtn) is a high of 16 degrees with a 30 percent chance of snow in below freezing temperatures.
Third time’s a charm. Being that this is the third cold game that Manning has been in while being with the Broncos should hopefully prove that he can be ‘typical Manning’. That ‘typical Manning’ is one who threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns against the Kansas City Chiefs last week.
Not saying Manning will have another 400 yard/five touchdown game in these conditions. Passing and catching will be difficult for any team in below freezing weather. The running game will most likely be favored.
What can’t happen is relying on Knowshon Moreno the entire game as we saw against New England. Being that the winds hopefully won’t be as strong as they were in New England hopefully the passing game will be more successful.
John Fox at Thursday’s freezing practice (Photo Credit: Denver Broncos)
Another factor for Denver is the return of head coach John Fox. It has yet to be determined if he will coach on the sideline or in the box but regardless having his presence to motivate the team will only help.
The Tennessee Titans’ main strength is their defense which is ninth in the league and the best that Denver has seen this season. They have a seventh best passing defense with Alterraun Verner being their biggest threat; leading the league with five interceptions.
What the Titans haven’t seen is a better offensive line in the Broncos. The Broncos statistically have the best offensive line in the league with only allowing 15 sacks on Manning.
Tennessee’s defensive weakness is stopping the rush, allowing 4.1 yards per attempt (17th in the league). So expect Knowshon Moreno who averages 4.2 yards per attempt to continue to ‘mile-high-crawl’ as we saw last week.
The Titans offensive strength is in their running game which includes Chris Johnson who has had 774 yards this season and four touchdowns, as well as Ryan Fitzpatrick who has had only 200 yards but three touchdowns. Considering Denver has a seventh ranked rushing defense, limiting opponents to 100.2 yards those two shouldn’t get away with much.
The Denver Broncos practiced in the frigid temperatures today and hopefully we will see positive effects of that Sunday. This matchup is pretty simple to figure out just by looking at the Titans’ 5-7 record; giving another W to the Broncos.
Denver Broncos 35 vs Tennessee Titans 17