Sunday afternoon Denver gets a fresh chance to show the NFL that they aren’t as bad as they looked last Monday night.
The Bengals will try to win in Denver for the first time since 1975, and the Broncos will try to avoid going 0-2 for the first time in 12 years.
The Broncos will be facing rookie QB Andy Dalton who was questionable earlier in the week with a hand/wrist injury. Last week Dalton completed 10-15 passes for 81 yards and a TD before coming out of the game.
If Dalton has an unforeseen setback or is injured early on veteran QB Bruce Gradkowski is more than capable of helping the Bengals, and it also helps that he has familiarity with the Broncos, having just come from playing with the Oakland Raiders for the last 2 seasons.
Orton hopes to win some fans back to his side after Monday nights loss, and I really don’t see him having another game like the one against the Raiders. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Orton was not the reason the Broncos lost last week, not by himself anyways.
The Broncos also hope to see an improvement in their offensive line who allowed for 5 sacks and couldn’t open a running lane which led to the Broncos only gaining 38 yards on the ground.
The Broncos defense faces a similar challenge as last week as the Bengals’ Cedric Benson comes to town and hopes to build on his 121 yard effort from last week.
Good news for Denver is Brandon Lloyd was back at practice today and it looks likely that he will play on Sunday. The Broncos will be hurting however with Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumervil, D.J. Williams, Marcus Thomas, and Ty Warren all not practicing this week. Sources say that Coach Fox normally doesn’t play anyone who hasn’t practiced, however it stands to reason that there would be some exceptions in regards to veteran players.
Denver needs to stop the run if they are going to have any chance of staying in this one and controlling the game. The Broncos also need to get some semblance of a run game going and they’re hoping with Moreno out, tailbacks Willis McGahee and Lance Ball will be able to get the ball moving on the ground.
Get ready for another tense one fans, and yes, I’ll be sitting here watching and stressing with all of you, lets hope for another Stokley-like miracle!