The big picture shows the Broncos are 6-2 at the halfway point of the season. There probably aren’t too many people who predicted that before the regular season began.
At the same time, the last two losses to Baltimore and Pittsburgh showed that the Broncos have work to do. But what NFL team doesn’t have to get better?
There are plenty of unknowns as the second half of the season begins in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. I’m determined to enjoy the process of watching things unfold each week.
Too often when following a team, I find myself anxious for the result and thus, I don’t enjoy the process. Not this year. I’m going to embrace the unknown of what is to come and try to rid myself of any expectations.
I happen to think the Broncos will have a pretty good second half and make the playoffs. But I’m going to enjoy seeing what happens.
It all starts against the Redskins. And there are a few things I’ll be looking for.
1 – HOW THE BRONCOS’ OFFENSE RESPONDS. It is no secret it has been two tough weeks for the Broncos. There is concern but there is no panic and that is how it should be. The running game struggled against the Ravens and Steelers, two talented and physical defenses.
While I don’t think the Redskins’ defense is as good as that of the Steelers, Washington is no pushover. The Redskins are ninth in the NFL, surrendering 19.2 points per game. They allow only 286.2 yards per game, sixth in the league. Those aren’t bad numbers.
But in rushing defense, the Redskins are 25th in the NFL, surrendering 126.4 yards per game. I’ll be curious to see if the Broncos can get their running attack back into gear. I know it isn’t about stats; it’s about execution. The fact is, however, the Redskins have been below average stopping the run for a half of a season.
2 – WILL THE BRONCOS’ DEFENSE RETURN TO FORM? The Redskins will be without running back Clinton Portis. Quarterback Jason Campbell, while talented, has not been able to consistently produce big games.
Denver’s second half against Pittsburgh was one to forget. No doubt it is difficult to dominate every week, especially against really good teams. Pittsburgh definitely qualifies as such.
Washington has struggled to score points, averaging only 14.1 per game. That ranks 29th out of 32 teams. The Broncos’ defense has an opportunity to show the second half against Pittsburgh was an aberration and not the start of a trend.
3 – THE KILLER INSTINCT. The Broncos displayed this seemingly every week before the bye. Then they ran into Baltimore’s buzz saw and couldn’t stop the Steelers in the second half.
Uncertainty surrounds not only the Redskins team but the organization itself. Inconsistent play on the field has been accompanied by uncertainty surrounding the future of the head coach and an unsettled situation with the coaching staff.
The Broncos need to go to D.C., put their foot down, not let up and come home 7-2. They have the ability to do that.
It’ll be fun to see if it happens.
What are your thoughts about the second half of the season? Thanks for reading and posting, too.