Monday Night Football Preview — Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (10/24)
The Denver Broncos were not expected by many to rule the AFC West, and after a strong start, there are naturally some questions that are being raised as to this club’s playoff viability. After suffering two straight defeats, they are in something of a redemption mode. For those who believe in teams making “statements,” the Monday night NFL game may provide some material, in addition to an opportunity, because the Broncos play host to the Houston Texans, with whom they have a number of connections. The game will kick off at 8:30 PM ET at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and BetAnySports customers have the capability of watching the game live on ESPN and placing wagers on it in real time, using the tremendous software that is available with Live Betting Ultra.
The Broncos, upon the retirement of Peyton Manning, needed to make plans at quarterback. The backup, Brock Osweiler, who had made seven starts when Manning got injured and was an important part of the team that won the Super Bowl, even thought he didn’t play in it, took a free agent offer from the Texans, and the Broncos signed Mark Sanchez, in the hope that he could keep the seat warm until first-round pick Paxton Lynch could play. Well, Trevor Siemian, a sixth-round pick from last year, came along to upset those plans, and won the job. He’s shown some poise thus far, with about 65% completions. It would be unfair to ask him to carry the team completely on his shoulders, as Manning sometimes did, and the running game has not exactly risen to the occasion. CJ Anderson has to improve upon his 3.5-yard average, for example.
In the Monday night football odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports the Broncos are solidly favored:
Denver Broncos -8
Houston Texans +8
Over 40.5 points -110
Under 40.5 points -110
One of the reasons the Broncos are laying this many points is that the Texans have laid down when playing on the road, with two awful performances. First they were shut out by New England, which was down to its third-string QB (Jacoby Brissett) on a Thursday night, and then they got beaten by Minnesota (31-13), which was a one-dimensional offensive team at best. Also, there is the impression that the Denver staff is very familiar with Osweiler; at least familiar enough that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips should be able to cook up a scheme to keep him uncomfortable. Phillips and six other assistants used to be with the Texans, and that goes back to when Gary Kubiak was the head coach there.
Kubiak likes what he sees in Siemian, who says he picked up an awful lot on the sidelines, from both Manning AND Osweiler. But is he just one of those guys who ultimately can’t do any more than “manage” the game? That’s a question for BetAnySports patrons to ponder.
After all, the defense can carry this team only so far. But, well, it may be able to carry it to a win and a cover here. The Broncos faced two rather artful quarterbacks in their last two games (Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers). What they are obviously hoping for is that they can use the knowledge they have at their disposal about Osweiler and be effective with their pressure. They figure they can force him into mistakes, and so the youngster’s challenge is to find his receivers downfield and not take too much time in doing that. DeAndre Hopkins and rookie Will Fuller make a formidable pair, and that is not something we have been able to say about the Texans’ wide receivers in the past, because they have not often had a complement for the #1 guy. But Denver has those shutdown corners in the secondary and allows just 5.6 yards per pass attempt. Will “Os” be able to nickel and dime them to death?
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