Little Bro, Giant Problem

I see Denver getting out to a big lead early, something like 17-0 or 20-3, then being backed up against a wall in the third quarter as they refuse to go for the throat early (open note to Mike Shanahan: You can score more than 30 points. It's allowed.

A quick update before I get started today: last week was quite a problem, as I had planned on writing a terrific prediction for the Patriots game, and I was all prepared to predict 28-20 as the score. I'm completely serious (as far as you know).

Anyway, a funny (read: not funny) thing happened on my way to write my story, as my faithful dog Bailey accidentally knocked my laptop from it's tedious perch on my desk while jumping around in a desperate ploy to get me to play with him. Once recovered from the floor, its lack of startup power can be summed up in two words:

Uh. Oh.

So, long story short, no story last week. But now, (cue exciting Tron-like music) from the home of The Real Moose, comes a story so diabolical, a prediction so outta site, you are advised to wear a helmet.

Here…

We…

Go!

The NFC East is one that I simply have not figured out yet. I thought for sure that the Eagles would be on top of the division again, simply because everyone else looked so hideously bad. Washington, Dallas and the New York Football Giants are all better than expected. And, of course, the Eagles are, well, not.

New York poses an interesting problem. Tiki Barber is good, but Eli Manning, the little bro to last year's MVP Peyton, is the reason the Giants are winning. I'm not worried about Tiki, as I think the Bronco front four will torch him (get it? Tiki Torch!), but Eli poses a unique threat. He's got the smarts, the ball control and accuracy that can tear our D to pieces. I mean, our pass defense has been tattered with the injury to Champ Bailey and the return of Lenny Walls to the form he's always taken (idiotic penalties, missed tackles, etc); look what Mark Brunell did to us. Granted, we were playing three rookies, but if there was more time and Washington had gotten the ball back, we would have lost that game.

My basic point is this: if Mark Brunell passed for as many yards as he did, imagine what a good quarterback could do.

Bottom line, I'm scared. The game is in Giants Stadium, a place where we're 1-3 all-time against Big Blue. They have one of the top quarterbacks in the league in Eli (who stars on my fantasy team, the Sex Panthers… more on this later), and a tough-as-nails, gut-it-out running game. Their rush defense is tough, although not as good as ours, or Jacksonville's or Washington's.

It all comes back to Eli. When I started looking at my fantasy lineup this week, I debated heavily having Eli start (weighing him against Drew Bledsoe @ Seattle or Roethlisberger @ Cincinnatti), and ended up going with Bledsoe.

But what about all the things you just said about Eli, Sam? What about the fact that Bledsoe is waaaaaaaay over the hill?

What it comes down to is that I think Eli will be on his back all game long. There's no way they're going to stop our front four, one of the best in football, and our linebackers, which are the best in football, and be able to throw against Champ (who is starting) and Darrent Williams, the new star of this already star-heavy defense.

I see Denver getting out to a big lead early, something like 17-0 or 20-3, then being backed up against a wall in the third quarter as they refuse to go for the throat early (open note to Mike Shanahan: You can score more than 30 points. It's allowed. Put teams away early, break their confidence, and play ball-control offense in the second half. Seriously. Remember the good times we had when this team was scoring 35-40 points a game? We went to the Super Bowl back then. Maybe it's time to revisit that.) Denver will probably take a small (20-17) lead into the fourth quarter before they open it up again, use the clock, score a touchdown and a field goal and finally win it when a last-second Manning pass gets knocked down.

Make mine 30-23, Denver. Boom shackalacka, 6-1.



Sam DeWitt is a sports writer living in Denver with his dog, Bailey and contributes every week to BroncosUpdate.com. He can be reached via email at BUMoose@gmail.com.


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