Admit it. You read that headline and your first instinct was to laugh. Hell, maybe you did. After all, how could our blundering Broncos knock an undefeated NFC juggernaut off their perch? Well, don’t laugh too hard, because it is ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE for the Broncos to upset the Rams on Sunday.
Why? Well, consider this:
Marcus Peters is still dealing with a calf strain.
Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp were knocked around pretty bad in Seattle and haven’t been practicing all week. Heck, even if they play, its reasonable to assume they might be a bit gun-shy.
Michael Brockers (DT) suddenly wound up on the injury list in a rather unceremonious manner.
The game is in Denver.
My opinion is that IF the Broncos are to have a surprisingly dominant performance this season, it will be this game.
Does that mean I think they will win? That’s tough.
The Rams are an all-around good team with a inspiring head coach and a great defensive coordinator. That said, they’ve shown some real defensive vulnerabilities over the past two games.
Seattle also gouged the Rams for 190 yards on the ground.
But let’s face the facts: Case Keenum is no Kirk Cousins or Russell Wilson. And despite those two QBs having good games against the Rams, the Rams still won. And that’s what good teams do—they play good opponents and win close games.
So here’s my prediction:
If the Broncos win, it will be by a touchdown or more, but no more than 10 points.
If the Broncos lose, it will be by a touchdown or less.
I do not think the Broncos get blown out by the Rams. I also don’t believe they are capable of blowing out the Rams, but it would be utterly hilarious if that happened.
For the sake of conversation, let’s say the Broncos win. What does that mean, and does it get Vance Joseph off of the coaching hot seat? Well, maybe….
In 2005, the Denver Broncos opened the season in Miami and were destroyed 34-10 by the Nick Saban-led Dolphins. Fans were pissed, considering the last game of the 2004 season was a Wild Card tragedy against the Manning-led Colts, who proceeded to drop 49 points on the Broncos. That game was so bad it cost a man his life—that man was Broncos CB Roc Alexander. And the man who killed him was Colts’ WR Reggie Wayne.
So, with two terrible losses fresh in their collective memories, Broncos’ fans were considerably upset and thought the season—despite it only being Week 1—was in jeopardy.
And then came the home opener against the San Diego Chargers in Week 2, which proved to be a turning point for the Broncos. Early on, things looked bad. The Chargers were pushing the Broncos around and led 14-3. The boo-birds were out in force.
But a funny thing happened: Drew Brees threw a pass which was intercepted by the incredible Champ Bailey and returned 25 yards for a touchdown. That play galvanized the Broncos. From there on out it was all Denver D. One defensive stop after another defensive stop after another defensive stop. In the 2nd half, the Broncos’ D held the Chargers to just 41 total yards, which helped us grind out a 20-17 win.
It was a victory that turned everything around. Suddenly, the team had confidence and poise. So much, in fact, they went on to win their next four games and lost only twice the rest of the way, finishing the season at 13-3 and defeating the Patriots in the Divisional Round.
If this year’s Broncos can defeat the Los Angeles Rams on a snowy Sunday in Denver, Vance Joseph will be given a surge of momentum that, if used properly, can provide a shot of adrenaline that could send the Broncos down a path of total football dominance. Seriously, stranger things have happened. And don’t forget for one second that the Broncos are an angry and desperate team.
I’ve been rambling, so I’ll keep it short and sweet:
If the Broncos beat the Rams AND Vance Joseph guides this team to the playoffs, then all will be forgiven. Winning and making the playoffs cures all.
If the Broncos beat the Rams, but the Broncos do nothing with the momentum and miss the playoffs for the 3rd year in a row, he needs to be fired.
It’s really simple.