Previewing the Redskins’ Week 16 matchup vs. the Denver Broncos
By Ian Cummings
Redskins offense vs. Broncos defense
The Broncos, like the Redskins, have nothing to play for. But regardless of their record, the Broncos’ defense always remains a threat. The team boasts one of the best cornerback duos in the league in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. They haven’t had as much success this year, largely because the offense has failed to sustain long drives.
When the defense has time to rest, they’re a unit to be feared. Such a thing was evident in last Thursday’s night game, when the Broncos, fueled by the surprising performance of Brock Osweiler, sped out to a doubt digit lead by game’s end, holding the Colts to just 13 points. The defense didn’t make many big plays, but they got the job done, as they often do when given the chance.
Aside from their vaunted corners, the Broncos have plenty of talented players on the first and second levels as well. Brandon Marshall effectively leads a linebacking core featuring Todd Davis, Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett, while Von Miller headlines a front four with stout tackles in Domata Peko and Adam Gotsis. This team isn’t a world beater. But as mentioned earlier, they get the job done. And they can credit the defense for most of their success.
Kirk Cousins will have to be on top of his game in this one. He’ll be dealing with trouble on all levels, and the Redskins’ offensive line isn’t as dominant as it was earlier in the year. If he can get some more help from his patchwork running back core, then the offense would find a little more versatility, which has been lacking in recent weeks.
They’ll need such a thing against Denver. The Broncos defense is first place in total yardage allowed (2nd in pass defense, 4th in run defense). This unit is good at stopping anything, so the Redskins have to keep them on their toes and work a little more of the creative playcylling we saw last week into the playbook for Week 16. A silver lining? The Broncos, for all their stellar defensive stats, are 20th in the league in points allowed. That’s not entirely the defense’s fault, however.