Denver at Washington 11-15-09

November 15, 2009

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The Denver Broncos were the NFL’s most pleasant surprise through the first two months of the season, but back-to-back blowout losses suddenly have them looking quite vulnerable. A game against the slumping Washington Redskins might be what they need to bounce back. The Broncos hope Kyle Orton their offense can get back in gear and their once-formidable defense can return to form Sunday when they visit a Redskins team looking to avoid losing five consecutive games for the first time in eight years.

Denver (6-2) opened with six straight victories under first-year coach Josh McDaniels, but very little has gone right since. The Broncos averaged 22.2 points and allowed an average of 11.0 during the winning streak, but have been outscored 58-17 in losses to Baltimore and Pittsburgh with the offense reaching the end zone just once. Denver’s ground game has been virtually nonexistent the past two weeks with veteran running back Correll Buckhalter and rookie Knowshon Moreno combining for 82 yards on 32 carries. The Broncos averaged 132.7 rushing yards during the winning streak. The Broncos appear to have a good chance to re-establish their ground game against a Washington team that allowed a season-high 181 rushing yards last week. The Redskins defense has given up a new season high in points two weeks running, following a 27-17 loss to Philadelphia with a 31-17 defeat at Atlanta last Sunday. Still, an anemic offense remains the biggest concern for Washington (2-6). The Redskins, who haven’t dropped five straight games since opening the 2001 season 0-5, have yet to exceed 17 points in a game as quarterback Jason Campbell continues to take a beating behind a makeshift line. He has been sacked 25 times – third-most in the NFL – and will face a Denver defense that ranks third in the league with 26 sacks.

Making matters worse, Washington will be without starting running back Clinton Portis, who suffered a concussion in the first quarter against the Falcons. Ladell Betts, who rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries last week despite nursing a sprained ankle, likely will get his first start since the 2006 season finale. Portis, who ranks eighth in the NFC with 494 rushing yards, was traded to the Redskins from Denver for Champ Bailey and a second-round draft pick prior to the 2004 season. This will be the first time Bailey, an eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback, has faced his former club.

Washington is not a good football team right now. Denver coming off a tough lost, Denver wins on the road.

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By Lawrence Tate Associate Freepick1.com Editor


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