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Andrew Mason

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One key number the Broncos need to hit involves them playing keep-away and dictating the pace.

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It's not just about stopping Patrick Mahomes anymore.

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Drew Lock is eight starts into his NFL career, and there is only one logical assessment of his play to date and what it means for his future: The jury is still out -- and it could be deliberating for a while.

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They're learning how to win.

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This game — assuming that it takes place Sunday at Gillette Stadium - is more valuable being played now rather than later because Drew Lock is expected to be in the lineup.

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For the moment, the Broncos' revised plans for Week 6 remain without further change. Despite the reports of a positive COVID-19 test on the Patriots' roster, the Broncos' weekend in New England is on, with the team's Saturday plans to fly northeast unaffected.

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Drew Lock had a full practice workload Wednesday. He threw with zip and vigor. When viewed from a distance, he showed no signs of discomfort.

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The problem is that there is only so much improvisation and adjustment that can be done before it begins exacting a toll on the legitimacy of a season.

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Since Vic Fangio took over as the Broncos' head coach, his defense has been missing something in which his units usually excel.

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When practice opened Wednesday, camera lenses and the eyes of reporters zeroed in on Drew Lock. Meanwhile, Brett Rypien went about his work. It's all he can do.

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One of the last people you want to see on the field when you've called a run is Broncos nose tackle Mike Purcell.

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Late Thursday night, with rain falling on an empty MetLife Stadium and the Broncos once again teetering on the edge of losing a winnable game, the Broncos and Bradley Chubb decided they’d had enough.

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First, expect to see more combinations involving Shelby Harris and Mike Purcell in pass-rush situations. After all, they're the only two players left from the D-line's active complement from the first two games.

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The Broncos looked like the team that has the NFL’s fifth-worst record since the start of the 2017 season: out-matched, out-fought and out-thought.

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History is on the line for the Broncos on Sunday, since a win will likely clinch a winning record for them against Tom Brady-led teams. Take a look back at the Broncos' history against TB12.

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"Terrible with a capital 'T.'"

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"It wasn't that I didn't want to stay in Denver," Barrett said. "I feel like my last two years there, I felt as though that there was a zero percent chance to start."

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In high school just over a decade ago, one year, 5.6 miles and a world of attention separated Driskel and Bortles.

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Jeff Driskel-to-Noah Fant needs to be the combination at the heart of the Broncos' attack for the next few weeks.

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Yeah, it looks grim in the moment. But there are a few burning embers that can become brilliant flames.

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