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Denver Broncos' Keys to Victory: Preseason Week 2 at Houston

Ken Pomponio Avatar
August 21, 2015


Who: Denver Broncos (1-0) at Houston Texans (1-0)

What: Preseason Week 2

When: 6 p.m. MDT Saturday, Aug. 22

Where: NRG Stadium, Houston

TV: KTVD (Ch. 20)

Announcers: Ron Zappolo, Alfred Williams

Radio: KOA (850 AM); The Fox (103.5 FM)

Keys to Victory

  • Peyton’s debut. After sitting out the preseason opener and watching backup Brock Osweiler light it up with a 15-of-20 performance and a 112.7 passer rating, let’s just say Peyton Manning has a little work to do to hold on to his starting gig. OK, just seeing if you were paying attention. In actuality, Manning will be looking to impress being it’s his first live field test in the team’s new offense, and the questions are many: Will we see the 39-year-old QB run some rollouts? Will the young and still-very-much-gelling offensive line hold up against J.J. Watt and Co? Will Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison reveal any inkling of what the real offense might look like come the Sept. 13 regular-season opener against the Ravens?
  • Front seven finding its identity. The Orange and Blue’s defensive front is a lot thinner this week with DE Kenny Anunike, the team’s leading tackler in the preseason opener, sidelined after a knee scope and backup NT Marvin Austin put on season-ending injured reserve with a groin injury. The Broncos’ linebacking corps, however, will welcome back a familiar face Saturday evening as ILB Brandon Marshall, the team’s leading tackler last season, is expected to make his debut after pulling ahead of schedule in his recovery from a foot injury. Fellow inside ’backer Danny Trevathan, however, isn’t as far along and the debut of the team’s leading tackler in 2013 will have to wait. Overall, let’s see if the D can build on its impressive showing in the Pacific Northwest, where it notched seven sacks, limited Seattle to 3.1 yards per play and forced a pair of fumbles.
  • Special improvements needed. Yeah, we know it’s only the preseason, and everyone realizes the Broncos’ special teams units are still finding their way with a mix of subs, starters and soon-to-be cut-down date casualties. But – somehow, some way – it would really comfort Broncos Country to see some improvement from Joe DeCamillis’ troops after fumbling two punts and allowing an average of 39.3 yards on six kickoff returns last week, including a 103-yard scoring return. That’s all the nation needs to see is a repeat putrid performance played out on Hard Knocks, the HBO hit series which is chronicling the Texans this month.

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