The reigning Super Bowl champions have endured a rough couple of weeks.
Denver lost at home to the Atlanta Falcons and then followed it up with a subpar performance against the San Diego Chargers. The latter was without head coach Gary Kubiak, who missed a week with a complex migraine condition.
In the midst of a two-game losing streak, Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans are coming to town. It’s a juicy Monday night matchup that pits Osweiler against his former team.
The Texans are coming off of a 26-23 overtime win against the Indianapolis Colts. While the Broncos have sputtered in consecutive weeks and there’s a good chance it will continue, Denver is a 7-point home favorite.
Here are three reasons why All 22 believes the Texans could pull off the upset against the reigning Super Bowl champs:
Osweiler was rubbed the wrong way when he was benched in favor of Peyton Manning last season. Denver promoted and demoted the young QB last year on its way to a Super Bowl title. For that very reason, Osweiler spurned the Broncos to sign with Houston during the offseason.
The Arizona State product is out to prove Denver should have kept him in the starting lineup. Expect the 6-foot-8 QB to be extra motivated for this one (as will Denver).
Osweiler is off to a rocky start in Houston. He has a mediocre 74.1 passer rating through six games and has just as many touchdowns as he does interceptions with 8. He showed glimpses of promise in a comeback win last week in Indianapolis. The signal caller has a chance to build on last week’s momentum with a win against his former team.
A major advantage for Osweiler is he knows Wade Phillips’ defense from his time spent in Denver.
Kubiak will make his emotional return to the sideline after missing last week’s loss. There is no doubt that the Broncos will be emotionally energized to play well and win for their coach. But sometimes that can work negatively. Will the Broncos press too much to win and as a result play tight?
Osweiler’s return doesn’t help matters, either.
Following two straight defeats, the blueprint to beat the reigning Super Bowl champions seems to be readily available.
The Broncos have one of the best defenses in football. Yet, if you don’t turn the ball over and keep attacking on offense, Denver’s defense is susceptible to give up points. This isn’t the stingy defense the Broncos trotted out on the field last season.
Houston has two skill position players that could give Denver fits in wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back Lamar Miller. Hopkins has the most reliable hands in the league. Miller can hurt teams running or catching the ball.
If Osweiler can consistently get the ball to Hopkins and Miller, the Texans have a good chance of winning.
Denver is on upset alert!