With the Detroit Lions preparing to face the Denver Broncos in their Week 16 matchup, we snuck behind enemy lines for some insider intel.
With both the 3-10-1 Detroit Lions and the 5-9 Denver Broncos already eliminated from playoff contention, their upcoming Week 16 matchup appears to be all but meaningless. Both teams will be competing for pride, while some individual players may be playing for their jobs in 2020.
One of the great benefits to being part of the FanSided network is our access to other site experts. In this case, we were able to go behind enemy lines and ask Tylor Walden five questions. Ty’s the site expert for Predominantly Orange, FanSided’s site devoted to all things Denver Broncos. Here are his answers to our queries.
1. What positives, if any, can you take out of last weekend’s 23-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs?
TW: It is really difficult to find any positives from the game that just looked very sloppy. Drew Lock had his first subpar game of the season. But he is a rookie and that is what should happen from time to time.
I believe the only positive I took from that game was that the Broncos were able to get to Patrick Mahomes a few times last Sunday. Shelby Harris had two sacks and Von Miller recorded his first full sack on Patrick Mahomes (he had half a sack on him coming into that game). But the offense could not score and the Chiefs did. So no bueno.
2. What’s your evaluation of rookie quarterback Drew Lock so far? And who will start under center for Denver Week One of the 2020 season?
TW: [Lock] has looked solid through the first three games for the most part. He was on par in his first game, did really well in the second, and had the subpar game last week. He is still learning and it will take a bit of time. But he has shown that he can be a major part of the Broncos offense for years to come. If Lock can impress in these final two games, do not be surprised to see him under center for week one next season.
3. Name one unknown Denver player that might surprise the Lions on Sunday.
TW: Those outside of Denver should have a good idea on who Alexander Johnson is. He has really come into his own since week five of this season and he could solve the issues for the Broncos at the inside linebacker position. Hopefully we will get to see a lot of him in the final two games and for years to come.
4. What would you consider to be the Broncos’ biggest weakness going into Week 16?
TW: The offensive line. It has been hampered by injuries this year. The only solid member on that offensive line is Dalton Risner. But I am hoping that if Drew Lock does give us the answer at quarterback that the Broncos can start building around him and get back to the promise land that is the playoffs.
5. What’s your prediction for Sunday’s game and what’s your final score prediction?
TW: Denver needs to watch out for the trap game. They have not had one this year and despite how the season has gone, they should win against the Lions. But Detroit can be a tricky team. I fully expect Drew Lock to bounce back and be able to get the ball rolling again on Sunday. Broncos 31, Lions 19.