The last time these two teams faced each other, the Denver Broncos would take a turn for the worst. In 2014, the Broncos would win the AFC West, but they lost in the divisional round of the AFC Playoffs to the Indianapolis Colts. They are in a familiar situation once again, however; if they lose this game, they could surrender their lead in the AFC West and miss the playoffs as well.
Tomorrow’s big game on Monday Night Football is a must win for the Denver Broncos. Their defense has improved significantly from last year’s unit that gave up 37 points to the Bengals in the previous contest. They also do not have to worry about coming up with a scheme on how to rattle Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.
Dalton was sidelined for the remainder of the season when he injured his right thumb against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14. Substituting for Dalton will be former Alabama Crimson Tide starting quarterback A.J. McCarron, who won the first game that he had ever started in his career against the San Francisco 49ers last week.
McCarron has shown that he is confident in his abilities to take the Bengals to higher levels in Dalton’s absence; however this is not the Southeastern Conference. Except Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, quarterback play in the Southeastern Conference was pretty mediocre.
That is not the case in the National Football League, if McCarron is the guy that will be the Bengals starting quarterback in the playoffs, he could face some of the league’s best signal-callers such as Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger.
Hopefully, McCarron and offensive coordinator Hugh Jackson paid close attention to how their division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers carved up the Broncos number one ranked defense last week.
Their offense is capable of inflicting the same type of damage to the Broncos defense similar to what the Steelers did in last Sunday’s late evening showdown The Bengals opponent; the Denver Broncos must run the football successfully against the Bengals defense if they want to leave Mile High with a victory tomorrow night.
If Demaryius Thomas and the rest of the receivers can hold on to the football, it can be a plus for the Broncos offense. My prediction for this game is that the Broncos will win this contest and increase their lead in the AFC West. The Bengals defense will be the only reason they will keep this game close. The moment may be too big for A.J. McCarron.
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