The Denver Broncos will try to snap a three-game losing streak this week as they play host to the undefeated Los Angeles Rams. Despite being the road team, the Rams are a full 7-point favorite to beat Denver with the over/under for the game set at 52.5 points.
It’s worth noting that the Rams had a close call last week in Seattle. They trailed by a touchdown heading into the 4th quarter but managed to score twice to take a 2-point lead. The Rams then converted a 4th and short late in the game to secure the win. Of course, prior to that, the Rams won their four games by an average margin of 18 points.
The Broncos, meanwhile, have suffered a mini-collapse after starting the season 2-0. In fairness, two of their losses have been road games against east coast teams while the third loss was against the Chiefs in a game they led by 10 points in the 4th quarter. However, there are few excuses for a 34-16 loss to the Jets last week, a defeat that has Denver desperate for a win this week against one of the best teams in the NFL.
A Little Help
While the Rams are 5-0, the Los Angeles defense hasn’t exactly carried their weight over the last few weeks. The Rams have given up 31 points to the Vikings and Seahawks in back-to-back weeks. Prior to that, they gave up 23 points in their win against the Chargers. They’ve gotten away with it because Jared Goff and the offense have been nothing short of sensational through the first five weeks of the season. However, the Rams won’t stay undefeated forever if their defense doesn’t do a little better.
The good news is that Denver’s offense may not be fit to take advantage of a porous Rams defense. The Broncos have one of the best rushing attacks in football, but running the ball has not led to wins the last three weeks. The problem lies squarely with Case Keenum, who has just two touchdowns and four interceptions over the last four weeks, and that was after he threw three picks in Week 1. He has the playmakers around him, but right now, he’s what’s holding the Broncos back despite their outstanding rushing attack.
With an unreliable quarterback, Denver’s only hope this week may be getting a strong defensive effort in front of their home crowd. The last time the Broncos were at home, they held the Kansas City offense to just 13 points through three quarters before letting the game slip away in the 4th quarter. If they can replicate that kind of performance, the Broncos can at least give themselves a chance.
The difference between the Chiefs and the Rams is that Los Angeles has more playmakers for the Denver defense to track. If Brandon Cooks and Cooper Kupp are able to clear concussion protocol and play on Sunday, Denver’s secondary may not know where to focus their efforts while also having to worry about Todd Gurley running the ball.
The Beat Goes On
It’s gonna take more than home-field advantage and a vulnerable Rams defense for the Broncos to break their losing streak. Unless Keenum turns things around, the Denver offense won’t be able to keep up in this game. Bet on the Rams -7 to beat the Broncos on Sunday.