Denver Broncos Ready for Carolina Panthers, McCaffrey out

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos are ready for the Carolina Panthers. Both are 4-8, and on even footing, before they face off Sunday. The Panthers however will be rested off their bye week, but Christian McCaffrey has just suffered a setback and isn’t likely to play.

Denver Broncos Ready For Carolina Panthers, Christian McCaffrey out

Broncos Offense Is Picking Up the Pace

Denver’s offense has faced more challenges than most this season. Drew Lock suffered a right shoulder injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers and missed a few games. And in an event that was both bemusing and nerve-wracking, the Broncos played an entire game with no quarterback due to COVID.

The Broncos have been resilient. They’ve been thrown an insurmountable number of curves. Winning four games this season despite all this should be applauded. Well, sort of.

The Panthers Can Stop The Run

The Broncos finally got their running game in order a couple of weeks back. Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon are that one-two punch the franchise and the fans are clinging to for hope. Combined, they’ve rushed for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns. These backs are solid and just what a new quarterback needs when he’s still developing.

The last few weeks have seen the Panthers do a decent job of stopping the run. Against Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook, they allowed 61 yards. Prior to that, they held the Detroit Lions to just 40 total rushing yards. The real test will be against a formidable duo like Lindsay and Gordon.

The Broncos are currently 12th in rushing yards (118.9) and 31st in points per game (18.8). Meanwhile, the Panthers are 20th in rushing yards (106.4) and 21st in points per game (23.3).

This Was the Game for McCaffrey to Play

Christian McCaffrey has sat out a painful nine games with injuries. First his ankle, then his shoulder. Sitting out the last four games of the season is just unthinkable at this point. Coaches tried their best to have him on the field, but with a new quad injury, it’s unlikely.

This game would’ve held significance – playing against his father Ed’s former team. McCaffrey followed his dad to work many times, and he expressed excitement at being able to play against the Broncos. “Coming full circle,” as he put it.

Despite spending most of the season on the bench, he still leads the Panthers with six touchdowns in just three games. Broncos inside linebacker Josey Jewell knew they would’ve had their work cut out for them if McCaffrey was playing. “He can line up number one, number two out in wide receiver, and he can go in the backfield… He’s a great player, and we’re just going to have to be ready for the multitude of things that he can do.”

Denver’s Defense Is Shaky

They’ve been without their best pass rusher Von Miller and the defense has struggled in some areas. The Broncos are 26th in rushing yards allowed per game (131.5) but are eighth in passing yards allowed per game. Defenses from both sides will need to remain vigilant against their opponent since both teams possess a strong offensive run game.

Denver and Carolina are already looking forward to the next season. But momentum is everything and both are desperate to notch a couple more wins this year. It’s a winnable game for both the Broncos and Panthers, which is exactly the reason why this game will be an interesting one.

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’O_ia6hGMSaFB2Kq0d26aKA’,sig:’5CktI_BRVeZPJTs_IXrGRqLAe636tbvl66AbOo58jLA=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’1289810095′,caption: true ,tld:’com’,is360: false })});