There’s so much pressure on the shoulders of Trevor Siemian nowadays, most of it is about trying to arrest the current four-game losing streak the Denver Broncos (3-5) find themselves in. However, when coach Vance Joseph decided to bench his third-year quarterback against the Philadelphia Eagles (the hottest team in all of football) in favor of back-up veteran Brock Osweiler, it ended in a 51-23 massacre and now the starting job in that position is up in the air when the defending Super Bowl champions New England Patriots (6-2) barge into town for Week 10 action at Sports Authority Field in Colorado in a battle of the two recent titlists in the National Football League (NFL).
Kickoff is at 9:30AM LIVE on ESPN5.
Siemian is not solely to blame for the present slide as the former Northwestern star has been dealing with a lingering shoulder injury in his non-dominant arm since the previous season and it got re-aggravated in Week 6 against the New York Giants. After miserable setbacks in the two succeeding games on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers (0-21) and Kansas City (19-29), Joseph decided to switch things up and bring Osweiler in or his first start (and only his second game) of the season and the debacle at Lincoln Financial Field happened just last week.
Denver’s other option at quarterback is sophomore Paxton Lynch who hasn’t taken a single snap during a regular season game this year owing to yet another shoulder injury that now has the former Memphis ace listed as questionable for the Patriots tiff.
It’s been a tough go for Siemian this season as less than two months back he named the NFL’s Clutch Performer of the Week and the FedEx Air Player of the Week for his dismantling of the Dallas Cowboys in their 42-17 victory in Week 2 that saw him go 22-32 for 231 yards and a career-high four touchdowns to that Week 6 incident against the Giants to now watching helplessly from the sidelines as his team is now a deep hole.
It also could be potentially deflating to be going up against a red-hot New England squad fresh off a 21-13 conquest of the Chargers; the same team that blanked them in Week 7, en route to the Patriots’ fourth straight triumph and haven’t experienced a defeat since October 1st against Carolina.
Tom Brady has been flexing his MVP muscles of late; leading the league in almost all quarterback categories and is running the undisputed number one offense in the NFL.
The Patriots are averaging 411.1 Yards Per Game (YPG) and have the best aerial game with 302 passing YPG. They may have the worst overall defense, but Brady has kept them high-octane and scoring heavily and may have the firepower to go up against Denver’s second ranked overall defense with the Broncos allowing opponents only 280.8 YPG, fourth best against the pass (192.4 YPG) and receiving (204.9 YPG).
But Brady is a different animal as the four-time Super Bowl MVP is on a wicked tear and his receiving core of Rob Gronkowski, Bradin Cooks, James White, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola have combined for 2,214 yards and 15 strikes while running back Mike Gillislee is also having a field day on the ground with 355 rushing yards thus far on 98 carries and four touchdowns.
The big key here will be the offense of Denver and their defense may have a measure of success against Brady and the Pats. Former Pro Bowl selection CJ Anderson has had a decent season running the football with 482 yards on 116 carries while five-time Pro Bowler Demaryius Thomas is having another elite season with 525 yards receiving on 43 catches. But the question really remains on who the orchestrator will be.
Does Joseph go back to a struggling Siemian, a mending Lynch or a roughed-up Osweiler? Denver (the 2015 Super Bowl champs) must find answers post haste as their dwindling playoff hopes are slowly evaporating and with the home field (and altitude) advantage, can they hold of the reigning kings of the NFL?
Catch this AFC clash and so much more as the NFL continues on ESPN5.