A weekly examination of the Denver Broncos' quarterback play.
Rewind: Against the first defense to consistently challenge the Broncos’ receivers at the line of scrimmage, Peyton Manning was not at his best in a 39-33 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Sure, he did finish with his sixth 300-yard passing game and his fifth three-touchdown effort of the season, but he had a smattering of underthrown balls and just seemed out of sorts at times as the Colts were able to disrupt the Broncos' previously immaculate timing on offense.
Fast-forward: The Redskins have the potential to pressure the passer, especially with Brian Orakpo back in the lineup to pair with Ryan Kerrigan at outside linebacker. And given the pressure the Colts created this past Sunday night, especially off the edges against a mix-and-match Broncos offensive line, the Redskins likely will be emboldened to take a few shots at Manning as well. Many offensive coordinators believe the best way to attack a 3-4 look like the Redskins play is to go to a two-tight end look to push the edges of the formation out away from the quarterback and balance out the formation as well. The Broncos have consistently moved the ball well out of that look this season.
Bounce-back: When a 33-point effort is the low-water mark for scoring this season, things are still going pretty well for the Broncos when they have the ball. Their 42.6 points-per-game average is 12.2 points better than the next-best team. And things have been a little frosty at the Broncos' complex this week after the loss in Indianapolis, given the offense didn’t appear to handle the Colts’ aggressiveness very well. The Broncos figure to push the pace and work the no-huddle, and Manning will look to put things back in the fast lane.
Prediction: The Redskins do like, much like the Colts, to match up their cornerbacks on receivers and play physical at the line of scrimmage. DeAngelo Hall will also gamble at times if he believes there is a play to be made, so look for the Broncos to use some double moves and some hesitation in the routes to see if they can get the Redskins' defensive backs to bite and then throw over the top.