As the NFL preseason is set to begin tonight with the yearly Hall of Fame Game and fans are (rightly) excited, we also have to remember that this game is for the backups. The start of the preseason means that we can finally take a look at these extremely large rosters. The Broncos will be looking to figure out their QB situation, along with who will be claiming the starting receiver spots.
We already know what to expect from the Falcons in the regular season, and we also know that Julio Jones will not be taking his talents to the field this preseason. As a result of that, all of the receivers will be sliding one spot up, getting THAT MANY more reps, to try and grow more comfortable in ATL. This is an opportunity for the likes of Justin Hardy, Russell Gage, Devin Gray, etc. to take more receiver reps and look to gain more starting opportunities.
The over/under for the preseason opener is set at 34.5, while the spread opens with the Broncos as -2.5-point favorites.
Broncos Look To Bounce Back
While the preseason wins and losses count for little to nothing, the QB battle should heat up. Joe Flacco is expected to win the starting job in his first season that will be spent away from Baltimore since his career began. They drafted Drew Lock in the second round, and also brought in Kevin Hogan, known more as a mobile player and not somebody who will stand in the pocket and deliver bombs. Outside of Emmanuel Sanders and DaeSean Hamilton, they lack consistent threats in the receiving game, so one or two players should be able to emerge and carve out a regular-season role as a result.
On the defensive side, the third-stringers are all the names to watch. At linebacker, watch for No. 54 Josh Watson, No. 53 Joe Dineen, and No. 46 Jeff Holland. They are going to get significant second-half reps, and they will be trying to show what they can do.
Atlanta’s Quest Starts Now
They could not properly bounce back from blowing the 28-3 Super Bowl lead a few years ago and will be hoping to get back to the big dance this time around. Matty Ice is in the house, and they should be able to get a deal with Julio done. Their receiving corps is as good as any in the league, and we’ll learn a thing or two about their draft picks and the kind of talent they have stashed.
Matt Schaub has not had to get onto the field over the last few years, but look for Kurt Benkert to get some reps tonight and throughout the preseason, hoping to usurp the vet. Look for Eric Saubert and Logan Paulsen to get a lot of TE reps, too.
Broncos Start With A Win
Make sure you bet on Denver folks! DEN -2.5 is the way to go this evening.
Free Play: DEN -2.5
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