Preseason week 3 usually dominates headlines because it is the first time we see two starting units go at it for more than a few drives. For the Denver Broncos, this game is sure to carry a bit more weight. This game against the Green Bay Packers will bring numerous storylines to their completion with cuts and roster finalization around the corner. Here are the top things to look for on Saturday night.
What To Look For: Denver Broncos Preseason Week 3
Coach Vance Joseph has made it clear that this is make or break for Jamaal Charles. The former Kansas City Chief will have this one game to earn his spot on the 53-man roster. Stevan Ridley and Charles are essentially competing for the last roster spot for a running back. C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker, and De’Angelo Henderson have already secured roster spots, so Charles will have to put on a show to prove he is deserving of that spot. The Broncos will also utilize Andy Janovich and Juwan Thompson in the I run game. This unit will look to build on last year’s early success with the help of a much improved offensive line. Keep an eye on Charles and Ridley as the winner of this battle could provide a nice change of pace/attitude for the Broncos rushing attack.
Joseph has stated multiple times that the Broncos will likely carry six wide receivers on the 53-man roster. Returning players Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Cody Latimer, and Bennie Fowler are solidified as the primary four receivers. Additionally, Joseph has already named rookie Isaiah McKenzie the starting punt returner. This leaves one spot available. Another rookie, Carlos Henderson, looked to be the obvious favorite for the last receiver spot until he suffered a thumb injury which required surgery. His timetable for return is uncertain. If Henderson goes to injured reserve, it opens the door for Jordan Taylor or Kalif Raymond. Taylor gained notoriety when he worked daily with Peyton Manning as Manning recovered from injury in 2015. Raymond saw limited work as a slot receiver and punt returner last season. These two players are vastly different which makes for an interesting discussion. Taylor is a much larger, more physical receiver while Raymond is a shorter, quicker option. Look for these two players to do anything an everything to show out on Saturday night.
Now that Trevor Siemian has officially been named starter, it is reasonable to expect he will play a fuller game on Saturday. Many have seen Siemian’s play as conservative to this point in the preseason. It has looked as though he was just playing to make sure he didn’t lose the job which he deemed to be rightfully his. Now, Siemian can take some risks. He can sling it around and take a few chances since he has been named starter. This should be the best look Siemian gives into what to expect this season. Siemian will look to put on a show and prove why he deserved to be named starter.
Expect Mike McCoy to open up the offense against the Packers. The Broncos coaching staff needs to see all of the players reach their full potential in order to build the best possible 53 man roster. When September 2nd comes around, the Broncos will know exactly who they need to be successful in the upcoming season.