The Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns will collide for an exciting head-to-head battle that gets us started on the Week 7 slate.
Vic Fangio and the Broncos enter the crucial contest on a three-game losing streak and are quickly losing ground in the ever-competitive AFC West. The Browns are in similar form, having lost two consecutive matchups and will, unfortunately, take the field without the likes of Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt—and may be further shorthanded with the status of Odell Beckham Jr. hanging in the balance.
Both teams will be hungry for a victory. Here are three player-versus-player matchups we’re particularly excited to monitor.
VON MILLER VS. BLAKE HANCE
The always reliable Mary Kay Cabot is reporting that Browns starting right tackle Jack Conklin is likely to sit this contest out with a knee injury. Swing backup tackle Blake Hance would start in his place and would be tasked with a massive challenge in stifling the larger-than-life Von Miller. Miller has already made note of his intentions, stating he was going to turn in a big performance against the Browns just days ago.
The Broncos consistently employ Miller against the opposition's right tackle, and will have little reason to abandon that plan on Thursday night. Hance has actually performed admirably in relief duty this season, but you’d be hard-pressed to label him as the favorite heading into this one-vs-one battle. Look for the eight-time Pro Bowler to make life incredibly difficult on Browns backup quarterback Case Keenum under the bright lights of primetime.
BROWNS CORNERBACKS VS. BRONCOS WIDE RECEIVERS
The Browns’ defense features a terrific trio of cornerbacks in Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams, and Greg Newsome II. Ward hasn’t been in his finest form this season but is still one of the most talented cover men in the league. Williams and Newsome have been outstanding thus far, with the latter living up to his first-round billing.
The Browns rarely ask their corners to shadow opposing receivers, so we should see a healthy mixture of every imaginable combination as both sets of players move all over the offensive and defensive formations. The Broncos aren’t yet at full strength within their pass-catching corps, but Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick are serving as consistent weapons for Teddy Bridgewater in the passing game. This has mouth-watering potential.
MYLES GARRETT VS. GARETT BOLLES
Miller won’t be the only big-time pass rusher looking to make a significant impact on Thursday. Widely regarded as the most feared quarterback hunter in all of football, Myles Garrett enters this matchup with a league-leading eight sacks through just six contests. Garrett will be licking his chops while favoring his chances to add to his astounding sack totals when he lines up across from Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles.
The former Utah standout has been nursing a knee injury which has hampered his ability to play to his full potential. The Broncos would be wise to offer Bolles help in the form of an extra blocker on a relatively consistent basis because Garrett is going to show no mercy in his relentless pursuit of Bridgewater.
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022