Can The Broncos Unlock Some Christmas Luck In Vegas?

Written By Ian St. Clair on 12/20/2021 - Last Updated on January 6, 2022
Drew Lock Broncos

Give this to the Denver Broncos, they’re consistent.

No matter the big game or moment, the Broncos come up empty.

The most recent example was the 15-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The image that comes to mind is in “Christmas Vacation” when the family sits down for the feast and as Clark Griswold cuts into what appears to be a juicy, delicious bird, it deflates. What’s left is a horrible mess. That’s Broncos Country watching Sunday’s game and Denver’s playoff hopes fizzling away.

Up next for the Broncos (7-7) is the hated Las Vegas Raiders.

Since the Raiders (7-7) had their game against the Cleveland Browns pushed back due to COVID-19, Denver faces its rival on a short week. So at least there’s that.

Broncos vs Raiders odds

After the scary play in Sunday’s game that sent Teddy Bridgewater to the hospital, where he stayed overnight, the Broncos quarterback was released on Monday. According to the team, Bridgewater is doing well and is now in the NFL concussion protocol.

However, as Denver coach Vic Fangio told the media on Monday, it’s highly unlikely that Bridgewater plays on Sunday.

That means Drew Lock will get the call against the Raiders and make his first start of the 2021 regular season.

The odds for the Broncos have already adjusted to that news. After Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, Denver was a slight -1-point favorite. Now that Lock is starting, the Broncos are the underdog to the host Raiders.

As for the total, that number sits at for Sunday’s game.

For those betting on the NFL, the under is 11-3 in Broncos games this season.

How the Broncos win

Lock must take care of the football. Period.

In the 21 games that he’s appeared in, he’s turned the ball over in 18 of them. In those 21 games, Lock has 25 turnovers.

And if you look at the last time Lock played in Las Vegas, it was one of the worst showings by any QB in recent memory. Lock was 23-for-47 passing for 257 yards, 1 touchdown and four interceptions in a 37-12 loss.

This is the holiday season, but if Lock is in the giving spirit again on Sunday, the Broncos have no shot.

The other factor at play in this game is the pass protection from Denver’s offensive line. In a word, it’s been horrible this season.

There’s no doubt the Broncos are pretty good at run blocking, but pass protection must get better. To make matters worse, the Raiders have a really good pass rush.

Broncos defense leads the way

At this point, the defense just needs to do what it’s been doing.

In the four games since the bye week, the Denver defense has held opponents to 13, 16, 10 and 10 points. Three of those games were against some of the best offenses in the NFL, the Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs and Bengals.

Needless to say, the defense isn’t the issue for the Broncos right now.

At this point, the playoffs are out of the question for Denver.

Now it’s about finishing with a winning record.

That’s not something the Broncos have done since 2016, so at least it’s something.

Of course, to keep the Christmas movie theme going from “A Christmas Story,” dogs could break into the kitchen and steal the yet-to-be-cooked turkey.

Photo by AP / Jack Dempsey
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Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

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