Both the Washington Football Team and the Denver Broncos could desperately use a win as they face off in Denver on Sunday. Washington has lost three games in a row after a .500 start to the season while the Broncos have face-planted following wins in the first three weeks, having lost all four games since. Vic Fangio might be coaching for his job.
|Washington Football Team||+3 (Ev)||+145||O44½ (-110)|
|Denver Broncos||-3 (-120)||-165||U44½ (-110)|
As out-of-conference opponents, Washington and Denver only play each other once every four years. In the last meeting, in 2017, Kirk Cousins threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns to lead Washington to a 27-11 win against Brock Osweiler and the Broncos. The overall historical head-to-head matchup is tied at seven wins apiece.
There has been almost full roster and coaching staff turnover for both teams since 2017, however, so it won’t be particularly instructive for this weekend’s game.
Washington Football Team
Next game: Bye (then vs. Buccaneers)
Taylor Heinicke played well but Washington couldn’t push enough points across to outscore Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, losing 24-10. Rodgers did what Rodgers does and he threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns. Heinicke threw for 268 yards and ran for 95 more, yet he threw a crushing interception in the red zone in the second half and also lost a fumble.
Washington needed to play a perfect game to win as 8½ point road underdogs and while Ron Rivera’s team was fine, it wasn’t good enough to take down a really good Green Bay team. The under (48 points) was really in doubt either.
Washington will be without wide receivers Curtis Samuel (groin) and Dyami Brown (knee) as well as offensive tackle Sam Cosmi (ankle) this Sunday. Tight end Logan Thomas (hamstring) is still on injured reserve and likely won’t play either. Offensive guard Brandon Scherff (knee), cornerback William Jackson (knee), wide receiver Cam Sims (hamstring), and offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas (illness) are all listed as questionable, so Washington could be really limited offensively.
Next game: at Cowboys
Denver lost a tough one to the banged-up Cleveland Browns last Thursday, falling 17-14 against backup quarterback Case Keenum. Cleveland didn’t have Baker Mayfield or top running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, yet still managed to put up 182 rushing yards with most coming from third-stringer D’Ernest Johnson (146 yards and a score).
Teddy Bridgewater was fine for the Broncos but he couldn’t overcome a rough showing by Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon Jr., who combined for just 38 rushing yards on 12 carries. Denver gave up a touchdown on the first drive of the game and didn’t score until the second half en route to losing as two-point road underdogs. The under (40 points) easily hit with both teams struggling to move the ball consistently.
Denver’s injury situation isn’t nearly as bad as Washington’s. Star linebacker Von Miller (ankle) is questionable, however, and Jerry Jeudy (ankle) may not be activated off injured reserve in time to play. Nose tackle Mike Purcell (thumb) is out and safety Jamar Johnson (quad) is questionable.
Betting on the Game
It’s always tough for a visiting team to go into Denver, at altitude, and win straight-up even when the Broncos aren’t playing well. It’s going to be especially tough for Washington to put up points on the Broncos, who have the fourth-best defense in the NFL by points allowed and fifth-best by yards allowed.
Washington, on the other hand, is in the bottom third of the NFL in most offensive categories and basically has to rely on Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson with so many other players out due to injury. Now, if you need to, those guys are pretty good No. 1 options but when it’s just them, it’s much easier for good defenses — like Denver’s — to lock in on specific players.
On the other hand, Washington’s defense has given up the most points in the league and is 29th in yards allowed. The big problems have been in the secondary, as Washington is dead-last in most passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed. Bridgewater has cooled off after a hot start to the season but he still has plenty of weapons and could be getting Jeudy back. Look for the Broncos to score with ease if you’re betting online on the BetUS Sportsbook.
The NFL odds opened with the Broncos as three-point favorites, which hasn’t changed. As far as NFL picks against the spread, Denver is a good choice considering how bad Washington’s defense is. It’s just a good matchup for a Broncos team that is getting healthier, especially on offense, and should be able to help the point total blow past the over.