AFC West: Jaguars-Broncos

Brandon Marshall has a dilemma

October, 13, 2008
10/13/08
1:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Marshall
Marshall

Brandon Marshall is putting himself in a tough spot.

He is sick and tired of fumbling and hurting his team. That is understandable. But he can't take away from his game or he is going to have other problems.

For the second time in as many Denver losses, the outstanding receiver lost a key fumble while fighting for more yardage. Sunday, he lost the ball inside Jacksonville's 10-yard line. The Broncos eventually lost 24-17. He also had a key fumble at Kansas City in Denver's 33-19 loss two weeks ago.

Sunday, Marshall said he has to stop trying to get the extra yardage because it is hurting his team. Slow down, Brandon. You have to rethink this one.

Marshall is perhaps the best receiver in the NFL with the ball in his hands. He is a simply a beast after the catch. He can't get tentative because he fumbled twice.

All Marshall has to do is pay more attention to the ball. He needs better ball security. He doesn't need to stop fighting for yardage. That's what makes Marshall special. The fumbling is a curable nuisance. He'll figure it out.

But Marshall can't stop being Marshall.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Denver defense may be just ordinary at best, but the reason the Broncos have lost two games this season is because of mistakes on offense.

Interesting, isn't it?

Denver's money unit is clearly its offense. But when the offense makes mistakes it can't win. That was the case two weeks ago in a 33-19 loss at Kansas City and it was the case today against Jacksonville.

Denver lost three turnovers. Quarterback Jay Cutler threw an interception and lost a fumble. Receiver Brandon Marshall lost a fumble inside Jacksonville's 10-yard line. Marshall also dropped a key pass in the fourth quarter with Denver trailing by a touchdown. Denver also failed on fourth-and-1 late in the second quarter.

This is a fine offense. But don't discount the fact that it has scored just a combined 52 points the past three weeks, so it can't make mistakes. The Denver defense isn't good enough. Denver has to do more than it has in recent weeks and that means the Broncos have to stop making critical mistakes on offense.

 Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Denver

Kansas City

Oakland

San Diego

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Courtesy of Denver's PR staff, here are samples of coach Mike Shanahan and Jay Cutler's news conferences today in preparation for Sunday's game against Jacksonville:

SHANAHAN

On varying between offensive game plans

"It all depends on what they are doing defensively. You have to make the right decisions. Professional football teams are very smart. There are a number of different things you can do to make an offense move methodically down the field if you have the patience. If you don't have the patience, they make mistakes. It's not a conservative game plan as much as it is 'What are they doing defensively?' The [quarterback] has to have the discipline to take advantage of what the defenses are giving him instead of forcing the ball downfield."

On playing well at home

We have always been good at home. We have a great crowd that helps us with crowd noise. It was very indicative versus Tampa Bay. That was a big plus with a couple of check-offs that they couldn't make. We got a couple of big plays with our crowd. Hopefully our crowd is into it just like they were against Tampa Bay, and we can take advantage of the home-field advantage."

(Read full post)

Denver's offense takes a hit

October, 8, 2008
10/08/08
4:27
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Broncos are going to have to play Sunday against Jacksonville without two key offensive players.

Denver coach Mike Shanahan said today that tight end Tony Scheffler and running back Selvin Young both won't play against the visiting Jaguars. Both Scheffler and Young suffered groin injuries in a 16-13 win over Tampa Bay.

Shanahan did say rookie receiver Eddie Royal could play Sunday. He has a bone bruise but he may be able to go Sunday. He left the Tampa Bay game in the third quarter. The Broncos could use Royal with Scheffler out. He is a favorite target of Denver quarterback Jay Cutler.

Nate Jackson will take Scheffler's place as the pass-receiving tight end. With Young out, Michael Pittman and Andre Hall will get more carries against Jacksonville. Pittman emerged as a primary ball carrier against Tampa Bay.

Scheffler and Young could also miss the Monday Night Football game at New England on Oct. 20.

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