Los Angeles Rams vs. Denver Broncos
Date and Time: Saturday, August 27, 2016, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO
Week 3 Preseason NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Broncos -4, O/U 41
Rams vs. Broncos TV Coverage: Local
The Rams have lived a charmed preseason life in their return to Southern California, coming from behind in each of their first two games to pull out a victory. They have the home fans plenty excited about the return of NFL football after a 22-year absence and the change of scenery has apparently helped the club on the field. During their last four years in St. Louis, the Rams went 4-12 SU and 6-10 ATS during the exhibition games.
A return home for coach Jeff Fisher has him reenergized as well. Other coaches have been let go for producing better results on the field, but Fisher survived the relocation, probably because he’s a SoCal native and played collegiately at USC. But at some point, ownership will get tired of finishing 7-9 and Fisher will be shown the door. There is some pressure to get the team above .500 and into the postseason for the first time since 2004.
As long as the Broncos keep their defense intact, they’ll be just fine. But has a defending Super Bowl champion ever been so overlooked? It just shows us how important the quarterback position is in the game. Peyton Manning or John Elway aren’t going to be suiting up anytime soon, so deciding on a starter sooner rather than later is in the best interest of coach Gary Kubiak and the team.
Matchup To Watch
Welcome to the Broncos quarterback competition Paxton Lynch. The race for the starting job in
Denver is still between Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian, but Lynch closed the gap by outperforming the other two last week. Sure, it came against San Francisco’s second, third and probably fourth stringers, but it was enough to inch him closer. And besides, he wasn’t taken in the first round to not compete for the job. Lynch has thrown the same number of NFL regular season passes as Siemian and has yet to build a reputation as a turnover machine like Sanchez. So, there is a chance.
The Broncos have what again looks like the NFL’s best defense. C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker will make the run game click leaving the starting quarterback to not screw things up. Both Sanchez and Siemian certainly did against the Niners, though. Starting his first NFL game of any kind, Siemian looked good early. He completed nine straight passes at one point and moved the team through San Francisco’s first-team defense for an opening-drive touchdown.
He made a costly mistake later on. Watching his intended target the entire way, Siemian didn’t see Eric Reid, who picked off the pass and went the other way for a score. Sanchez took over in the second quarter and fumbled away two possessions with the Broncos deep in Niners territory at the end of the half.
Kubiak has declared Siemian his starter against the Rams, but he plans on playing all three quarterbacks in an attempt to clear up the messy situation. Kubiak needs his quarterback to protect the football and right now Siemian is the best at doing that. As long as he doesn’t muck it up Saturday night, he’s likely in line to start the regular season.
Rams vs. Broncos Free Picks
The offense may be a huge concern but the defense is elite and has the Broncos at -4 against Los Angeles. The Rams haven’t been a major player in the offensive stats categories for several years and playing at least a half of football against Denver’s rabid defenders is cause for concern. The defense will be a bit sharper than it was last week against San Francisco and Los Angeles will struggle.
But the Rams have a decent D of their own and will clamp down on the trio of quarterbacks, making the Broncos position battle even more difficult. If Denver holds onto the football, it should win the game. It will be close and taking the over might be a risky bet. The Broncos do enough to get the win but fail to cover the odds at BookMaker.eu.
Rams vs. Broncos Week 3 Preseason ATS Pick: Rams +4 at BookMaker.eu
Rams vs. Broncos Score Prediction: Broncos 19, Rams 17