DENVER - The Denver Broncos look to keep their undefeated streak going against the winless (0-5) Jacksonville Jaguars. This game is a reunion for former Jaguars head coach and current Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who was with the team from 2003-2011. His defense is looking to get back to basics after giving up 48 points to the Dallas Cowboys last week. All eyes will be on the return of veteran Champ Bailey in one of the five things to watch for in this game.
The return of Champ Bailey
Champ Bailey is looking to get back on the field for the first time since he injured his foot in the preseason. Chris Harris and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have filled in for Bailey in his absence, but the passing defense has struggled. The Broncos have the worst pass defense in the league giving up 347 yards per game. In comparison the Broncos were the third best passing defense last year giving up only 200 yards per game. Look for Bailey to be matched up against the Jaguars best receiver Cecil Shorts who is leading the team with 31 catches.
Peyton Manning against Jaguars rookie safeties
The 2013 season has been filled with record-breaking efforts from Peyton Manning. With a touchdown pass against the Jaguars, he would pass Dan Marino for the second most career games with a touchdown pass at 204 games.
Manning will be matched up against rookie safeties Johnathan Cyprien and Josh Evans who are hard hitters, but are prone to make rookie mistakes.
How will the Jaguars pieced-together offensive line hold up?
The Jaguars top offensive linemen were either injured or traded in the last couple of weeks. Jags' first-round pick, left tackle Luke Joeckel, suffered a broken ankle last week and is out for the season while Eugene Monroe was traded to the Baltimore Ravens for two draft picks. Filling in on the corners will be Cam Bradfield to play left tackle and Austin Pasztor to play right tackle. Broncos linebacker Shaun Philips looks to feast on the inexperienced linemen and improve on his team-leading 5.5 sacks.
Will the Broncos cover the 28-point spread?
If season averages could speak, then the answer would be yes. The Broncos are averaging 46 points in their first five games. The Jaguars are averaging a league low 10 points per game. Jacksonville has scored only five touchdowns all season. The Broncos scored six touchdowns in one game last week against the Cowboys.
Will another special teams’ record fall?
Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee said this week that he will try to kick an 80-yard field goal in his game day warm ups. Jaguars beat writer Ryan O’Halloran told 7NEWS that head coach Gus Bradley would be getting a report from the Jaguars' statisticians about how much longer the field goals are when visiting teams come to Denver (because of our thin air). Bradley would let Scobee try to break the NFL record for the longest field goal of 63-yards if the situation is right.
Ironically, Scobee’s longest field goal was a 59-yard game winner over the Manning-led Indianapolis Colts in 2010. The Broncos' Jason Elam tied the league record for the longest field goal in 1998, when he kicked 63 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars when they came to Denver.