Welcome to Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season. If there were any questions about how hot the Dallas Cowboys are heading into this game, those were squashed in Minnesota. After a thrilling 20-16 victory, on the road, with a backup quarterback, Dallas has reeled off six straight w’s.
This week, the Cowboys put that winning streak on the line versus an uncommon opponent in the Denver Broncos. Dallas looks to keep pace with Arizona, Green Bay, and the Rams as all four teams sit atop the NFC with just one loss.
While the Cardinals have a favorable matchup on the road against the 49ers and the Rams are lucky to face Tennessee minus running back Derrick Henry, Green Bay has a much tougher task ahead of them. The Packers must face off against a Kansas City Chiefs team desperate for a big win minus future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Dallas Cowboys cannot worry about other teams though as the Broncos can create some problems for their opponents. In order to learn more about Denver, let’s settle in and get to know thy enemy a little better ahead of this Week 9 showdown.
Sitting at 4-4, the Broncos are the 11th best team in a watered-down AFC. Denver started out 3-0 but since, has lost four of their last five. All four of their wins have come at the hands of teams that are not scaring anybody. Three teams are all currently 2-6, while the fourth is 1-6.
The Dallas Cowboys have a very high chance extending their winning streak in Week 9
The biggest reason why the Broncos have struggled to be more successful is the lack of offensive potency. Denver has yet to score 30 points in a game and has scored less than 20 points in four games, including four of their last five.
This does not mean that Denver does not have weaponry. Running backs Melvin Gordon, III and Javonte Williams both are averaging over 4.5 yards per tote. Receivers Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton have combined for 70 catches and just over 1,000 yards.
Part of the issue is injuries. The Broncos will likely be without tight end Noah Fant (COVID) for this game while left tackle Garett Bolles (ankle) is also trending towards missing this game. The other issue working against them is their opponents.
Cleveland and Baltimore both have top five run defenses, while the Steelers, Browns, and Raiders have all top twelve pass defenses. Simply put, the Broncos are good enough to beat bad teams but not quite good enough to beat good teams.
As such, the organization seems to have their eyes on the future as this week, Denver sent their all-time leading sack artist, Von Miller, to the Rams for two future high draft picks. With star pass rusher Bradley Chubb still out after ankle surgery, the Broncos defense will be missing a lot of heat coming off the edges.
This all seems to bode quite well for the Dallas Cowboys’ chances to extend their winning streak. With quarterback Dak Prescott almost certainly coming back into the mix, the offense should be back and clicking. Even with left tackle Tyron Smith likely to miss this game, Dallas has the luxury of using tackle La’el Collins in his stead if they so choose.
When predicting each game prior to the start of the season, I had this as a close victory for the Dallas Cowboys. After seeing the season play out a little, nothing about the outcome has changed in my opinion except the size of the victory. Give me the Cowboys over Denver, 31-17.