Broncos Lay Some Lumber to Defending Champ Ravens
BRONCOS LAY A HUGE SPOT AGAINST JAGUARS
The Denver Broncos are scoring points at a record pace; there is no doubt about that. A lot of pro football bettors are giving them a chance to let that continue on Sunday as they face the team that is perhaps the worst in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who travel to Sports Authority Field at Mile High for this encounter, which is scheduled to get underway at 4:05 PM ET.
Denver is undefeated while Jacksonville is winless. The Broncos have scored the most points in the NFL while the Jags have scored the least.
In the pro football betting odds that have ben posted at GTBets on this game, the Broncos are favored by one of the largest pointspreads in history:
Denver Broncos -27
Jacksonville Jaguars +27
And here is the NFL over/under that has been posted on this game:
Over 53 Points -110
Under 53 Points -110
It goes without saying that almost nobody is expecting that Denver will experience as much drama this wee as they did last week, when they had to go right down to the wire to defeat the Dallas Cowboys. In that contest, the Broncos were down 14 points early, then came back to grab a double-digit lead, which they lost.
It almost came down to a matter of who was going to have the ball last. Peyton Manning directed a scoring drive (for a field goal) late, after Tony Romo had thrown a costly interception. But he was extremely nervous about giving Romo some time with the football at the end. So he commanded running back Knowshon Moreno to make a first down near the goal line but avoid going into the end zone. That’s not an easy thing to do, but Moreno did it.
Manning’s season has been “storybook” without question. Let’s go over the numbers:
He has completed 75.5% of his passes, with 20 touchdown passes and just one interception. His quarterback rating is 136.4. And he has been sacked just five times.
By comparison, the Jaguar quarterbacks, who have been taking turns this year, have three TD passes, with nine interceptions and 20 sacks. The quarterback rating of the team is 55.5. Maurice Jones-Drew has averaged just 2.8 yards a carry. There have been 51 points scored in five games. The Broncos scored 51 points last Sunday, and had to lay down on the one yard line to avoid scoring more.
Okay, so we have demonstrated the stark differences between these two teams. But then, that is why the pointspread is so high; in fact, higher than almost any other spread in NFL history.
And Jacksonville (the 19.5-point first half dog at GTBets) is in a bind on its offensive line. Luke Joeckel, who was the #2 overall pick in the draft, has been lost to the team for the season with a broken ankle. He had moved from the right side to the left, in order to replace the team’s best veteran lineman, Eugene Monroe, who was traded to Baltimore. So this is a team that is going to have a difficult time protecting.
They will also have rookies at safety. Sixth-round draft pick Josh Evans joins second-rounder Johnathan Cyprien back there. Could there be more of an invitation for Manning?
Blaine Gabbert has a hamstring injury for the Jags, so Chad Henne get another start at quarterback. Unlike Gabbert, at least he is completing more than half his passes. And Justin Blackmon is back in action after his suspension. He has caught five passes for 136 yards, as the Jaguars managed to put 20 points on the board at St. Louis.
What needs to be noted here is that this is the NFL, and these are professionals. There is a humiliation factor with this pointspread that the Jags are going to try to avoid. Denver is coming off a game where they really spent a lot emotionally and physically; something that happened for the first time this season. The widest spread in the history of the NFL was back in 1966, when the Baltimore Colts were 28-point favorites over the expansion Atlanta Falcons, and they were a bit flat in winning 19-7. Will the Broncos be just a little flat and overconfident in this game? Remember, this is not college football, where blowouts help in the polls. Manning, for one, is more concerned with just putting a “W” on the board.