By Zack Kelberman
(247 SPORTS) – The weather outside is frightful, and the matchup not-so-delightful.
Colorado being Colorado, the latest forecast for Sunday’s Denver Broncos home game against the Los Angeles Rams projects several inches of snow on the ground, with below-freezing temperatures. Powder likely will fall in the morning hours, prior to the 2:05 p.m. MT kickoff from Broncos Stadium at Mile High, according to CBS4’s Ashton Altieri.
“As of now, the models are in good agreement that we’ll see about 3-4 inches of snow in the metro area by Sunday afternoon. They also agree we’ll stay COLD. Temperatures should stay below freezing during the entire Broncos game,” Altieri said on Thursday.
This would represent the first snow game of the 2018 season and potentially a huge advantage for Denver. The Rams, obviously, aren’t accustomed to inclement conditions, especially cold precipitation, which often hinders one’s passing attack. Even if it’s not snowing during the contest, a slick field may prove to be a great equalizer.
Led by a nightmare triumvirate — innovative coach Sean McVay, franchise quarterback Jared Goff and workhorse running back Todd Gurley — L.A.’s offense ranks first in total yards (468.4 per game), second in passing (337.2), third in scoring (34.6 points per game) and seventh in rushing (131.2 YPG). The NFC West-leading club is undefeated, fresh off a comeback victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Compare that to the Broncos’ defense: 26th, 16th, 24th and 30th in those respective categories. The 2-3 club is riding a three-game losing streak, reeling from a blowout at the hands of the New York Jets.
The Broncos opened Week 6 as seven-point underdogs to the Rams, per OddsShark.com.
Their season on the line, in a revenge meeting with former Broncos-turned-Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, head coach Vance Joseph said Sunday he feels “really good” about Denver’s chances of slaying Goliath.
On Monday, he doubled down on his optimism.
“Because I believe in our team,” he said. “I’ll say this about our football team. We have to fix ourselves first before we can talk about beating the Rams. We have to go back to the drawing board and fix our football team here. I feel that way every week. That’s just me. I believe in our football team. Right now, we’ve got to play a better brand of football. We did not play good yesterday. Obviously, the Kansas City game we did some good stuff, but didn’t make enough plays towards the end, didn’t play with great detail in critical moments. The Baltimore game, we felt the same way. Yesterday felt different because of the grit that we have played with. I didn’t see the same grit. We have to get back to the first—fixing the Broncos first.”