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Ahead of the Denver Broncos’ game against the Washington Football Team, we asked Bryan Manning of Washington Wire five questions about the WFT and Sunday’s showdown in Denver. Here are our questions and Manning’s answers!
Does Washington have any big weaknesses Denver might be able to exploit?
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
The biggest weakness would be the secondary. Washington’s front four has been playing up to its potential recently, although Chase Young remains a little quiet. That has helped the coverage a bit, especially in Week 7 against the Packers. However, it remains an issue. Rookie Benjamin St-Juste is Washington’s top corner right now. High-price free agent, William Jackson III, has been terrible. Kendall Fuller is targeted often. The safety play hasn’t been much better. Landon Collins is now primarily a linebacker. Kam Curl is probably WFT’s top defensive back. Washington’s secondary is better when he is on the field. With Jerry Jeudy back, to go along with Sutton, Fant and Patrick, Washington will have its hands full on Sunday.
Does Washington have any under-the-radar players that Broncos fans should be mindful of?
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
The first one that comes to mind is running back J.D. McKissic. McKissic doesn’t receive a lot of credit for how important he is to Washington’s offense. When McKissic plays, he often makes big plays. However, his use is inconsistent at times. He is one of the best receiving backs in the NFL. Another player to watch on defense is the aforementioned St-Juste. The rookie continues to improve each week, and as a result will continue to see more playing time.
Antonio Gibson is yet to crack 100 rushing yards in a game this season, and outside of a big Week 3, he's had a small role in the passing game. What's going on with him?
(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
It’s been a weird season for Gibson. Early in the year, he was bothered by a shoulder injury. Since that time, he’s been on the injury report with a shin injury this week. He hasn’t missed any games, which shows his toughness. However, one issue with Gibson is fumbling. He has four fumbles this season, including one last week. Eventually, he is going to lose snaps if he doesn’t get things turned around. Washington has zero margin for error. Another issue with Gibson is he seems to trip too often. He had a wide-open hole last week yet tripped and gained just six yards. Washington turned the ball over on the next play deep in its own territory. Gibson is a talented player, but Washington needs more from him.
If you could steal one player from the Broncos and give him to Washington, who would you choose?
(Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
Great question. I like Denver’s roster. Before the season, the Broncos reminded me of Washington: A talented young roster that a franchise quarterback would bolster. I still feel that way for both teams. But, if I could have one Bronco player, it would be safety Justin Simmons. Washington has lacked a true free safety since the unfortunate death of Sean Taylor 14 years ago. The team has tried everything. A player like Simmons would stabilize a shaky unit. Simmons could help unlock some of Washington’s defensive potential.
What's your score prediction for Sunday -- who wins and why?
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
Washington has played better of late, but it hasn’t resulted in a win over the Saints, Chiefs, or Packers. I believe this will be a close game on Sunday. Washington understands it needs a win going into the bye week with the Buccaneers and Tom Brady on the schedule in Week 10. However, that’s easier said than done. I think Denver’s homefield advantage gives them an edge over Washington this weekend. I believe Teddy Bridgewater makes fewer mistakes than Taylor Heinicke, which is the difference in the game. Broncos 27-23.