First Look: Denver Broncos, preseason week 3

Los Angeles’ lone 2019 preseason game at the Coliseum will feature the Denver Broncos and first-year head coach Vic Fangio. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. PT.

In advance of the contest, here’s an early look at the Broncos, including how their preseason has gone so far, some of their top statistical performers and key storylines.

HOW THEIR PRESEASON HAS GONE SO FAR

Thanks to an appearance in the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, the Broncos will be playing five preseason games this month.

Saturday’s game against the Rams is the fourth of the five, following a 14-10 win over the Falcons in Canton on Aug. 1, a 22-14 loss at the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 8 and a 24-15 loss to the 49ers Monday night. Those results have them sitting 1-2 heading into Week 3.

The Rams return from Hawaii to practice in Thousand Oaks, Calif. ahead of the team's third preseason game against the Denver Broncos.

TOP PERFORMERS

An undrafted free agent out of Colorado State signed this spring, linebacker Josh Watson has had a strong preseason so far. 

Watson is the preseason’s leading tackler with 19. He shared with second-year LB Bradley Chubb for fourth-most against San Francisco Monday night. 

Rookie quarterback Drew Lock’s 254 total passing yards are 10th-most among preseason passers.

EARLY STORYLINES TO WATCH, AND WHAT THEY MEAN FOR THE RAMS

The fourth QB off the board in this year’s NFL Draft, Lock won’t be seeing any action against the Rams. 

An MRI revealed a bad hand sprain sustained in Monday’s loss to the 49ers, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. While the setback won’t require surgery, it’s serious enough to prevent him from playing the remainder of the preseason. 

Depending on how much Fangio chooses to play starter Joe Flacco, look for Brett Rypien and Kevin Hogan to see more opportunities this Saturday against the Rams defense as a result. 

Keeping with the offense, veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders is eight months removed from a torn Achilles, but his opportunities against the 49ers – his first live game action since the injury – showed he’s getting closer to his normal self. It is unclear how much he will play against the Rams, but he’s one of Denver’s key offensive players so it will be worth monitoring. 

The Broncos’ starting defense, meanwhile, made quick work of 49ers starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo Monday night. He went 1 for 6 with zero passing yards and 0.0 quarterback rating, getting pulled from the game after three series. Similar to Sanders, how involved Denver’s defensive starters will be on Saturday remains to be seen, but if they do see time on the field against Los Angeles, it will be a good test for L.A.’s second team offense.

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