The Denver Broncos started the 2018 NFL season with back-to-back wins, but have since dropped five of six. They lost to the 7-1 Kansas City Chiefs in Weeks 4 and 8, while their other defeats came at the hands of the undefeated Los Angeles Rams, the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets. At this point, the Jets are the only team with a losing record that has gotten the better of the Broncos.
Nevertheless, it’s time for Denver to turn things around as it prepares for its final game before enjoying a bye in Week 10. On Sunday, the Broncos host the Houston Texans, who are trending in the opposite direction. Following three straight losses to begin the season, the Texans have won five straight to take over first place in one of the worst divisions in the NFL, the AFC South.
Sunday’s contest won’t be the first time the Broncos and Texans have dealt with each other this week, though. On Tuesday, Denver traded wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to Houston for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The teams also swapped seventh-round picks in the deal.
The Texans needed another wideout after losing No. 2 receiver Will Fuller to a season-ending right ACL tear in a 42-23 win over the Miami Dolphins last week. And Thomas will get his first opportunity to fill the role when Houston visits the Broncos on Sunday.
The Texans are favored against Denver, but the Broncos need to protect home field on Sunday if they hope to turn their season around. I recently wrote about them being playoff contenders, but their chances to make the postseason decrease significantly with each loss.
Here are three keys to a Broncos victory over the Texans in Week 9.
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