The Broncos play their first home game of the season on Sunday against the Texans, and Russell Wilson will make his home debut at Empower Field at Mile High. The team will be looking to right the ship in Week 2 and secure their first win of the year.
To get you ready for the big game, we rounded up the score and released NFL analyst predictions. As a reminder, the Broncos are favored by 9.5 points.
Click here to see the live odds for the game via FanDuel.
Maybe it’s an overreaction from Week 1, but I don’t see such a big gap between the bottom of the league and the middle. The Texans will finish near the bottom if Davis Mills continues to miss outside shooting, but the defense, fueled by the perennial Jerry Hughes and a fun young secondary, will keep Houston in games. There’s a lot of projection to position the Broncos as one of the best teams in the league despite an incredibly inexperienced coaching staff.
Projected score: Broncos 24, Texans 16
After an unlikely opening week loss at Seattle, the Broncos must show they can “respond,” in the words of quarterback Russell Wilson. What was once one of the best home-court advantages in the league has evaporated in recent years; the Broncos have had losing records at home in three of the last four seasons after going 6-2 or better at home in three of Peyton Manning’s four seasons at Mile High. The good news is that Wilson is 9-1 in career home starts with 18 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. And the Texans, coming off their first ever tie, have lost 12 of their last 13 non-division games. —Jeff Legwold
Moody’s projected score: Broncos 31, Texans 14
Walder’s projected score: Broncos 24, Texans 16
The Broncos are playing their first home game after losing Monday night to the Seahawks in a game they should have won. The Texans played well in tying the Colts last week, but this will be a bigger challenge on the road. I think they can hang on this one, but the Broncos will win it late.
Projected score: Broncos 24, Texans 21
The Texans settled for a tie against the Colts after blowing that big home advantage in Week 1. The Broncos can settle into their home opener with Wilson’s failed revenge trip behind them. Davis Mills faces another tough defense and tends not to play well on the road. The Texans’ run defense will also weaken during a long afternoon against Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon.
Projected score: Broncos 30, Texans 16
Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett has come under fire this week for his decision to attempt a record-setting 64-yard field goal instead of attempting it on fourth down late in their loss to Seattle last week. … The Texans (0-0-1) fought valiantly to a tie against the Colts in Week 1 and now sit in first place in the AFC South.
The Broncos look to bounce back from a disappointing road loss at Seattle last week. Denver leads the all-time series against Houston 5-3 and has won three of the last four games against the Texans. New Denver quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown for 712 passing yards (356 per game), with six touchdowns and one interception for a 120 passer rating in his last two starts against Houston.
Projected score: Broncos 30, Texans 24
…The Broncos moved the ball well, racking up 433 total yards against the Seahawks. If Denver avoids fumbles at the goal line, it should crush a team in rebuilding mode.
Projected score: Broncos 27, Texans 20
Given the way Monday night played out, I have high, high hopes for Denver’s Nathaniel Hackett era from an entertainment standpoint. If you’re a Broncos fan looking for a bright spot, his offense moved the ball very well. The Broncos ranked fifth among all teams in Week 1 in EPA per unit. The offense had structure and they planned a lot of easy shots for Russell Wilson. They’re not going to fumble inside opponents’ 1-yard line multiple times a week, at least I don’t think they are.