Dave Choate: I've been legitimately impressed by Trevor Siemian, and Paxton Lynch filled in capably. How are the Broncos getting such competent quarterback play, and will it continue?
sadaraine: I have to give the credit to the front office and the coaching on this one. First off, you have John Elway who is overseeing one of the best personnel departments in the NFL. The scouting and drafting of the Broncos has found an extraordinary amount of players with big time talent at every level of the draft.
All the talent in the world makes no difference in the NFL though unless you have a coaching staff who knows how to utilize talent on the field though. Gary Kubiak is very underrated in my mind from the standpoint of developing young players. Add to that he runs a system that is known for being easy for a QB to execute and you have a great situation for young quarterbacks.
Both young players have talent to be sure. They are stepping up and producing more each week and have been all offseason. I do think the play is going to continue to be solid as the season moves on as long as our line gets back to being healthy and protecting them better.
Dave Choate: Obviously, Falcons fans are wary of Thomas and Sanders wreaking havoc on the secondary, as good as top cornerback Desmond Trufant is. How will they attack the Falcons' secondary, and who are other passing game targets to watch out for?
sadaraine: Really the Broncos so far haven't had a big 3rd guy step up outside of Virgil Green who stands a good shot of being healthy for this game. He's a very solid pass catching option at TE and in the first couple of weeks was utilized well in the middle of the field.
That being said, Denver has consistently spread the ball around hitting at times 9 or more different targets in one game. Look for Denver to spread the ball around and try to find ways to get Sanders and DT singled up in coverage.
Dave Choate: How's that offensive line? The Falcons don't have a great pass rush and they're not particularly stout against the run, so I'd appreciate any encouragement you can offer in terms of weak linemen. I'm hopeful.
sadaraine: Your hope is alive and well. This line is honestly better than what they had on the field in 2015, but with Donald Stephenson injured recently, it has looked quite poor at times. We have some sub-par play at left guard and right tackle (though Stephenson may return this week would remove this weakness).
If your team likes to blitz, the interior is a good place to do it. Denver for some reason hasn't been able to figure out how to properly block any form of an A gap blitz for a few years now. The running game has also been quite inconsistent though missing your starting RT and TE can really throw continuity for a loop.
Dave Choate: We come to the defense. How will they go after the Falcons and shut down the league's best offense thus far, particularly stopping Julio Jones, rushing Matt Ryan, and slowing down Devonta Freeman on the ground?
sadaraine: This Denver defense is honestly still amazing. There's so much depth up front from a pass rushing perspective that it almost makes me ashamed as a fan of NFL football. When you have so many players capable and able to come in and make an impact, it allows for a steady rotation that lets the defense stay strong throughout the whole game. This is why you see the Denver defense so often take over games in the 2nd half. Rushing Ryan is never going to be a problem.
Dave Choate: To back up that ferocious front-7 you have the best secondary in the league, bar none. There isn't a cornerback tandem in the league I would trade Chris Harris, Jr. and Aqib Talib for. They are two of the best corners in the league. Our starting safeties also are superb fits for what we do on defense. Both T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart are big hitters that excel at both crashing down in run support and playing sound coverage. I do expect to see a lot of coverages shading help towards Julio Jones with Talib as his primary defender most of the game.
sadaraine: The only weakness that shows up so far in 2016 from time to time is our run defense. Devonta Freeman is a definite worry and the front-7 is going to have their hands full with him to be sure. The good thing is while teams have ran on us with success, usually the defense adjusts by the 2nd quarter or so and has more success.
Dave Choate: What's your predicted outcome of this game, as well as the Broncos' season?
sadaraine: I think this is going to be a superb challenge for Denver. Atlanta is a hot team with big time potential to run the score up. I always like our chances at home though and it has been 8 games since any offense has really done much against this defense. I'm taking Denver this week over the Falcons 28-24.
The sky is the limit for the season. As a fan who's been watching the game for decades, my realism says we'll be 14-2 at season's end, but I have a hard time figuring out where those two losses are going to come from if this team keeps playing the way they have been.