The Denver Broncos continue their quest to finish a disappointing season on an upswing when they visit the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Denver’s campaign began strong as it won three of its first four games, but the team lost eight in a row after its bye week before posting back-to-back wins, including a 25-13 triumph at Indianapolis last week.
The Broncos have been using a quarterback carousel recently due to ineffectiveness and injuries, with Brock Osweiler replacing an ailing Trevor Siemian against the Colts and going 12-for-17 for 194 yards and two touchdowns while also running for a score. Denver occupies last place in the AFC West while Washington also has had a discouraging season as it is third in the NFC East and will miss the playoffs for the eighth time in 10 years. The Redskins look to record consecutive wins for just the second time this campaign after posting a 20-15 victory over Arizona last Sunday. Washington aims to finish with a winning record at home in what may be the final game at FedExField for Kirk Cousins, who can become a free agent after the season.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Redskins -3.5. O/U: 40.5
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (5-9): Siemian suffered a partially dislocated shoulder against Indianapolis and was placed on injured reserve, leaving coach Vance Joseph with Osweiler and Paxton Lynch as possible starters this week. Lynch has been considered the team’s quarterback of the future but suffered an ankle injury at Oakland on Nov. 26 in his only start of the year and is trying to get back before the season ends. “My concern is making sure he’s healthy enough to play at a high level,” Joseph told the team’s website. “He’s a quarterback that can use his legs when he’s in danger, so I want to make sure that he’s right.”
ABOUT THE REDSKINS (6-8): Fish Smithson was the only player to be on Washington’s practice squad for the entire season before being activated when fellow safety Montae Nicholson was placed on injured reserve with a concussion early this week. “It’s going to be crazy. A dream come true,” Smithson told the team’s website regarding being on the field for his first regular-season game. “I always wanted to go out there, run through the tunnel. I’m going to soak it all up, enjoy the experience and give it all I got.” Samaje Perine has recorded 196 scrimmage yards in his last two home games and ranks fourth among NFL rookies with 547 rushing yards.
1. Broncos LB Von Miller has recorded a sack in 18 of his 23 career games against NFC teams.
2. Washington LB Ryan Kerrigan, G Brandon Scherff and T Trent Williams were selected for the Pro Bowl, while Miller and CB Aqib Talib will represent the Broncos.
3. Denver is visiting Washington for the first time since Nov 15, 2009, when it suffered a 27-17 loss.
PREDICTION: Redskins 24, Broncos 20