*10* Hall of Fame Game POWER-HOUSE ~ Went 12-4 (75%) Last Year in the Preseason!
Denver vs. Atlanta,
08/01/2019 20:00 EDT,
Score: 14 - 10
Point Spread: -2½/-104 Denver
10* Denver (8:00 ET): The Broncos enter the 2019 season w/ a new head coach (Vic Fangio) and new starting QB (Joe Flacco). Being that this is their first game under a new HC, I think they're more apt to take this Hall of Fame Game more seriously compared to their opponents, who largely are bringing back the same cast of characters from last year. First year head coaches are usually a target of mine in these preseason games as motivation is such a key factor in handicapping them. A new coach definitely wants to get the fanbase on his side and the best way to do that is through some wins, even if they occur in games that are rather meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Lay the points here.
Atlanta hasn't taken the preseason very seriously under Dan Quinn, at least I hope that the case because they've gone 5-11 SU in his four seasons here, including B2B 0-4 campaigns. So it's an eight-game preseason losing streak heading into this one for the Falcons. Were it a new coaching staff, I'd say they'd be motivated to end it. But with Quinn comfortable entering year five, I don't think it's a priority for him. Last year, the Falcons offense scored a grand total of 27 pts in four preseason games. QB Matt Ryan threw just two passes in Week 1 of the Preseason LY and may not play at all tonight. WR Julio Jones definitely isn't going to play.
Flacco and Ryan were both drafted in the same year (2008). Flacco has won a Super Bowl, but his best days seem to be behind him. He won't play Thursday, but the Broncos have an interesting battle going on for the backup QB role involving three rookies: Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Kevin Hogan. The hope is that Lock will win the job as he was drafted highest. But Hogan will start. This is something else to look for in the preseason, that being having motivated signal callers in the game, which ensures the offense will at least be a little more than "vanilla." History says the Broncos will be the more motivated side here. 10* Denver