NFL News and Rumors

3 Things to Watch in Broncos' Preseason Finale

Devon Platana
Three things to watch for in the Denver Broncos' preseason finale against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday.
Three things to watch for in the Denver Broncos' preseason finale against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday. / AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Denver Broncos are facing a ton of pressure to succeed in the 2022 NFL season after their productive offseason. They have one final chance to head into the regular season with momentum when they host the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.

Even though the majority of Denver's starters aren't expected to play, that doesn't mean it's a meaningless game. There are still several storylines worth following, from unproven rookies fighting for a job to veterans proving that they still deserve a 53-man roster spot.

Here are three things to watch for in the Broncos' preseason finale against the Vikings.

Denver Broncos Preseason

1. Backup QB Battle: Rypien vs. Johnson

While Russell Wilson is Denver's clear-cut starting quarterback, Brett Rypien and Josh Johnson have been duking it out for the backup role. It's been a fairly even battle thus far, with Rypien recording 304 passing yards and a touchdown on 30 preseason completions while Johnson has made 24 passes for 242 yards and two TDs. Nevertheless, head coach Nathaniel Hackett has already confirmed that Rypien will play the first half on Saturday, meaning he must have a strong performance to run away with the job. Otherwise, Johnson could steal it if the Vikings deploy their third-stringers in the final two quarters.

2. Can KJ Hamler Impress in his Preseason Debut?

The Broncos need third-year wideout KJ Hamler to step up this year following Tim Patrick's ACL tear. Having said that, Hamler has been dealing with his own slew of injuries that kept him out of preseason action up to this point. The good news is that Hackett was optimistic this week regarding the pass-catchers odds of facing the Vikings, saying he may "get a couple of snaps." With Hamler being the Broncos' de facto No. 3 WR, he must make the most of any playing time he sees. Even if it's only a catch or two, the oft-injured 23-year-old must prove that he can be a reliable contributor going forward.

3. Will the Broncos End the Preseason on a High Note?

While the preseason is meaningless in a Super Bowl pursuit, it's still nice to have fans feeling optimistic ahead of the regular season. Unfortunately, the Broncos faithful aren't feeling as positive as they could after their team lost 42-15 to the Buffalo Bills last week. Despite Denver holding the ball for 51.7% of the game, the Broncos only had 274 total yards compared to the Bills' 510. Considering that Buffalo only had three third downs all game, it's clear that Denver must step things up. While a loss on Sunday isn't the end of the world, a victory would likely help the Broncos get the regular season off to a stronger start.

Bet $5+ And Get $150 In Free Bets. dark. SIGN UP NOW

Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.