So, this C.J. Anderson guy came sort of out of nowhere. For Bills fans who haven't seen him play before, can you talk about how, exactly, he has set the league on fire these last few weeks?
Montgomery: Little known fact - Anderson was infused with the stem cells of Terrell Davis in the womb.
Really, he's just made the most of his opportunity and surprised everyone, including me! Anderson is short, stocky (more like Hulk-like; 224 pounds at 5'8" is massive), and surprisingly quick. He uses his low center of gravity to his advantage, but he's advanced even beyond what those physical characteristics would set him up to do. Anderson is playing like someone who has put in the work to understand the offense. He waits for his blocks, shows extremely good vision, and makes the most out of each and every carry (or reception). Defensive backs don't want to take him down. I'm not sure linebackers do either. Combine that speed and that physicality with Anderson's work ethic and you have the makings of a long-term impact player. We'll see if he can stick.
Denver's record at home since Peyton Manning's arrival is ridiculous, but Miami nearly pulled an upset there a couple of weeks ago. What did the Dolphins do, especially offensively, to make that a competitive (and entertaining!) game?
Montgomery: In short, Ryan Tannehill played an incredible game. The Broncos pressured or hit Tannehill 15 times, according to Pro Football Focus, but they only took him down once, a testament to Tannehill's ability to get rid of the ball. His QBR was sky-high for the game, 84.8, illustrating just how efficient he was. He did that by taking what the Broncos gave him - no receiver had more than 50 yards receiving, and six different players caught multiple passes from Tannehil. Combine that with a rushing attack that was able to average 4.6 yards per carry thanks to getting to an early 14-3 jump on the Broncos, and you had a recipe for the near-upset.
Another thing that came out of nowhere: that Rams game. Julius Thomas was injured in that game, but clearly, the Rams played about as well as you can play against an offense like Denver's. Was there anything that stood out to you about the St. Louis defense, in particular, that gave the Broncos' offense trouble?
Montgomery: The Rams game felt a lot like this other game Broncos fans don't like to talk about; you may have heard about it or may even seen it this past February. It felt like colossal failure all over again - and it was. The Broncos scored seven points. The Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders Broncos.
So we looked at what went wrong against the Rams and the Seahawks, and found some similarities - the biggest being a ferocious defensive line that was able to dominate Denver's front five. The Broncos offensive line looked to be in shambles against the Rams. Manning leads the league in time-to-release, but even his two seconds flat were one second too long. Denver's line has been much better since, but everyone is aware of what a big task they have ahead of them this week.
It's looking like Aqib Talib is going to be back in uniform for the game this weekend. How likely is it that he ends up shadowing Buffalo's top wideout, Sammy Watkins, throughout the game?
Montgomery: No, the Broncos mix up coverage duties, and given Talib's health I wouldn't be surprised to see more of Chris Harris covering Watkins. A lot of people don't know a lot about Harris outside of Denver, so let me give you the quick points: he's the highest-graded cornerback in PFF this year, and in 12 games where he's played nearly every snap he's allowed less than 300 receiving yards on the year. He'll play against No. 1 guys and he'll also play the slot, and he's just pretty awesome and Broncos fans love the hell out of him.
I understand that the Broncos' red zone issues in Kansas City are a bigger talking point this week, but I consider Connor Barth a bigger story. One week in, after kicking a bunch of shorter field goals, how confident are you in that position heading into the postseason?
Montgomery: I wouldn't say I'm all that extra confident in Barth, just because he kicked five very easy field goals. His kickoffs left something to be desired, and he hasn't made a game-time field goal from beyond 40 yards with the Broncos yet. I'm looking forward to how he handles both kickoffs and field goals in the Mile High air this Sunday - unless Denver's red zone woes just disappear completely. I'd be fine with that too.
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