The Denver Broncos are slated to face the Buffalo Bills in Week 2 of the preseason. In their first outing of the preseason, the Broncos soundly beat the Dallas Cowboys. While it was a low-scoring affair, the Broncos seemed to be firing on all cylinders, both offensively and defensively. With Saturday’s preseason game approaching, it’s time to make some Broncos predictions for this game.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced that the team will have their starters play for a “healthy amount.” The Broncos, however, will have very few starters play. In fact, Josh Johnson was announced as the starting quarterback for Saturday.

Can the Broncos find a way to beat the high-scoring Bills team? Let’s discuss some bold predictions for this preseason Week 2 matchup between the Broncos and Bills.

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Denver Broncos Preseason Week 2 Predictions

4. Kendall Hinton will be the Broncos best performing wide receiver

Last season, Kendall Hinton gained the adoration of Broncos fans everywhere when he stepped into the quarterback role for a game after every Broncos quarterback was prohibited from playing due to violating COVID-19 protocols. The offense obviously struggled, as Hinton had not played quarterback since college. The final score did not matter to anyone, as the fans deeply respected Hinton’s efforts in a lopsided situation he was thrown into.

The fan-favorite Hinton has continued to make plays as a wide receiver for the Broncos. Last week against the Cowboys, Hinton had himself a solid outing, including hauling in a long touchdown pass from Johnson. Hinton made the incredible catch after leaping over the head of a defender:

With most of the starting wide receivers probably sitting out for the preseason, expect Hinton to get more looks. If he gets extended play time on Saturday, he could easily end the day as the Broncos’ best performing wide receiver.

3. Bills punter Matt Araiza will be a thorn in the Broncos’ side

Araiza, nicknamed “Punt God,” was drafted in the late rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Bills. If you look at Araiza’s college highlights, to put it simply, the dude has an absolute cannon for a leg. In fact, in the Bills’ Week 1 preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, Araiza launched an 82-yard punt. 

If the Broncos force the Bills to punt multiple times in the game, expect Araiza to put the Broncos into tough situations. While Araiza’s 82-yard punt rolled into the end zone, it still put the Colts on their own 20-yard line. This will bode as some great experience for the Broncos. Because it’s the preseason and nothing counts, the coaching staff can see how well the team can navigate these situations.

2. Josh Johnson will establish himself as the leader for the QB2 job

Josh Johnson being named the starter comes as a bit of a surprise considering he got the start in last week’s preseason game. Maybe the battle for the backup quarterback gig isn’t as close as fans thought.

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In last week’s matchup, Johnson clearly had the better outing with an end stat line of 16-for-23, 172 passing yards, and two touchdowns (no interceptions.) Johnson did, however, play with the second- and third-string offense. Brett Rypien hit the field in the second half with the fourth stringers and those deemed roster long shots. Rypien would end the game with a “meh” stat line of 8-for-18 and 113 yards with no touchdowns/interceptions.

Clearly, the coaches seem to have a leader in mind regarding the backup quarterback. If Johnson has another solid performance against the Bills, that may just be what permanently establishes him as the backup quarterback for the regular season.

1. Outside of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon, the Broncos’ run game will struggle

It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon are the de facto lead running backs for the Broncos. The depth after that gets a little … concerning. So let’s hope both Williams and Gordon can stay healthy for the entire season.

According to the depth chart, Mike Boone is listed as RB3. We haven’t seen much of Boone in orange and blue yet, considering he spent his first season in Denver injured. We also haven’t seen much of him this preseason because the Broncos’ run game has yet to do much of anything. In fact, the run game was actually horrible against the Cowboys. Broncos running backs ended the game with a total of 42 rush yards. Ending stat lines like that cannot carry into the regular season, but again, these were guys toward the end of the roster.

Not all blame should be placed on the running backs, though. The offensive line did very little to provide them any help or running lanes. It seemed defenders were in the faces of the backs the second they had the ball in their hands. If the offensive line struggles against the Bills, expect the run game to follow suit as well. The Bills have some stout run defenders, so the Broncos might not find more run-game success this week.