Ever since his days as defensive coordinator for the 49ers, Fangio has done an excellent job at limiting his opponent’s best offensive weapon. The Broncos also have an All-Pro at cornerback in Chris Harris, so Antonio Brown might be held in check on Monday night.
Even if Harris struggles, expect double coverage on AB which should open things up for Tyrell Williams.
With the emphasis on Brown, Williams will should find himself in a lot of one-on-one matchups. As the number two option, the veteran receiver must take advantage of solo coverage, otherwise it could be a long game for Oakland’s passing attack.
With Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, Denver might have the best pass rush duo in the NFL. The former is a seven time All-Pro performer and the latter had 12 sacks in his rookie year. Giving quarterback Derek Carr time to throw will be a difficult task on Monday night, and expect Fangio’s game plan target Kolton Miller.
Oakland can help their young tackle by using running backs and tight ends in pass protection, but obviously that means one less option to throw to. In order for the offense to work as designed, Miller must hold up in pass protection on his own. The two games against the Broncos were two of his best as a rookie (zero sacks allowed), so hopefully that trend continues.
As mentioned above, Denver has an elite pass rush. Pressure on the quarterback is inevitable, so Carr will need to get through his progressions quickly and use his check-downs. Thus, running back Jalen Richard should be an integral part of the passing game and a matchup nightmare.
The weakest position group on the Broncos defense is linebacker, especially in coverage. Currently the team lists Josey Jewell and Todd Davis as its starters at inside linebacker. Last season the two allowed 65 receptions for 631 yards, so Richard should have the upper hand in the season opener.