Although he wasn't on the sideline for his team's Week 6 loss to San Diego, Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak is rejuvenated and ready for the Chargers and Broncos' second match of the season.
Kubiak isn't fooled by the Bolts. Even though they are on a two-game winning streak to improve to 3-4, he believes this is the same team they have been all year round.
"I think they have been playing well all year long," Kubiak said. "They have lost some tough games (but) obviously got after us a couple games ago. Philip (Rivers) is playing really well, (they're) moving the ball (and) scoring a lot of points. Their front seven to me is a really good group and (are) doing a really good job getting after the quarterback. I think they have six different players who have gotten turnovers on the back end. I think it is a good football team right now. Our division is very tough and a lot of good football going on around this league, a lot of close football games."
"They've shown some fight (especially) last week versus Atlanta," echoed wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. "Melvin Gordon is playing really well (and) their back end is starting to get better. They have a lot of injuries but the guys they have out there are starting to believe they can win ballgames. They started the season slow, but they're starting to pick up pace."
While the Broncos appeared to right the ship in Monday night's 27-9 win against the Houston Texans, they still were defeating themselves at times due to penalties. In the last five quarters, the Broncos offensive line has been penalized for eight holding calls.
Kubiak admitted this is an issue and as he alluded earlier, is well aware of the challenges San Diego's front seven brings. Particularly, the head coach singled out two 2016 additions to the Bolts' roster in Brandon Mebane and Joey Bosa.
"(Mebane) is a big pickup for them," Kubiak mentioned. "(He is) very active inside. They are creating a lot of negative football plays because of their quickness up front and the stunts and stuff. It will be extremely important that we eliminate those (as) we had way too many of those the first time around."
As for Bosa, while he's only played in three games, the defensive end currently has four sacks. In addition, his 12 pressures and seven quarterback hits have not only made an impression on Kubiak, but on quarterback Trevor Siemian as well.
"He's physical, great with his hands, (has) really good technique and he's where they ask him to be," Siemian said. "Everybody compliments each other really well in that group up front and they do a lot of twisting, they get to the quarterback and they're disruptive, no doubt."
"I think we all know Joey is a great player," added Kubiak. "I know he had been injured and missed time before we played him, but we know what type of player he is. We studied him coming out and now we are seeing just how much he can affect a football game. I think their front seven has really been excellent in what they are doing as a group and obviously, he has added to the group. (He's) a fine player, a great player and that is why he was drafted so high and coming into his own and playing extremely well right now."