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Ask The MHR - Week 2

Here it is, our 2nd Edition of Ask The MHR, where I give you the chance to ask me anything and everything, and I'll post my answers.  What to get in on the action?  E-Mail your questions to!!

Today's questions come from loyal reader SeniorFan!

#1. Last year Cutler averaged what, 23 - 24 points per game.  Now with a healthy and better o-line and adding Henry, Graham, Stokley and Cutler, Marshall and Scheffler in their second years and I am very interested in what Hixon will do for the Broncos,  could they average 30 to 35 a game?  What did they average in 97 and 98?

The Broncos offense was the best in football in 1997 and 1998, the two championship years.  In 97, the Broncos finished 12-4, averaging 29.5 points per game.  In '98, the team won it's first 13 games en route to a 14-2 record.  Amazingly, the Broncos offense was even better, eclipsing the 500 point barrior and averaging 31 points per game.

As for this season, while the Broncos do seem to have upgraded their offensive weapons, there are still question marks.  I think the Broncos will be solid offensively to be sure, but it might be a stretch to expect them to equal what the Super Bowl teams were able to accomplish.  Those teams had 2, possibly 4 Hall of Famer.  I think the offense will be solid, probably averaging in the neighborhood of 24 points per game(450 points, give or take).

#2.  Could B&B get 25+ interceptions together?  They can't stay away from both of them.

25 Picks are alot of INT's for two guys.  As a TEAM, the Broncos only had 17 INT's last season.  I could see Champ getting 8, with Bly nabbing a half dozen.  While teams cannot avoid both of them they can create matchups to take them out of the game.  I think teams are going to attack the middle of the field, thorwing to 3rd receivers, tight ends and backs to try and neutralize Bailey and Bly as much as possible.

#3.  I keep hearing how great Tamba Hali is for the Cheifs, what a great rookie year he had with 8 sacks.  Well Dumervil had 8.5 sacks and only played 13 games and he gets very little national press.   Anyway, I'm wondering who gets more sacks this year, Dumervil or Hali?  With the cast around Dumervil, I'm betting on Elvis.

Hali gets alot of attention because he was a First Round draft pick.  Dumervil, of course, wasn't taken until the 4th Round.  Dumervil has been ultra productive his entire career, at any level, yet the "experts" continue to look at what Dumervil can't do, and what he doesn't have, instead of what he can and does have.  At 6-3, 275, Hali is more prototypical than the smaller Dumervil, and Hali can impact the game on every down.  It will remain to be seen if Dumervil can ever be a three-down player, though as long as the sack production remains at a high level it really won't matter.  

#4.  I know I'm a homer, but I keep looking at everything the Broncos have done this off season in amazement.  I thought they didn't have any money to spend???   I don't know when I have seen such a complete team, at least on paper and assuming not to many injuries.  It seems to me an opponent will need to be very balance to beat the Broncos.  They will need to be able to move the ball against this new defense enough to keep up with the Broncos scoring.  Which team will be the toughest match up for the Broncos this year and why?  They better not have any weaknesses.

Looking at teh schedule it has to be the Colts.  Now, that said, the Broncos will be playing a different defense against Indy than they have in the past, and are as prepared as they have ever been on defense to get after Peyton Manning and Co.  Actually doing it, however, is a different story.  The Chargers will also be tough, though I think they'll actually take a step back with Norv Turner at the help.  The biggest thing for the Broncos against the Colts, Chargers, or any opponent for that matter, is getting off the field on third down.  The Broncos are still built on speed on defense and it will be important for the defense to be as fresh as possible, both game to game and week to week.  The schedule, which focuses on 6 road games out of the final 9, is not doing the Broncos any favors and it will be imperative to get off to a fast start.

Thanks to SeniorFan for the questions.  Get yours in to me now!!!