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Ultimate Fan: QB, run game, defense will continue to 'Brock & Roll' in San Diego

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For Brock Osweiler and the Denver Broncos offense, this weekend's game against the paltry Chargers should be an excellent chance to shine. But Philip Rivers is always a challenge, and the Broncos' D will continue needing to be sharp, says this week's Ultimate Fan, Arimaris.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

It almost seems a crime to move on from talking primarily about the Broncos' smackdown of the mighty-but-whiny New England Patriots on Sunday night, but alas, the team must move on to a new opponent and so must we.

But before focusing on the Chargers and "Mile High West," we should allow our previous fans to comment on their respective games, so going back a few weeks, here's H-bizzle on Brock's first NFL start that resulted in a big win over the young QB's former coach and the Chicago Bears:

All of the major things we needed to do happened. We had some mismatches in the middle of the field, we didn't turn the ball over, and we mixed in good run, short passes, and play action, although I imagine Brock didn't see too much of the playbook. The D still looked undisciplined - hopefully that was just the one-game rust on Talib.  Gotta say I was pretty surprised with my predictions - Oz came close to 270 yards, had 2 TDs, and didn't have the one pick that I thought.  I predicted 155 yards rushing, and we ended up with 170. The backs switched (I thought C.J. would have the 100-yard game). I hope we can continue our winning ways!

Last week's duo of TheRealCubanB and broncofan91 got the joy of seeing their victorious Broncos' predictions come to fruition in spectacular fashion as the "Brockos" won in overtime against a previously undefeated Patriots team.

broncofan91: What a game! Before anything, I want to give props to the backups. David Bruton, Vance Walker and Max Garcia filled in for three key starters against arguably the best team in the league and held their own. And the one who stood out the most was Max Garcia. The entire line started out a bit shaky, but they settled down after he switched from LG to RG. Paradis and Schofield didn't have great games but Garcia did a great job knowing when to help them out.    

I can't talk enough about how impressed I am with Oz. He is poised beyond his years. Last week, I wrote about the importance of Brock staying patient and not getting desperate until the time came. He never seemed rattled, despite getting pummeled throughout the game and coming up empty on so many drives. He still held on to the ball too long, but this was much improved from last week. After watching the tape, I think this has to be our best rushing performance of the season. C.J. Anderson circa 2014 has finally arrived.

On defense, Von had an awesome game aside from one very stupid penalty. He constantly harassed Tommy boy, and Derek Wolfe was an absolute monster. Even double teams didn't stop him. Shane Ray also quietly had the best game of his young career. It was a good team win and renewed my hope of seeing this team play in February. On to the Chargers!

Given our spectacular showing, my "enemy fan" friend, mike grim, stopped by to offer his congratulations on our snowy victory at Mile High:

Broncos fans, I salute you and your team. The day you clobbered Green Bay, I told Laurie that they sent a message loud and clear that, hopefully, would be heard in Patriot Place.  Then your offense stumbled and the rest of the AFC figured it would be the Bungles and Patsies in the AFC championship game. Your gigantic replacement for HOF QB #18 may have turned the tide for your season...at least in terms of hosting at least one post-season game. We had the opportunity to put a lid on things in the opening minutes of the 4th quarter and dropped the ball...literally as well as figuratively. My team had chances that we frittered away with a mind-numbing drive just before halftime when we decided it was the right time to try to establish a running game,  poorly placed passes and inopportune penalties.

Some fans in my neck of the woods want to point to penalties and injuries. Well, they did have an impact on the game. But all penalties change the dynamic of the game whether they come on an end run into the end zone or whether they erase a soul-crushing sack by a D-line. Each team received penalties, and one team adjusted better.  Hats off to you guys on a game well played (Miller's late hit aside).

Also impressed by Denver fans and members of the secondary who consoled an injured adversary who has been such a thorn in their sides.

If we meet again, I only hope it's in New England. I like our snow better than yours.

Denver vs. San Diego

And now to this week's guest commentary from Arimaris, a returning Ultimate Fan and a Broncos season ticket holder (so jealous!) who loves some old-school jerseys, has an awesome superstitious ritual on game day and whose favorite current Bronco happens to be a fellow CSU grad (but you'll have to read on to find out)!

MHR - The "Blizzard of Oz" last weekend was AWWWE-SOME! What was your reaction when the Broncos went ahead of the Patriots 24-21, then after NE tied it up 24-24, and finally when C.J. ran in for the winning TD in overtime?
Arimaris: I was at the game and as C.J.  burst around the corner, my mom shouted "TOUCHDOWN" and we started jumping up and down.  I was high-fiving and hugging all the people around me in excitement. Still walking on air over that win.

MHR - The SNF game was exciting and of course Broncos won, so it's easy to look past mistakes. But what two things would you like to see improve this week?
Arimaris: No dumb mistakes on defense. We keep doing stupid pointless things that are going to cost us a win if they keep up. And Demaryius Thomas playing like the $70 million-dollar receiver he is. It seems that consistently DT is uninterested and is going through the motions. Sunday night was a much bigger example where he wasn't fighting for the ball and even some of his routes were just poorly run. He needs to get his head back on straight and play like the stud he can be.

MHR - Demaryius Thomas definitely had a bad game against the Pats, catching 1 of 13 passes. What do you think explains his up-and-down season so far?
Arimaris: I think this is a few things. If you miss any part of OTAs/Training camp I really believe that is an impact the vast majority of the time. I also think something is happening we are unaware of.  The Pats game he was bad, but throughout the season he has been only sorta there. I don't see him fighting to make a catch.  I don't see the consistency with his route running that he had worked to be able to match. It seems a bit like he got paid and decided to just ride it out.  Or there may be some other factor that we are unaware of in the general public.  Whatever it is we need him to get past it.

MHR - Brock Osweiler is looking very good, and he's certainly making a strong case for staying the starter. In best-case scenario where Manning heals completely, what is the best use of both of these QBs?
Arimaris: I think Brock needs to be the starter at this point. Manning was one of the greatest, but even when he was "healthy" he was struggling. And the more I watched the more I thought it was physical limitations.  I was one of Manning's apologists for quite some time, but now we see Brock out there playing with poise and confidence consistently. And making throws that Manning simply could not.  What we do with Manning though is a different issue. I think he is sat down (ideally by Elway), and they discuss how he should be supportive and become a player/coach type for the remainder of the season.

MHR - How do the Broncos go to San Diego this weekend and avoid being complacent against an AFC rival that is an abysmal 3-8?
Arimaris: I don't see us falling into a trap here.  I see that San Diego may have a poor record, but they have talent.  And it's a division game. This is easy for the team, and I think with our current coaching staff it is not an issue.

MHR - Two weeks in a row the Broncos' running game has looked good. How do you expect it to be this weekend against one of the worst run defenses in the entire NFL?
Arimaris: We could see over 250 rushing yards this weekend.  To me the difference is being able to actually run the full zone blocking scheme. You see C.J. Anderson doing his thing slamming into the small creases and beating one guy with a burst that the zone blocking scheme allows you to.  You cannot really run it without a mobile QB who can actually challenge defenses outside the pocket. We saw Manning going through the motions, but he was not really doing what needs to be done as a QB in the Kubiak offense.

MHR - What offensive stat would you like to see be awesome for the Broncos in this game?
Arimaris: 250 yards rushing! I think the ZBS is back, and I think against San Diego we run a "high school" offense of "rush rush, play-action BOMB!" all day

MHR - Which player do you expect to stand out from the Broncos offense this Sunday?
Arimaris: C.J. Anderson. I think he takes back the lead spot this weekend and grabs about 175 of those yards.

MHR - Broncos got hit with a couple big injuries last week with T.J. Ward and Sylvester Williams being out a week or so and DeMarcus Ware may or may not be back yet. Depth is good for the Broncos, but will these guys be missed?
Arimaris: I don't think T.J. Ward will be missed at all. I personally think David Bruton can fill in without any significant loss of ability and Ward has had some mental mistakes this year.  Sly Williams will be a bigger deal, but I think the rookie Darius Kilgo likely fills in fine, and the rotation goes on. I also suspect a bit more scheming from Wade Phillips to protect the rookie and allow him to make an impact.

MHR - What defensive stat would you like to see be awesome for the Broncos in this game - and why is that one the most important this week?
Arimaris: 0 Personal Fouls.  If there are no dumb mistakes allowing San Diego to keep rolling down the field, they will not make it far.

MHR - Which player do you expect to stand out from the Broncos defense this Sunday?
ArimarisDarius Kilgo. I think the rookie will actually be a force against the limited run game that San Diego brings to this game helping us by clogging up the middle.

MHR - Philip Rivers is having one of his best seasons statistically, trailing only Tom Brady in total passing yards, and he's second behind Drew Brees in completion percentage. How do the Broncos stop him and his favorite (maybe only) target in Antonio Gates?
Arimaris: I think this is actually fairly easy. Philip "CryMeA" Rivers is putting up great numbers in the "Orton Zone" from his own to the opponents 20. I think we can slow it down a lot because we have so many options to cover his guys.  I really just see a lot of line up and man up this game.

MHR - Broncos and Patriots had almost the same number of penalties and yards Sunday, yet Patriots fans are this week's angry fan base over officiating. How would you assess the refs in last week's game?
Arimaris: The refs were fair. Outside of the holding penalty giving us 1st-and-goal right before the final TD I don't think anything significant was missed.  And that evens out with the half-dozen times Von Miller was held by the Patriots.  It was nice to see something finally called correctly late on the illegal hands to the face.

MHR - Broncos had TWO more personal foul penalties on Sunday. Should Kubiak and Phillips being addressing this in a different way?
Arimaris: I do not know for sure.  To me this is on the players. I do think that the coaching staff should be addressing it, but how I am not sure. The players need to know that they are making the dumb mistake.

Predictions

Stats for Osweiler? 225 yard, 1 int, 1 TD

Number of yards rushing for Broncos? 250

Which receiver gets the most yards? TE Vernon Davis

Number of sacks to Osweiler? 1

Number of sacks to CryMeA Rivers? eleventybillion! OK, probably 4

Broncos player with the most sacks? Von Miller

Broncos player with the most tackles? Brandon Marshall. I think he will be the one on Gates most of the time.

Field goals by McManus? 1 for 44 yards

Number of penalties? Broncos 6, Chargers 10.

Final Score? 38-17 Broncos


How did you become a Broncos fan?

My family is original season ticket holders. I had no choice! Everyone is a huge Broncos fan.


The Favorites

  • Favorite Broncos loss? 1977 Super Bowl. WE MADE IT TO THE SUPER BOWL!  Also, I was born right after this, and my mom was there while pregnant with me.
  • Favorite Broncos win? 1997 Super Bowl. WE WON THE SUPER BOWL!  And I got to rub it in to a Raider's fan's face as we were enjoying the game together.
  • Favorite Broncos season? 1998 - John Elway's swan song
  • Team you hate to lose to the most? Raiders. I just cannot deal with losing to the Raiders.
  • Team you love to beat? Cheatriots
  • Game most looking forward to this season? It was the Cheatriots game. Now it is the Bengals game as I think that is going to determine our bye chances.
  • Game most worried about this season? Bengals. They are down a bit, but they are still a good team.  I am happy it is a home game for us.
  • Favorite Broncos player on the current roster?  Shaq Barrett! CSU Guy, lots of my family (me included) either went to or graduated from CSU, and we share the same surname.
  • Favorite Broncos player of all time? John Elway. He was the QB as I grew up and developed my fandom.
  • Superstitions on game day? Elway Jersey goes on right after waffles and doesn't come off ‘til the game is over.
  • Favorite Broncos jersey color combo? Orange throwbacks (*editor's note: couldn't find the Orange throwback, but this should be a pretty satisfying image for all big-time Broncos fans in the 80s!)

elway