Week 4: Denver at Tampa Bay
Our beloved Broncos are rolling at 3-0 heading into Week 4 and so are our Ultimate Fans.
This week’s UF - Broncalanche - is a life-long, orange-and-blue bleeding fan since birth who also has a great appreciation for old school football. He’s a big fan of the Broncos going with a fullback, his favorite all-time players hail from the 80s and he believes the Pro Football Hall of Fame should feel ashamed.
Now that’s an Ultimate Broncos fan!
But even though the Broncos are facing a 1-2 team, Broncalanche isn’t taking them lightly because he knows the Broncos are still finding their rhythm and the Buccaneers have a few big weapons, especially in their quarterback.
"I look at how dangerous he is, that’s what I look at," coach Gary Kubiak said Thursday. "He’s very dangerous. We have to focus on all the positive things he’s doing because he’s doing a lot and throwing for a lot of yards. You always see good quarterbacks in this league and obviously this is a great young quarterback we’re seeing."
But good QB or not, Broncalanche sees another big game from the D and continued improvement from the offense.
MHR – Last week’s win was bumpy for three quarters before the Broncos seemed to find their stride. What did you see from the offense that you liked and what do you believe needs improvement?
Broncalanche: I loved watching Trevor Siemian throw those long passes, really opening up the field. I would like to see us play all four quarters, improve our third-down conversions and finish drives. We can move the ball down the field, but we just seem to have trouble punching it in. Our line needs to do a better job in pass protection. All in all, it's early in the season, and I think this will be a scary offense come playoff time.
MHR – Two weeks ago, the Broncos won "on the ground" while last week it was "through the air." Are you confident this offense can win however it needs to each week? Do the Broncos have the best 1-2 punch when it comes to wide receivers?
Broncalanche: I'm more confident in our offense this year than I was last year, that's for sure. Siemian is doing well and I like what I see from our rushing attack. I want to see more from Jeff Heuerman and Andy Janovich. I do believe we have the the best receivers, but to be honest, I am biased simply because I don't follow any other team, and I don’t know what kind of receivers other teams have.
MHR – The Buccaneers defense has struggled mightily the past two games, allowing a combined 72 points to their opponents. How would you expect the Broncos to take advantage of the Bucs’ defense?
Broncalanche: I think we are going to take whatever they give us, and the offense is really going to stretch the field this game. I think our red zone production improves this week.
MHR – Despite the Bucs being 1-2, their offense has been great with Jameis Winston throwing more touchdowns than any other QB this season and Mike Evans getting a touchdown reception every game. How much do you expect this duo to test our No Fly Zone?
Broncalanche: They are gonna test our secondary early, I'm sure, and while they will have a completion here and there, it's not going to be enough. Pass rush is going to help the secondary too, but I'm thinking Talib matches up well with Evans anyway.
MHR – Although the Bucs haven’t had a very successful run attack, our run defense was less than awesome much of the game last week. What would you like to see from our defensive line and linebackers in this area?
Broncalanche: I’m hoping our interior linemen do a better job of closing the gaps, but I'm sure Kollar is gonna have them ready.
MHR – Shane Ray had three sacks last week and Von Miller got the triple the week before. Winston is no picnic to chase down so how effective do you see our pass rush being this week?
Broncalanche: I don’t see any reason why our pass rush won’t get after him. We've had some success already this season against Andrew Luck and Cam Newton, and I’m not convinced Tampa Bay has an O-line to stop us.
MHR – Riley Dixon has improved each game. Do you like what you are seeing from the rookie punter?
Broncalanche: So far , so good! He will continue to improve with experience, which should shape up nicely for the playoffs. I prefer his price tag to that of his predecessor as well.
MHR – Which offensive and defensive players do you anticipate being this week’s stars?
Broncalanche: Aqib Talib on D, and I have a feeling Jano is going to have a huge game.
Avgs for QBs vs. #Broncos :— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) September 30, 2016
68.9 QB rating
$17m cap hit
95.9 QB rating
$538k cap hit
Stats for Trevor Siemian? 17/23, 273yds, 3 TDs, 1 pick
Number of carries/yards rushing for Broncos? Anderson: 19 for 87 yards; Booker: 10 for 50 yards; Bibbs: 3 for 14 yards; Jano: 5 for 24 yds, 1 TD, 1 TD reception
Number of yards receiving for Broncos? Thomas - 110; Sanders - 76
Number of sacks to Siemian? 3
Number of sacks to Jameis Winston? 5
Broncos player with the most sacks? Von Miller , 3
Broncos player with the most tackles? Brandon Marshall, 6
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos? 2 INTs - Talib and Stewart; 1 FF; 0 FR
Final Score? Denver 34, Tampa Bay 17
Favorite Super Bowl win? All of them were special, but I'm going to have to say Super Bowl 50. "This one's for Pat!"
Favorite Super Bowl loss? Ugh, I hate losses. But I suppose my "favorite" SB loss is Super Bowl XXI. It was before my time, but I picked this one due to The Drive that got them to the big game.
Team you hate to lose to the most? Chiefs and Patriots.
Team you love to beat? Chiefs, Patriots and Raiders.
Game most looking forward to this season? Several. First our Thursday Night game against San Diego, can't wait to see those uniforms. Second, the Houston game, I'm looking forward to Von planting Brent? Bryce? (who is Houston's QB again?) into the turf. The Cheatriot game, because those are always fun to watch. And finally, the Oakland game to close out the regular season.
Game most worried about this season? To be honest, looking at our schedule I am not particularly worried about any one game. However there are some games that fall into the "trap" category, so I'm hoping the boys stay focused each week, and with our coaching staff, I think they will. I'll start to worry when we are in the playoffs!
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Emmanuel Sanders. He gives it everything he's got, and he plays with a fire, not to mention he's a hell of a receiver.
Favorite Broncos player(s) of all time? Rick Upchurch, Steve Atwater, John Elway, Terrell Davis. They all were incredible players in their time. As a side note, the Hall of Fame ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Superstitions on game day? Gotta wear Orange!
Favorite Broncos jersey color combo? Blue jersey with white pants and orange stripe, but our 90s orange uniforms with the blue helmet and the D is right there as well.
How did you become a Broncos fan?
I became a Broncos fan May 30, 1988, and haven’t looked back since. My mother is a rabid Broncos fan and growing up in Colorado means it's more or less a way of life to bleed orange and blue. The Broncos have the most loyal, enthusiastic fan base in the league, and as Broncos fans, we are truly blessed that this organization is a contender, year in and year out. I can't say enough about Pat Bowlen and his handling of the team during his tenure as owner, and John Elway is an incredible GM as well.