You know what I love about the Ultimate Fan Guide? Even in the midst of gloom and doom, our fans can look for solutions on how to get the Broncos back on track.
And this week’s savior needs no introduction because he has been telling us what the Broncos offense needs to do to overcome - and embrace - its weaknesses to take advantage of its strengths.
I keep telling the Broncos that I’m going to get them a Batphone for Shasta77, and I just might do it tonight if they don’t figure out his good advice on their own. Also, Shasta is pulling no punches on what this offense needs to do to turn things around.
Time is running out (pun intended, Broncos!!!), but it’s never too late to #BeatTheChiefs.
Week 8: Broncos at Chiefs
MHR – Ummmm...this season feels like it is already out of control on a downward spiral, and we haven’t even gotten halfway. What changes can end this nightmare?Shasta77: We need quick throws/easy reads. This guy is barely above a rookie and long developing plays with a sieve O-Line is not helping his development. It’s hurting it. You can see it progressing, negatively, every week.
MHR – Trevor Siemian has looked completely mortal the past two games. Can you help us understand why this season is becoming a mirror of last where the QB is concerned - started off great but after three games, opponents seem to dismantle our offense. Is this a pattern or just coincidence?
Shansta77: The circumstances are different for sure. Last year it was a broken offense trying to force a QB to adapt. This year it is an offense that won’t adapt. McCoy is better than this, he knows how to adjust, and yet he hasn’t. With the turnstile O-Line you would think the quick reads are coming, and yet they haven’t.
MHR - In a comment earlier this week, you succinctly laid out some simple things Mike McCoy should be doing with Trevor to “embrace his weaknesses.” Please repeat those here so we can all enjoy a “solution” that our coaching staff hasn’t quite figured out.
Shasta77: Trevor is at his best when he is quick read/release. Give him that again and again. And again. Until the defense stops it, 4-5 yards per play works. Checkdown monkeys be damned, if it’s a first down, who cares!?
Spread the field and dare the defense to play man. There are plenty of weapons in this offense to make single coverage a bad idea. Force them. McCoy has been to willing to just accept what the coverage is, rather than attacking them with something that they aren’t prepared for, that needs to stop.
MHR - What are your thoughts about how Mike McCoy is doing so far as OC? His “strength” was supposedly utilizing his players’ “strengths” - but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Is this a fault in his scheme - or as Vance Joseph keeps saying - a fault in the execution:
Shasta77: McCoy has been consistently weak in his approach. Rather than giving the porous O-line help or play-calls that allow them to build some confidence, he keeps assuming that it will suddenly not be “weak.”
Watson looks like he can’t block his grandmother at times, and I’m sure he feels that way. Give him plays to remove that stigma. Sweeps, traps, screens, and chip help that let him set his feet. These are all things that help an O-lineman find his rhythm. And that’s the biggest thing that has been missing from this offense. Rhythm. Any way that McCoy can get these guys clicking together is a good thing.
MHR - I’m going to put you on the spot - if Siemian does not have a comeback game (comeback meaning that even if the Broncos don’t win, he plays well), do you believe it is best for the Broncos to keep Siemian as QB or would it be smart to make a change?
Shasta77: Change really doesn’t help you at all, because the O-line is broken. Brock and his poor mechanics are not a step forward behind this crew. Play-calling can improve things, regardless of who is under center, but that is the only really improvement.
MHR - If a change happens, who do you choose?
Shasta77: Has to be Brock. Don’t like it, but Lynch is more of a broken lawn chair than Siemian is. Brock at least has more than one read in his bag (not much more). Lynch is still a look-and-run QB. That is not an improvement.
MHR - Arrowhead is one of the toughest road stadiums to play in. How do the Broncos quiet that crowd early and give themselves the best chance for a victory Monday Night?
Shasta77: RUN THE BALL. AND THEN RUN IT SOME MORE! AND THEN RUN IT AGAIN.
Honestly this helps both the O-Line and the offense as a whole. None of this belly-option, dive crap that we’ve seen. Traps, counters, crack tosses, etc. In the running game, you need to make the defense defend the whole field, not just the middle.
MHR - Do you think the Broncos have been utilizing Jamaal Charles as they should? How would you like to see him in the offense on Monday against his old team
Shasta77: Jamaal until he is broken is my choice. C.J. Anderson has shown no vision at all, and he’s terrible in pass blocking and pass catching. Give me JC and Booker with a little bit of CJ as a change of pace. I want to see JC split out wide, in motion, and just plain stressing the edges. I’m sick to death with C.J. up the middle for 1 yard.
MHR - Kansas City plays mostly man defense, which tends to be better for our quarterback. Do you think our offense can have some legit success on Monday night? How does it take advantage of that defense, which is missing starter Eric Berry and has a slightly banged up Justin Houston?
Shasta77: Yes, this is a very good matchup for both our QB and his receivers. Now if the O-Line can give him more than a blink of time, that would be great.
MHR - Who do you think will be the main offensive weapon for the Chiefs - Tyreek Hill Travis Kelce or Kareem Hunt? How do we stop that train - or should we just brace for a trio of destruction? :)
Shasta77: Kareem Hunt is the real deal. You don’t maintain your gaps, he’s gone. Tyreek Hill is still a shiny toy for Reid that really isn’t a true receiving or running threat - he’s a gimmick. Dangerous, but a gimmick. Kelce is a stud TE, but not Gronk-worthy. He can be contained with the right game plan.
MHR - Von Miller believes the defense can turn this team around by doing even more, mainly via sacks and turnovers. Do you think he and Shane Ray/Shaq Barrett will be able to get the sacks they want/need?
Shasta77: The sacks will be there. But it’s more important to maintain lane control with Smith. Sacking him is great, but letting him run loose on the D is a bigger concern. The bigs in the middle have to stay home. Sacks will be there there, with our secondary, but not letting Smith scramble is actually more important.
MHR - Chris Harris Jr. noted earlier this week that the No Fly Zone has been hamstrung somewhat by playing zone and by teams playing them short, therefore neutralizing the NFZ’s strengths. Do you expect KC to continue that trend Monday?
Shasta77: As I stated above, the scrambling ability of Smith will dictate coverage change (spy at the LB/Safety position is my guess), so I don’t expect a lot of zone in this game, and the pass rush will make Smith have “happy feet” in a way that should force the issue. Short throws we will see, it is Smith after all, but they will be defended with much more a man-coverage look.
MHR - The Chiefs had been 5-0 before dropping two games in which they showed some weaknesses on offense and defense. What major weakness on offense and defense can the Broncos exploit?
Shasta77: Their defense is quite suspect this year. The loss of Berry has really hit them hard. Running game and passing game options are there, it just take the kind of patience that the Steelers had in order to exploit it. Patience!
Stats for Trevor Siemian? 22-31 for 285 yards
Number of carries/yards rushing/ TDs for Broncos RBs? 33-150 (JC carrying the load)
Number of yards receiving for Broncos receivers? 8 catches for DT but the big catch is by Sunshine for 50
Longest FG? Time to get off the snide, McMoney. 56-yarder
Number of sacks to Siemian? 3
Number of sacks to Alex Smith? 4
Broncos player with the most tackles? Simmons with 10
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 2 picks, our first fumble of the year and one of the bigs takes it the distance.
Number of times Von Miller is held? Every play, all day
Final Score? 24-17 Broncos
Favorite Broncos game EVER? Broncos over the Raiders in the ‘77 Championship Game.
Team you hate to lose to the most? Raiders
Team you love to beat? New England
Game most looking forward to this season? New England
Game “definitely not most worried about” this season? I worry about them all.
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Von
Favorite Broncos player of all time?Gradishar
Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Simmons
Superstitions on game day? Too many to list, certain parts of my house become “off limits” when things aren’t going well.
Favorite TD celebration? The fun bunch
Favorite Von Miller sack dance? Any and all
Least favorite game analyst/commentator? Dan Fouts
How did you become a Broncos fan?
Born into it. My grandfather did off-duty security for the Broncos in the 60s. Locker room access to the likes of Tombstone and Floyd Little - how can you not become a lifelong fan? Suffered through that time, but never wavered.