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Broncos vs Patriots: The No Bull Review / Rant

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Denver looks in almost every way like a franchise on fire after a 40-burger got dropped on them by the p*ts. Big Pete and Sadaraine dig into what’s wrong with this team.

NFL: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

I think we need, no deserve, a Sadaraine/Pete collaboration.

Make it happen MHR!

Posted by Mile High Mayhem on Nov 12, 2017 | 9:54 PM up reply rec (1) flag

Well, Mile High Mayhem...unlike our current group of coaches heading up the Denver Broncos, we here at Mile High Report aren’t afraid one bit to change things up from what we normally do when things are working right.

Pete and I were both bent after the game and figured, why not? So please forgive me for those of you looking for my normal review. Our team was an embarrassment and as such, I kinda feel like a short detour this season is in order.

Game in general

sadaraine:

The game overall really was over after one muffed punt. How sad is that? I'm sure we're going to delve in and uncover a lot of junk about the state of the Broncos and what happened in this one game, but one kid fumbling was too much for the Broncos to overcome at the end of the day.

Overall, I felt this game was one where our offense was average, our defense was below average, and our special teams were pathetic.

big_pete:

24 points off freaking turnovers!!!!

24!!!!

That's 24 free #$@!)&^ points!

To a Tom Brady team... you can't do that shit and have any expectation to win

I know it's tough for the defense to actually play with passion and heart at the moment because I honestly believe that they give up once we get 1 score down because they know our offense can't match it. And that snowballs them. But seriously, it's time to play for your brothers beside you, ya know? It's time to play for your own professional pride! It's time to play for your next freaking paycheck! you'll lose the game anyways, so play like men. Play like the "role model" you all think you are! Want to have your voice heard? Play like you deserve to have your freaking voice heard! Until then, you don't deserve a platform in which to speak!

Coaching

big_pete:

If I hear one more damn time about having a good week of freaking practice, I'm gonna hurt someone!!!!

This coaching staff is WAY over their heads. The head coach is garbage, the coordinators are garbage. Not a single head coach or coordinator is getting a passable grade. Here's the thing though, I don't think any of them should be fired. I just don't. While I see a whole lot of "in over his head" things in Vance Joseph that I saw in Josh McDaniels, I don't see the things that should have him fired after a single season. Afterall, how many times did you completely rock the hell out of your first grown up job immediately? Its rare. So rare that not even the most successful coaches have done it.

Both coordinators, offense and defense, need time as well. The players need time in these new systems to adjust and learn. You can't play musical chairs with coordinators or the players will be lost. McCoy needs time with these players as does Joe Woods. And if I'm honest, the coordinator (aside from Olivo) that I'm most disappointed in is in fact Joe Woods. Maybe he needs to go back to being a secondary coach, but I'm not there yet. I still think he needs a second year to grow.

Brock Olivo also needs time. I think he's a good coach, but with some bonehead players. I don't think he teaches McKenzie to fumble. I don't think he teaches his players to give up returns by taking shitty angles. I don't believe he teaches players to block in the back and hold. I think sometimes we put too much on a coach when he has his hands tied by the players. Now, there's no excuse for McKenzie to be back there returning punts, but it is ultimately up to Vance Joseph to say "no, he's not going in" and putting someone else back there to return a punt.

sadaraine:

I’m so torn on this one, brother. On one hand, I know that we can’t keep changing head coaches like we change underwear. I also get that the guys outside of McCoy are a very young group. They need time to develop and grow.

But the catch is, it seems like the whole staff needs direction and a lot of work. Who is going to provide that? The head coach is one of the most inexperienced, unqualified coaches I’ve seen in the NFL with the reigns to a historically winning organization.

Is John Elway going to provide that direction? Look...I love me some John Elway, but that dude doesn’t know his butt from his elbow when it comes to actual NFL coaching.

And the problems we’re seeing from this team are big problems from a coaching perspective. We have ample evidence this season of guys starting who shouldn’t start, players being completely unaccountable for their mistakes, and players clearly showing signs of not being on the same page with the leaders of the team. I’m not so sure one more year will make it any better.

big_pete: Did we or did we not hire John’s best buddy Gary Kubiak for just these situations? Perhaps Elway needs to call up the guy collecting a paycheck for consulting from his armchair in Houston to actually, you know, CONSULT!!!

Special Teams

big_pete:

On Isaiah McKenzie: Do you know what I would personally love to do? I'd personally love to be able to show up to work day after day, week after week and be the most incompetent person in the entire company and yet still have a job that pays $2.6 million dollars! What's he trying to do, have 1 fumble for every dollar of that contract? Because he's well on his way!

Pound for pound I'd rather have Trindon Holliday. Sure, he fumbled, but at least he scored touchdowns unlike this butterfingered counterpart!

sadaraine:

Dude, yeah...McKenzie is a Trindon Holliday that hasn't actually ever scored. That's a pretty accurate assessment and I don't want either one of those two guys handling the job. Know why? Because I like returners who don't cost the team games. This Broncos team can't afford turnovers. Our defense doesn't get them and has too many glaring holes for us to risk putting them in a bad situation.

But the buck doesn't stop there. Almost every facet of our special teams unit looks worse than what we saw last year. And newsflash for you: OUR SPECIAL TEAMS SUCKED LAST YEAR. One of the easiest scapegoats to start making changes with is Brock Olivo. I loved his talk in the offseason and training camp, but that is all it is: talk. Dude has no walk as a football coach and he needs to be shown the door after this catastrophe of a game. Trotting out McKenzie was silly...how many times do you need to see a guy have lack of hands and focus in the return game before you believe that he's not cut out for it? Add to that the lack of focus from our return unit on that TD return and you have so many pieces of evidence that speak to bad coaching.

Offense

Sadaraine:

Pete, let's try to have something good to say. Didn't the offense look better under Brock Osweiler than what we've seen from Captain Candy-coat?

big_pete:

Now, as doom and gloom as it all appears, the cupboards are hardly bare for the Broncos. Hell, that's most of the reason why their situation is so infuriating! If we had no talent and that's why we're losing, that one thing, but we're laced with talent all over the place. I'm not just talking about the No Fly Zone, or the defensive line. I'm talking Emmanuel Sanders. That dude is straight ballin. He's passionate which I love, and he's tough as nails. You know what? Sanders plays like he's as big as DT is! And that's something that you just can't teach. To me, DT is tradable, Sanders is not!

Brock also started looking a hell of a lot better, especially hitting Sanders in stride on multiple deep balls. Man, I thought those days were over when Peyton retired. That gives me hope.

sadaraine:

I could not say it better. Sanders seemed healthy and absolutely dangerous on the field. I don’t even care if he’s playing to keep his resume good for his next team or if he’s the guy stepping up on the offense to help get them back to something we can call “good”. I love it. The guy was a wrecking crew and I hope he uses that performance to tell others in that locker room to Bronco up and get better.

big_pete:

Oh, you know who else should start? For real? DeAngelo Henderson! Oh, he couldn't beat out CJ and Charles? Oh, you like Booker coaching staff? Let me ask you all this: Who is the best RB in the NFL at this time? Who? If not the best, Top 3. Give up? Kareem Hunt. Guess what? He's the Chiefs version of Henderson. And guess what else? It took injuries for him to play. He didn't beat anybody out in camp. And all he has done is tear the NFL up!!!

Its players like this that make me sick to my stomach. It seems like EVERY DAMN TEAM finds one of these gems, but the Broncos. And do you know why? It's because their coaching staffs haven’t had the courage to play the untested young kids who haven't unseated the vets. What do the Broncos have? They have coaches who refuse to try to win a game. Instead, they try to not lose. They want to just give starting spots to the guys who are underwhelming but consistent. Forget that. You give the guys who have talent the chance to grow and flourish. You don't stifle their growth on the bench. This goes for guys like Henderson and guys like Lynch and guys like maybe a Jordan Taylor. This goes for guys possibly like Connor McGovern. Its time to see what these young unproven guys have. Other teams do and they usually find diamonds in the rough. Isn't it our freaking turn for this? And no, it isn't Trever Freaking Siemian people!

sadaraine:

I’m not sold on that line of thinking at all. I think C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles all had a really good day of running. C.J. especially ran with fire. I’m excited about Henderson much like you are though. I kinda think he’s not getting a sniff because of the contract numbers of the other guys...I remember him looking pretty darn sharp in preseason action. That being said, the #1 and #2 running backs averaged about 5 ypc in the game which is what you look for in a running game.

I do agree that our coaches stick by guys way too long though. It ties into that lack of accountability that we’ve been talking about for a few weeks now. Why aren’t more guys getting benched that are biffing it on the field? It seems the young guys don’t get a shot in Denver even when the vets are making turnover after turnover week after week (or quarter after quarter in the case of our former starting “quarterback”).

Defense

sadaraine:

The defense completely let the team down and I'm done with any of them keeping their chins held high after a 50-burger followed by a 40-burger.

big_pete:

Know what sucks? Is that this defense actually stopped the patriots 3 & out before McKenzie fumbled away any hope that we had for this game. After that, it was the same sad sack dumpster fire defense that showed up last week against the Eagles.... 92 points in 2 games! Anybody who uses the excuse "we're wasting this defense on a young QB" come next year or the remaining games this year needs to be brought out back and beaten with a garden hose!

Know what I hated about our defense? Not just two weeks ago, but last night especially? Von Miller... dude is playing like the defensive version of Demaryius Thomas.... paid like an elite player, elite talent, but playing like a freaking scrub!!! 1 pressure and 1 tackle for the ENTIRE NIGHT!!!! he's paid QB money, we need HoF QB performances out of him! And we get a Siemian like performance... just derping all over the field!

sadaraine:

When you look at the stat sheet, yes, Miller isn't having the impact you want to see. The problem isn't Miller to what I see though. The problem is there is no interior pass rush to be seen from the rest of the defense. Week after week I see Miller and Shaquil Barrett getting good speed around the edge...and week after week it is ineffective because the QB can just sit tight or step up. Why were we awesome in 2015? Because we had Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, and Malik Jackson as premier pass rushing talents.

big_pete:

I don't have the all 22 but how much man are we playing as opposed to zone? And why the hell can't we ever cover a tight end to save our lives?

I'm not a world class defensive coordinator, but when a team's best weapon is their TE, stick Talib on him. He's tall enough and more than fast enough to cover him. This isn't just the Pats. This is the Eagles, the Chargers, the Chiefs. It's EVERYBODY!!! And yet we never pull Talib onto the TE until the game is already decided. Its infuriating. And how about we get a tweeter safety/linebacker. I know they freaking exist. Get that dude to play LB for us so we have a TE killer. It isn't rocket science! Tell Will Parks to beef up a bit and play that role for all I care! But we need an answer!

sadaraine:

It fluctuates, but it is a heck of a lot more than what we used to use under Wade Phillips. The use of zone with guys like Roby, Marshall, Davis, and Stewart mystifies me. These guys I named keep popping out to me as being out of position or being a half-second late on diagnosing where a route is going to they can make the play. That’s just my arm-chair take on it. To be fair, the issues could have to do with other players missing assignments too, but these guys stick out from what I see and I have a really hard time just thinking they suck all of a sudden.

The tight end issue is absolutely maddening. I can’t even begin to fathom how this defensive coaching staff has nothing they can do differently to help cover up the weakness they have that every team we face is exploiting. Talib on a TE? Sure. Heck, bring down Simmons and try him playing off man coverage. Do something other than sticking to your scheme and asking your players to do something they have not shown they can do at any point in the past couple of seasons.

The future

big_pete:

I said this shit three weeks ago after we got shutout by the pathetic "I lose to Jacksonville after being ahead" Chargers: This season isn't about winning anymore. Winning is a byproduct of what has to happen and is going to happen. We are now in the offseason, just with 7 games remaining. It's all about finding out what we have on our team so we don't have more crap to iron out come next offseason.

And what that means is that it's time to find out what we have in Paxton Lynch once he's healthy.

We need him to get the "rookie mistakes" out of the way THIS YEAR so that if he grows and is worthy of the starting role next year, he has a shorter distance to travel until he's officially "good"...

And if he flops and fails, so be it. Its just another in a long line of busted QBs that were drafted in the NFL. At least we didn't waste a high 1st rounder on him.

But we need to find out what we have. And what we REALLY NEED is to not have another QB competition next year. All that does is retard the progress of both QBs in said competition. Whoever its gonna be, we need a coach to have a pair of onions and just go with him. Whether it's Lynch, Kelly, or a rookie yet to be drafted, we need Joseph to just say "So and so is our guy!" and go with it.

sadaraine:

I honestly don't even want to talk about the quarterback "situation" because it is such a complete swing after swing after swing with whiffs all around for John Elway dating back to Peyton Manning retiring. Here's my two cents on it: Brock Osweiler looks like a legit back-up quarterback. The other two do not. Paxton Lynch will stick around and hold a clipboard because of how his contract is structured. Skittles can pound sand though...he needs to be done in Denver. Any answer for the future is not on this team today and I'm not sure at all that wasting time on a guy who likes playing X-Box more than he likes being a professional NFL QB is a good move.

I cannot express enough the sentiment of your last line. This team needs to be done with any notion of a QB competition. No. You have a whole coaching staff with varying degrees of experience to draw from. You have scouts. Spend a couple weeks in the offeseason after the draft talking about your plan for 2018 and pick your guy. Go all in on him and make it work. Stop expecting some dream scenario where the cream rises to the top and the prodigal QB appears out of the muck of a competition to save your team. Find the guy and develop him. If he’s young, dumb your offense down and take time to develop.

big_pete:

How about this Sadaraine... Trade Von Miller for Andrew Luck, straight up! Our best defensive player and $100m man for their best offensive player (who's hurt and the owner is throwing under the bus) and a $100m player. Straight up.

Because I do see Von getting good pressure and has great speed and bend. But I don't see him being as impactful as he needs to be. Sure, it's not just the stats, but damn, we have Peko, Shaq, Ray, Wolfe. I mean, that isn't a no-name sad sack group there for him to generate SOME SORT OF PRESSURE on QBs. I just don't think he's living up to what he needs to live up to. If you put JJ Watt on that line, he gets pressure and sacks and INTs and fumbles. Von? Not so much. And I promise you that JJ gets as double teamed as Von does!

Hell, Von and DT for Luck. Throw in our injury prone and 6'4" WR who plays like he's 5'4" to sweeten the deal. Surely Irsay will go for it. Throw in Trevor too. I'm in "let's make a deal" mode!

sadaraine:

I think that’s a discussion for the end of the season for sure. I know that in today’s NFL, the QB position means a ton...especially if you have a really good one or a really bad one. We just can’t keep trying to find a good one by picking bad ones. Something has to give. If that something is a blockbuster deal like that, I’m down. If it is paying Kirk Cousins big bucks, I’m down. If it is trading up in the draft to grab a guy you are going to go all in on, I’m down. I just want answers much like the rest of Broncos Country and I am pretty darn sure there’s not an answer on this team unless Chad Kelly is a secret weapon we just don’t know about.

big_pete:

Lastly John Elway: In Elway I do trust. What's his biggest knock? Not finding a franchise QB and some whiffs on the offensive line? While both of those things are disheartening, look at the state of offensive lines across the entire league. College kids aren't entering the NFL as even a halfway finished product. The few that do are taken high in the 1st round.

Take a look at NFL QBs as well. There are more swings and misses than there are hits. You can't fault Elway for not picking Andrew Luck. You can't fault Elway for not picking Wentz or Deshaun Watson.

Can you fault Elway for picking Paxton Lynch? Sure, but how much of Lynch's issues stem from the fact that our coaching staff is simply too scared to play him? I liken it to being a baker or cook. You have all these raw ingredients. You put them in the bowl and mix them up. But when people say "so can we have the cake now?" you say "nope, it's not ready"... no kidding it isn't ready, you haven't put the damn thing in the oven to cook it yet! SO COOK IT ALREADY!!!! No player, or I should say very few players enter the NFL ready for the NFL. Hell, even Von Miller had to grow tremendously and didn't play as much as you think he played his rookie year. But he played! And he cooked! And now look at him! We need to have our damn coaches put Lynch into the games so he can start cooking. That's the only way we'll ever see if those ingredients make a delicious cake or a soggy, broken down souffle.

sadaraine:

I’m sorry bro, I get that, but even then...this preseason the coaching staff practically threw the job at Paxton Lynch and he couldn’t play better than a guy that probably is better off selling real estate than playing NFL football. I have a hard time thinking that if Lynch was any good at all he wouldn’t have already been playing.

To get back to Elway though, I do think he needs some heat for this garbage bag of a season. The whiffs on O-Line are big problems. The QB situation is very much an issue because he has yet to draft any QB who looks like a legit NFL starter.

Let’s add to that him hand-picking a coaching staff that are “Yes” men for his decisions. This is the most John Elway centric form of the Denver Broncos in history. He has had ample time to pick his players and his coaches. I’m seeing way too much of a guy who’s job it is to be a GM but keeps dipping his hand far too much into day-to-day personnel decisions. It is the opposite problem that Mike Shanahan had (Shanny was a great coach, but an awful GM who thought he was awesome at it). Honestly, Elway needs to draw a clear line between what he does to get personnel for the team and who actually plays on game days. And he deserves all the heat in the world that Broncos Country wants to heap on him at this point.

No Bull quick hits:

  • Justin Simmons was a baller in this game. The kid has the kind of potential to be a real star at safety for us.
  • Emmanuel Sanders needs more love for that performance. He was amazing on the field and incredible on 3rd down.
  • Brock played extremely well for a guy that got put in a hole. Work on that red zone, though dude. We need TDs!
  • DeMaryius Thomas once again played small in a big game. He’s not our #1 WR any more..move him to #2 where he belongs until he decides to play like a #1 again.
  • Our TEs suck eggs.
  • Ron Leary was amazing.

Final Thoughts

Feel free, Broncos Country to rant away in the comments. Let’s exorcise some demons. I’m calling it now: this season is over. What happens now for this team is going to be pretty interesting, though. Will the team gather enough pride to win another game? Which players are here for a paycheck and which players are real Denver Broncos?

I’ve especially loved listening to Derek Wolfe in interviews lately. His straightforward answers are honest and real. He’s one guy who I know that I know is all in on this team and I love seeing him throwing out statements that open up questions about other players and the way business is handled in Dove Valley.