The one thing I’m excited about is getting to be done with this 2017 NFL season. It hasn’t been interesting, fun, or up to par with what I expect as a fan of the Denver Broncos.
The closest thing I can equate this season to is probably that last season that Josh McDaniels had with us when he got canned and Elway came in to clean house and get this team back to winning.
We’ll have plenty of time to dig into those kinds of articles moving forward, but I’ll focus this last No Bull Review of 2017 on what we can take away from this game.
I’m not sure what to make of a game where so many starters were sitting on both sides of the ball. I thought our guys played a fairly solid game and had some pretty nice plays put on them by a talented QB in Patrick Mahomes. I’m not sure he would have had such a good game against a fully engaged Broncos Defense in the least. We’ll leave it at that.
Brandon Marshall missed a TD saving tackle early in a play that was indicative of the kind of season he had. One can only wonder at what happened to this guy. 2 years ago he was a play making machine. Now he is a shadow of that and has looked like a guy who’s put it on cruise control ever since he got his contract extension. I see no fire in his play and a lot of times where he’s a step behind where he needs to be.
Demarcus Walker playing inside looks really good. I’m excited to see what he can do next year back at his correct size and playing at his correct position. I’m still scratching my head at why this guy was moved to OLB this year. Hopefully Bill Kollar sticks around and works with him as he’s got some really decent potential as an interior pass rusher.
I don’t have any big things to point out on Von Miller, but I loved seeing him play so much of the game after other starters sat. I’ve talked about a void in leadership and that kind of move by Miller is a step in the right direction.
Will Parks showed some pretty terrible coverage for a big gain early on. I’m not sold on him as a serious player for the future of the Broncos. He’s looked good at times, but he’s also had poor showings just as often. He seemed a bit flat-footed in his coverage assignments in this game and it looks to me like he’s not really processing the play fast enough in order to get his technique engaged and keep in position to defend plays.
Darian Stewart made a great play as FS being in the right place to pick off the overthrow by Mahomes. He’s a natural at FS and even though I was a fan this season of moving him and letting Simmons play FS, it will be interesting to see what we do with Stewart next year.
CHJ got some throws completed on him because the young KC QB doesn’t know better...but interestingly enough the throws were largely perfect and in places that CHJ couldn’t defend. He wasn’t in the game long, but was honestly like glue on his assignments until he got to take the bench.
We got some mediocre production from the team with a young QB who looked an awful lot like the same rookie QB we’ve seen in the past 2 years. There was flashes of competency overall mixed with lots of derptitude. Pretty much it was nothing new to the Broncos of the 2017 NFL Season.
The frustrating thing to me as a fan is seeing Lynch play and noticing the potential that is there. He had a nice timing pass over the middle to DT. He also threw some very nice sideline passes to Taylor that hit for big gains and were thrown very well.
But the problem is that there’s too much dumb play going on from him as well. The bad INT at the end of the half was a pass thrown into triple / quadruple coverage. Let’s also give Lynch the award for the derpiest draw play ever which came at the start of the 2nd half and took about 3 seconds to get the ball into CJ’s hands. His 2nd INT pass had too much hesitation. The route was there, but you have to throw it on time without any pause and Lynch didn’t.
One big problem I saw with Lynch in this game was his lack of pocket awareness. He gave up a scoop-and-score fumble and took a sack that was all on him by holding the ball too long. He also took a sack he shouldn’t have with Stephenson blocking his guy very well to give him 3 seconds and then not being able to keep blocking after the defender had already crossed Lynch’s path and was easily able to cut back and make the sack.
He ended up with 2 TD passes, 2 INTs, and a QBR that a certain other so-called QB on the Broncos roster could only dream of mid-season.
I’m going to stand by the offensive line and say they definitely are improved from the product we saw in 2016. I do think some changes need to happen for them to really get solidified and be able to help the offense hum again, but the play was absolutely good enough for Denver to have won this game. The run blocking worked to the tune of 4.3 ypc. The pass blocking was pretty effective.
Deangelo Henderson had a superb play to kick off his NFL career with a screen play he took to the house. His final numbers weren’t necessarily impressive, but the guy looks quicker than any other back the Broncos had in 2017 and I still wish we would have seen more of him this season.
Let’s all take the time to give C.J. Anderson a big Mile High Salute. He finally put a 1,000 yard season in the books and that is no small feat. I’m unsure of his future with the team, but I’m pretty proud of the effort he showed this season, especially in the back half when other players on the team were checking out.
Love the route running by Jordan Taylor. If he could add some speed or quickness to get separation, he could be a real weapon in the NFL. Late in the 1st half his sideline catch with the defender draped all over him was very impressive. He’s got great skills in going up for the jump balls downfield. It was good to see him showcased in a game and show some good potential.
Why do we throw passes to Bennie Fowler on 3rd down? More importantly, why is this guy still employed as an NFL receiver?
Brandon McManus hit some field goals.
Riley Dixon punted nicely.
I practically lost my mind when I saw Isaiah McKenzie back to return kicks.
I hope the one thing the Broncos organization learns from this season is that doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Stop it. McKenzie is a bust as a returner. Shane Ray is no DeMarcus Ware by any stretch of the imagination. T-Sizzle is a real estate agent. Bennie Fowler may be able to hack it in the CFL...maybe.
Let’s get real about NFL football now that this 5 - 11 season is in the books. That starts with being done with silly fairy tales about players you draft highly automatically being starting quality. Players are what they are no matter how much your GM might want them to be more than that. Coaches need to trust what they see in guys and start the best players and GMs need to stick to getting the best talent they can and leave the coaching to the coaches.
One thing is for certain...MHR is going to be a lot more interesting over the next few months as this team starts searching for answers and we’ll be here bringing you the same great insights, opinions, and community we always have. Take heart...we’ve seen stuff like this before and this too, shall pass Broncos Country.
Happy New Year to you all!