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Ultimate Fan(s): This time Broncos tackle Chiefs for a win

Call us crazy but the Ultimate Fans and I believe this Broncos team can do it - they just have to bring down Mahomes.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

What do you do at the Ultimate Fan Guide when your team is playing the best team in the AFC this week?

That’s right - you have TWO ultimate fans who BOTH predict a win.

And right now PearlJamBroncoGaryFunk and JasonAult16 are two of my favorite people on the planet because they are behind this Broncos team 100 percent and believe it has a chance to beat the Chiefs.

And I agree with them 100 percent. So that’s pretty much all the predictions you need to have this week. Now let’s figure out how to beat this Chiefs team because there’s no team I’d rather win against this season than them at Arrowhead.

Week 8: Broncos at Chiefs

MHR - Although it has been 10 days since the big win over Arizona, what one thing did you love about that game and what thing still has you concerned about this team?

PearlJamBroncoGaryFunk: It looked like Broncos were playing with the kind of fire you’d hope to see every game. I absolutely loved the fact that it was so blatantly obvious who wanted that win more.

A lot of folks are extremely negative about Keenum. I like a lot about him and still have the utmost faith (partly because the alternative is no fun!) in him, but his accuracy worries me a little more each week. I’d love to see a game where he doesn’t give me/add to my cumulative concern (aka CC).

JasonAult16: I loved the effort. Guys were flying around, making big plays, and playing with their hair on fire. Even though the competition was clearly inferior, the Broncos were giving max effort. When they do that, I will live with the outcome because it can often be good enough to earn the victory. I am still concerned about Case Keenum’s play. The interception he had was a pretty bad overthrow. In a dominating game like that, you’d like to have seen Case play a clean game and not turn the ball over.

MHR - The Broncos are the only team to hold Kansas City to under 30 points. What makes you think the defense can or can’t do that again at Arrowhead?
JBGFL: I feel like most (enough) of the guys on this team aren’t going to let other people’s drama (Kelly, team ownership, fire so-and-so, trade such-and-such) impact their Sunday performance. I think we’ve seen it when it did and am more inclined to believe Broncos have steeled themselves in many respects, including that one. Dealing with adversity when winning AND when losing helps to do such a thing. I see Broncos having another performance where they are on point on defense. Sure, ee’ll probably see Travis Kelce make a play or two, as well as Tyreek Hill and/or Kareem Hunt, but overall, Broncos get a lead in this game, and they ain’t blowing it.

MHR - Von Miller, along with Bradley Chubb, absolutely wrecked Jared Goff. The last time this defense faced Patrick Mahomes, it held the running game in check but could not contain Mahomes. Do you think a scheme like the one against Arizona will allow Miller and Chubb to do the damage they’d like to do to every offense, or is Mahomes too slippery for that?
JasonAult16: The scheme was good enough to beat Mahomes at Mile High. It faltered a little bit at the end, but it at least it gave the Broncos a chance. I think the formula will be similar to the Arizona game. You have to be fast and physical. The Kansas City offense is potent in a finesse sort of way. You have to bring pressure, be solid in scheme, and take advantage of the mistakes on the rare occasions that they happen.

MHR - The Broncos’ OC Bill Musgrave finally showed some interest in running the ball last game. Would you like to see that same approach against the Chiefs and what kind of run:pass ratio would you like to see the Broncos use?
PJBGFL: I don’t think anyone can realistically predict how the Broncos offense will perform in a given week. Especially the naysayers! You guys suck at predictions! Ha ha! I just had to poke fun at the pessimists. Not that being critical automatically makes you a pessimist - I’m talking the constant downers.

Actual answer: Yes I would love to see that approach. Without Royce Freeman, it could hurt significantly. I think Phillip Lindsay can be a three-down guy, but I don’t see Musgrave leaving Booker off the field that much. With Freeman out, it hurts Lindsay’s run game in my opinion. Half the time that Lindsay was successful running it up the middle was primarily (imo) due to the defense not expecting it. If Paradis and the guards can get the push to allow the holes for him, I’m all for it, but it worries the heck out of me every time we run Lindsay up the gut. I don’t mind a bit of a pass-heavy offense, but I’m talking more of a 30-35/20-23 ratio.

MHR - We know Case Keenum is best in the play-action, and Bill Musgrave flashed some of that against Arizona. Do you think more of that will help Keenum and how would you like to see Musgrave game plan for our QB?
JasonAult16: Yes, keep doing that. Case is pretty good when he gets out of the pocket. Kansas City will have to honor Denver’s ground game, so using play action should open up some receivers downfield. Speaking of the ground game, RUN. THE. BALL! Seriously, this needs to happen and then happen some more.

Mark Schlereth talks a lot about how two-yard runs are sometimes just as (if not more) effective than seven-yard bubble screen passes because it allows the offensive line to punish the defensive line. The hope is that after three quarters of pounding the rock, those two-yard gains start turning into 10-15 yard gains.

MHR - Chris Harris is calling this a “season-changing” game - which of course it would be if the Broncos can win. He also was completely gassed in the fourth quarter playing the Chiefs last time and had to get three I.V.s How does the defense mentally and physically prepare for this long battle on Sunday?
PJBGFL: Hydrate and expect to play more than is humanly possible. I don’t know how those guys can be on social media and avoid all the negativity, but that would surely help too. Don’t worry about anyone but you. As I alluded to previously - I think the Broncos steeled themselves as far as this goes. I mean, the ‘fire VJ’ train has been runnin’ since last season… I believe most guys can cancel out the noise easily enough, and that helps with the mental side for sure.

Other than that, the ol’ mantra of “doing your job” is always key. And he’s right - if Broncos turn it around this year, it will be because of this game. Hopefully being closer to sea level will give them that much more oxygen in the lungs, and they’re not as gassed in the 4th quarter as last matchup.

MHR - Bradley Roby had a great game against the Cardinals after having some terrible games the two weeks before. Do you think the confidence boost for him - and the entire secondary - will have an actual game-changing effect on the formerly-known-as-the-No-Fly-Zone secondary?
JasonAult16: Confidence is a huge thing. These are pro athletes. The difference between Pro Bowlers and middling players is so vast, yet so small. A lot of that difference is mentality. The fact that the Broncos won so decisively in their last game will be helpful just in having confidence. I’m sure in the losing streak (both this year and last year), when something went bad, it was like, “Crap, here we go again.” Having a great game last time puts some of that good mojo back in their minds.

MHR - In the first matchup, the Broncos were able to contain Kareem Hunt throughout the game and mostly kept Travis Kelce from being a factor or even Tyreek Hill from going crazy. The biggest threat was just bringing Mahomes down. What would you do differently for attacking Mahomes this week versus the rest of the weapons?
PJBGFL: Ask for Chris Harris Jr. and Darian Stewart’s advice. If I had this answer, I’d probably be in a much better station in life. I know Broncos need a “spy” on him every play. It seems prudent to not blitz too much since Mahomes can pull off a quick release pretty consistently. Then again, Mahomes is young enough, and I think QB hits cumulatively get to him a bit. Maybe blitz more! This is the question every D facing KC is trying to work out.

MHR - Players have often defended the coaching staff for the game plans and have acknowledged that much of the inability to win was not living up to expectations for their positions. Where do you come down on how much of the struggles have been player performance v. coaching v. game plan?
JasonAult16: I think it is some combination of all three. The old saying says that “it’s not about the Xs and Os but instead the Jimmys and Joes.” Players have to execute and not make stupid decisions. Just think how differently we would feel if Case Keenum hits Demaryius Thomas at the end of the Chiefs game and (to a bit of a lesser extent since there was more game to be played) Emmanuel Sanders doesn’t get flagged for taunting in the Rams game. Just those two plays. That’s it. That said, it is also on the coaches to put team in position to be successful. If we as fans see that the Broncos run at a successful clip, the coaches have to see that too. When Vance says that they need to give running backs the ball more, Royce and Lindsay have to get more than five touches the next game.

MHR - Which Broncos will be playmakers on Sunday?

PJBGFL: I’m going to say LaCosse and Jewell have their breakout games. Lindsay (because he always will be), Miller, Barrett, S. Harris, CHJ gets another pick, and the O Line makes Us proud.

JasonAult16: For the Broncos to be successful, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb have to get to Patrick Mahomes and sack him. Mahomes has been too comfortable. Hit him hard and often. On offense, Case Keenum needs to have the best game of his Broncos career. The Broncos defense can play well and give up lots of points, so Case has to control the game when he is on the field and make the necessary plays to extend drives and put the ball in the endzone.

MHR - If you were giving John Elway midterm grades for the following subjects, what would the grades be for: Hiring? Free agent acquiring? Drafting? Developing the right culture?


Hiring: C - average despite what the haters would want you to think.

Free Agent acquisition: D - I think We’ve dropped off a bit here. Granted, Manning, D. Ware, Talib and TJ Ward kinda spoiled me as far as FA acquisitions.So I might be like the seeming majority of Broncos Country here, spoiled rotten and being overly harsh.

Drafting: Holy A+ Batman! What a class for 2018!! Compared to last year’s crop… I guess I’d use the cliche “like day and night”.

Culture Development: B - I’ll go with just above average. With a 4 game losing streak not too far in the rear-view… I’d say culture could use some improvement. However, it’s not like We’ve got guys getting in trouble with the law left and right, and if last week is any indication - these guys are playing for their Head Coach. I love seeing that - especially with so much vitriol from a good bit of the fan base.


I still question the Vance Joseph hire. I want to like him, but he does some head-scratching stuff (fortunately, he has stopped talking about good weeks of practice and needing to watch the film).

I’m giving his hire a D for now. He is not a failure yet, but the rope is getting short. This game might ultimately decide his fate with the Broncos.

The free agent signings this year are mixed. Marquette King was a bust. Case Keenum still has time but is trending the wrong way. Jared Veldheer has done some things but has trouble staying healthy. I’ll say a C, though I am hopeful that potentially-plentiful cap space and possibly a new coaching staff will put things in a good spot this offseason.

After a horrible 2017 draft, the Broncos nailed the 2018 edition. I will give that an A. To get back to “winning from now on,” the front office needs to stack a couple more top-notch draft classes on top of that.

I think the culture is OK. Obviously, people are frustrated that the team isn’t as successful as it could be, but I still sense that the desire to win is there (as opposed to the joke that is the Oakland Raiders right now). There is just a fine line between winning and losing. The Broncos are so close to being successful but yet far enough away that major tweaks are still needed.

Predictions: PearlJamBroncoGaryFunk

Stats for Case Keenum? 21/28, 306 yards 3 TD/0 INT

Stats for each Broncos RB? Lindsay 12 carries, 86 yards, 1 TD; Booker 4 carries, 18 yards, 2 receptions, 1 for a TD. If Freeman can’t play, it seems it will only hurt the run game.

Number of yards receiving/TDs for each Broncos receiver? DT - 4 catches for 88 yards, 1 TD. ES - 3 catches for 68 yards, 1 rush for 18 yards. CS - 3 catches for 53 yards. DH -nada. TP - 2 catches for 59 yards and a TD.

Longest FG for McManus? 53 yards

Number of sacks to Keenum? 2

Number of sacks to Mahomes?

Broncos player with the most tackles? Todd Davis and D. Stew tie with 8 each.

Broncos player with the most penalties? I’ll go out on a limb and say Bolles with 2. #Burn

How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 2/1/1

Final Score? Broncos 38 Chiefs 31

Predictions: JasonAult16

Stats for Case Keenum? 15-22, 250 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

Stats for each Broncos RB? Lindsay 110 yards with 2 TDs. Freeman (if he can go)/Booker/others adding another 70 yards.

Number of yards receiving/TDs for each Broncos receiver? Sanders 110 yards and a TD. Thomas 70 yards and a TD. Sutton 40 yards. All others adding 30.

Longest FG for McManus? 45

Number of sacks to Keenum? 3

Number of sacks to Mahomes?

Broncos player with the most tackles? Todd Davis

Broncos player with the most penalties? Garrett Bolles (I would love to be wrong here)

How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 1 pick and 1 INT

Final Score? There is little reason to think the Broncos will win...but I am a homer. Sue me. I’ll never pick them to lose. The Broncos will shut up the Arrowhead crowd and win 31-28.

The Favorites - PearlJamBroncoGaryFunk

Favorite Broncos game EVER? I’d like to be creative here, but SB XXXII can’t be beat when one was raised watching Us almost get there so often but never get it done.

Team(s) you hate to lose to the most? Used to be the ray-duhs, now I suppose it’s a tie between them and the patsies.

Team you love to beat? Any team Tom Brady plays for mwa ha ha ha! Seriously though, it’s the same as whom I hate to lose to - Oakland and NE.

Favorite upcoming game this season? This one!

Toughest game on the schedule? This one (would have said the Rams at the beginning of the season)!

Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Derek Wolfe. Talk about unsung heroes.

Favorite Broncos player of all time? Tie: Rod Smith and Floyd Little

Favorite new guy/rookie on the team?Hard not to say Phillip Lindsay.

Superstitions on game day? I try not to be superstitious. It can easily cause a lot of extra stress if games end words that start with the letter “L”. I don’t get too serious any more, but I have a pair of game day shoes (Nike ID) I wear every game day. My every day eyeglasses are orange and blue Ray-Bans that they don’t make any more, so I guess if anything ever happened to them, I could blame Our woes on my lack of Broncos eyeglasses.

Least favorite game analyst/commentator? Phil Simms. Someone recently posted a pic of a Bengals jersey that had “Shut Up Collinsworth” on the nameplate. Funny, but he actually understands more of the game, so he doesn’t bug me nearly as much. If that had been a Simms/Giants jersey, it couldn’t have been any truer or more funny.

Favorite sports cliche? Time will tell. Because it’s never false, and though it’s saying absolutely nothing, it’s still saying more than “it is what it is”.

Favorite game day playlist? Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp (Led Zeppelin), Are You Experienced? (Jimi Hendrix), Let The Records Play (Pearl Jam), Getaway (Pearl Jam), How Many More Times (Zeppelin), If 6 Was 9 (Jimi), Tell All The People (The Doors), Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pink Floyd), Garden, Deep, Blood, Yellow Ledbetter (all PJ), Your Time Is Gonna Come (Zep), I could go on… but I think the picture is clear enough here.

The Favorites - JasonAult16

Favorite Broncos game EVER? If Broncos fans don’t say Super Bowl XXXII, they are either wrong or not old enough to remember that game. The best game I ever saw in person was the Broncos-Patriots AFC Championship Game in January 2016. I have watched the replay of Roby’s INT on the two-point try dozens of times and I still get nervous watching it. My favorite play that I ever saw was the Tebow-Thomas touchdown against the Steelers. I bawled tears of joy while Mile High lost its collective mind that night.

Team(s) you hate to lose to the most? I live in the heart of Chiefs territory. I hate the Chiefs (and their annoying fans) more than anything else in sports. I have decided that I kinda want the Raiders good enough that games means something, but with the Chiefs, I just prefer that they go 0-16 every year.

Team you love to beat? See previous question. I ALWAYS love beating the Chiefs.

Favorite upcoming game this season? I will say the Chargers game in the regular season finale only because there is an outside chance that I could go to that game if things work out well (both with the Broncos making that game relevant and other logistical stuff in my own life).

Toughest game on the schedule? The next one is always the toughest because it’s the next one. The fact that this next one is on the road against one of the best teams in the NFL solidifies that answer.

Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Von Miller

Favorite Broncos player of all time? John Elway is my favorite athlete of all time period.

Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Phillip Lindsay. He plays so hard, has great speed, and overall seems like a good dude. I was impressed with his dialogue with Terrell Davis about wearing #30.

Superstitions on game day? I am in a group of four buddies who text each other to discuss thoughts on the Broncos (particularly game commentary) and other things going on in our lives. Not gonna lie...those discussions can be quite legendary. My mom and I also used to have superstitions with arranging Broncos dolls in our house around the TV based on what direction the Broncos were going on the screen.

Least favorite game analyst/commentator? Phil Simms used to annoy me but he doesn’t do games anymore. Cris Collinsworth has started to fill that role now. For some reason, Ian Eagle annoys me a little bit too...not sure why.

Favorite sports cliche? One game at a time...

Favorite game day playlist? I actually do have a Broncos mix for my roadies to Denver. I always play John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” upon crossing the Colorado border. “Rocky Mountain Way” by Joe Walsh is another one on that list. The Broncos Fight Song is pretty catchy too. Also, while slightly cheesy, I have come to appreciate the “Let It Go” parody that the kid from the Children’s Hospital wrote about the Broncos. My wife loves “Frozen,” so the song doesn’t bother me as much it does others.

How did you become a Broncos fan?

Born and raised into it. When I was about 15, I started questioning my fanhood - “Am I a fan just because my parents are? Just because I’m from Colorado?” and I researched as well as I could at the time, all (yes all) NFL ownership. I found that Green Bay was a distant second place compared to Mr. Bowlen, and then only because they allow fans to own part of the team. I have yet to find a professional sports owner who actually did as much for their sport as a whole - let alone more - than Mr. B.

So there I am, a teenager, wondering about what impact my favorite team has - other than on the field of play. Then, fortunately for all of Us, a few short years later, We finally brought home a Lombardi! Then another!! Needless to say (if you are a Colorado native), once a Broncos fan, it would take something extremely drastic to change that in anyone.

Granted, I have a whole dichotomy of the definition of fan. FAN vs. “casual fan.” Typically, I can name more starters on the team We’re playing than your average “fan” of that team can. This is where I define a “casual fan” - sure you might own your team’s gear, but if you don’t know Xs and Os (at least a little) and don’t have historical facts memorized, let alone your team’s starters, I consider you a casual fan. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Just a distinction to be made, that can definitely impact the validity of one’s opinion (ahem - that’s for you all you “fire so and so” people - just freakin’ relax and enjoy what’s there to enjoy. If you feel like you’re worthy enough to make those decisions, maybe you should get your a$$ to school, then intern for free for a while for college teams, then take YEARS and YEARS to work your way up the ladder, THEN maybe I’d agree that you have a “right” to bit@h and moan that “your” team isn’t doing what you think they should be - but then I guess, you’d actually be making said decisions and hearing from all of the other “former yous” out there so it would be moot).

I could write a book on this question, so I will try to give the Cliff Notes version. My dad, Loren Ault, grew up in Hays, Kansas (halfway between Denver and Kansas City). When he was a kid in the late 1960s/early 1970s, his older sister moved to Denver and sent him a Broncos shirt. He figured that everyone else he knew rooted for the Chiefs, so he’d be the contrarian and root for the Broncos. That was before they were ever good.

Loren’s Little Buddy (me) was born in August 1983, not long after some guy named John Elway was traded to Denver. When I was 6, Dad took me to Arrowhead to see No. 7 lead the Broncos on a game-winning drive over the Chiefs (imagine that). If not before that moment, I was totally hooked after that and became a walking Broncos encyclopedia, learning everything I could about the team.

My dad died in 2007, so he unfortunately wasn’t alive to see me get season tickets in 2009. Every time I have gone to a game since his death, I think about Dad during the national anthem, shed a few tears, and point to the sky to tell Dad how much I love him.

Broncos Country grew this past March when my son was born. I so look forward to the 2022 season when I can take him to his first game.

Oh, and his name? DENVER William Ault!


Which iconic and unique Bronco name would you want to name your kid/grandkid/dog?

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