Welcome to the No Bull Review. I take pride in doing my best to get a sound, honest take of any game the Broncos play, how their player play, and how their coaches coach.
Let me start off by inviting some of my more emotive brothers and sisters in Broncos Country to step back away from the cliff edge.
I’ve never really identified with the whole idea that a game that was close is a “heartbreaker” or a “devastating loss”. I’m not going to start this week either.
The truth is there are in my mind 5 types of outcomes in any NFL game:
- A win
- A loss
- A tie
- A blowout loss
- A break-your-foot-off-in-the-opponent’s-ass win
This was a loss.
The season is not over.
The coaches should not be fired.
It was one game.
Let’s see how this team responds…let’s see how many fighters we have in the mighty Orange and Blue this year.
Until then, let’s go ahead and review this one game that is only one game out of 16 that make up the Broncos’ NFL season.
Things didn’t work out like we want late in the game, but for the most part, this defense came ready to play. Also, this Defensive Coordinator came ready to coach. I think the play calls and execution largely over the course of the game were very well done.
You have to understand that when you put your fan hate aside, the Chiefs are an extremely talented NFL team on offense. They have some of the best weapons in the NFL and it isn’t just one player that you can key on to slow them down.
The only nit-pick I have at all with our defensive game plan was the call on 3rd and 30. That play call was absolutely dumb. The team should have gone into a cover-3 or cover-4 shell about 15 yards out and kept everything in front of them while you either blitz or drop an extra guy in coverage. Going man on that play was not smart at all.
Let me get this one out there: Von Miller...where you at? Don’t get me wrong...I see a TFL from you. I also see a couple of QB hits where your pressure was there. But where’s the game impacting sack? The only game impacting play I saw from you was another offsides penalty. We need our superstar pass rusher to get it done in a big game like this (and don’t worry Von or Broncos Country...I’m calling out a few others before we’re said and done).
I’m impressed with the play of Bradley Chubb. He’s not loud and making noise yet, but he’s solid on the edge and he definitely has the pass rush moves to be a big deal. We’re still waiting for him to have his break out game, but my eyes tell me it is coming.
I liked the play of Todd Davis a whole lot. I think he’s playing the best football of any of our inside linebackers and it isn’t even close. He had a sack and a couple of QB hits on the game along with a smattering of tackles. The guy overall looked solid in pass coverage as well.
I also thought Derek Wolfe had a very impactful game up front. Surprisingly, he was one of the best contributors to the small semblance of interior pass rush we saw on Monday night.
I love me some Chris Harris Jr. Since he joined the team I’ve only dug his game more and more. He’s damn near the perfect cornerback play to play with technique, play recognition, and athletic ability. I’m also glad he’s being more vocal as a leader of the team and calling out the coaching where he is. The team needs a guy like him who has the ring, the ability, and the goods to back up what he says when it comes to what happens on the field.
I also want to give some credit to Bradley Roby. He had a very positive game overall (one really bad missed tackle that I noted, but a great pass defense and a lot of solid coverage outside of that).
Adam Jones needs to stay healthy. His game is at times up and down. He isn’t always right on his guy, but he was a guy the Broncos leaned on in this game and when he wasn’t here last week, our defense suffered without him on the field.
There was a lot to like in the offensive performance from the Broncos. The only thing that is starting to drive me batty about this offense is their foolish hesitation to stick to the run game early and often when it is working. You can call this a fault in almost every game this year and for this week’s game it was absolutely one of the big reasons the team lost the game.
You have a RB corp that is rushing for an absolutely insane 7.2 ypc. Why aren’t you leaning on it? Why do you keep wanting a journeyman QB to air it out when the only thing he’s looking consistent at is being inaccurate with his passes.?
Run. The. Frigging. Ball.
Case Keenum, it is time for you to un-foxtrot your head and get back to something good. You had your play. DT was wide open and you badly missed him. Also, let me squash any nonsense about DT screwing up the timing...that was not a timing route. That was a shake the coverage and get open route that was overthrown...it is Keenum’s job to get the ball where DT can catch it, not a route where DT needs to be at a spot.
Like many of the games so far this year, there were plenty of really good passes by Keenum. His INT this week was absolutely NOT on him. He didn’t make a stupid risky throw. He made several clutch throws that were contested.
But this team needs you to do more. If you are afraid of failing our team or throwing a pick, just stop it. Get back to trusting the guys you play with and trust your God-given ability and experience. You can be a winner with this team, this year, but you have to get out of your own way. Tell the coaches to get their heads out of their asses and run the ball more. Tell them what is working and what isn’t. Be real and don’t try to be too much. You aren’t Aaron Rogers, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees. That’s okay. Case Keenum is enough.
Garrett Bolles is lacking focus and it has cost us the past two games. After two terrible plays in a row, he got himself right and played the rest of the game solid. He has to get better. We can’t afford for him to keep having these kind of 10+ yard negative drive killing mistakes. He was drafted to be our starting left tackle and is looking like the biggest weakness on the line over two games now.
Big shout out to Billy Turner. He’s come in again as a backup tackle and held it down at RT like a boss. Honestly, he should start with as good as he’s been playing. His run blocking is devastating and his pass blocking is very solid.
Royce Freeman is the man. He showed super balance, vision, burst, and power in this game. He needs to see more snaps and more carries every week. It is an absolute atrocity that he played so frigging well and only carried the ball 8 times.
Phillip Lindsay also was absolutely sublime and had a superb game. I like where he’s at from a snap count place unless the team wants to scheme more specific pass plays for him (if they can scheme him in space he’s the kind of guy who can house it with one guy making a mistake).
Don’t get me wrong here: Devontae Booker played good. But there’s no way he should be seeing 20 snaps in a game. NO WAY. He couldn’t carry either Lindsay or Freeman’s jock on the football field and the coaches absolutely should be called out on their unexplainable decision to keep rotating him in so often as the game wears on. And don’t give me any nonsense about his veteran ability to pass block...both the other guys have shown that they can do it...roll with them and take your lumps as they learn because their upside is way too big to keep them on the bench.
Andy Janovich needs to see more of the field as well honestly. I love what the offense can do with him in the game from both a run and pass mentality. He’s a solid football player and adds an edge to the team that few other teams in the NFL have.
Jeff Heuerman sucked on the interception. He should have adjusted and fought for the ball. He should have not had so much distance between him and the defender either because he can out jump that kid. Denver needs tight end talent and while he had some decent plays, this guy isn’t the answer.
Demaryius Thomas played a hell of a game. He should have had the game winner. I loved his route running and he showed good hands in this one.
Courtland Sutton is getting better and I like how much more the team is targeting him. He’s going to be a very talented guy in the league for a long time and his speed and athletic ability is starting more and more to show up on the field.
Emmanuel Sanders is the glue for this offense. I don’t know how to get him the ball more, but I’d love to see it. Good things happen with Sanders involved.
Let me say this about Marquette King: He isn’t the reason we lost the game. While VJ can definitely throw shade his way (because he is sucking), he seems to be getting flak and scapegoated a bit in the new conferences. Sure...he isn’t doing good enough. So stop talking about it and cut him. He’s a frigging punter who is looking like a downgrade from what we had last year. But let’s hold up on talking about him so much...he’s frigging insignificant compared to so many other factors on the team.
Let’s not get too down on this one, Broncos Country. This team was 5-11 last year. We’re looking for competitive football (which was absolutely missing last year). That’s what we got this week against the 2nd best opponent we’ll see in 2018.
Here’s what to look for next week, though. How do you respond after that loss that you were so close to getting? Are you going to keep just practicing hard and putting in the work? Or are you going to take it to the New York Jets and show the whole world that they aren’t on your level (because they aren’t)?
While I think Broncos Country needs to chill, the players and coaches need a very different message: you are looking like the Skittles brigade from 2017. You look like a team that is starting to lose its edge and fall to pieces. Is that who you are? Because if it is, there’s a lot of coaches that are going to lose their jobs. If it is, there are aging high-paid players that are going to get straight dropped like a bad habit.
Enough is enough...come out and lay a beat down next week (cause spoiler alert: you are going to get your asses beat in week 6...I’m pretty sure KC would lose by 20 to the Rams).
You guys know the drill...hit me up in the comments. Am I slapping lipstick on a pig? Are we seeing a crappy head coach as his season is going down the drain? What else did you see that made you proud of this team?