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Why the Broncos aren’t built to win in 2018

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What is it that makes the top teams successful? Apparently there are only two approaches that work and Denver needs to pick one.

For those of you who listened to the Broncos & Bratwurst podcast will find this post familiar but it’s interesting enough to explore further what it takes to win in the modern day NFL.

The premise of the article is that there are seven teams that stand out from the rest of the league at this point in the season and the Denver Broncos should be looking at them as examples of how to build a winning team. As you’ll see, there are some very clear trends that point there being only two ways to build a successful franchise in the era of zero defense and college style offenses.

The top seven teams are debatable and teams that barely miss this list are the L.A Chargers and the Indianapolis Colts. Without further ado, here are our best teams in the NFL and the three keys to their success.

L.A Rams

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Young, offensive Head Coach - Reports of the brilliance of Sean McVay can be found with ease anywhere you look and there’s no question that he is one of the top offensive gurus in the league who is a key to his team’s success.
  2. Cheap QB - Jared Goff is on a rookie contract and there have even been rumors that the team will not extend when it ends. He was a guy who was benched for Case Keenum while under HC, Jeff Fischer but has blossomed into a very good passer under McVay.
  3. Great RB - Todd Gurley is an MVP candidate and there would be few who argue against him being the top back in all of football.

Kansas City Chiefs

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Offensive Head Coach - Andy Reid has been one of the top QB whisperers and offensive masterminds for twenty-plus years and has the best weapons yet of his illustrious career.
  2. Cheap QB - Patrick Maholmes has exploded onto the scene in his second year and is the leading MVP candidate and a true wunderkind at his position. He’s also on a rookie contract and is very cheap considering his top 3 MVP status.
  3. Really good RB - Kareem Hunt isn’t on the level of Gurley and so it’d be unfair to use “great” by his name. Still, he is far above average and gives the team that downhill style that tires the heck out of opponents.

New Orleans Saints

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Offensive Head Coach. -Sean Payton is one of the more inventive and unusual play callers that we have ever seen and he has put his offense in good positions to win for nearly 15 years.
  2. Hall of Fame QB - Drew Brees is one of the greatest statistical passers of all time and perhaps the most underappreciated. He will break every passing record before all is said and done and he is one of the few guys who can succeed no matter who he has as weapons around him.
  3. Great RB - Alvin Kamara is another guy who busted onto the scene recently and has given this offense an entirely new and explosive wrinkle to an already great offense. He is a top 3 talent at the position and is a potential offensive player of the year.

Chicago Bears

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Young, offensive Head Coach - Matt Nagy is the rookie of the year of the HCs through week 11 and he has had led his squad to more success than many expected for a team that was still rebuilding. He quickly rose through the coaching ranks and earned the job after coaching as OC for Andy Reid in Kansas City.
  2. Cheap QB - Mitchell Trubisky could end up having the best season of all time for a Chicago Bear’s signal caller. That’s perhaps not saying much but the second year player is proving to be worth the high pick and consistently leads his team to wins.
  3. Great Defense - If you have the Bear’s D in your fantasy football league then we need not say more. The addition of Khalil Mack in the offseason is looking to be a masterstroke and they are one of the best and most explosive defenses we’ve seen in a few years.

Houston Texans

NFL: Houston Texans at Washington Redskins Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Offensive Head Coach - Bill O’brien is maybe not the most respected of the coaches on this list but he has some positive history as an offensive mind and he has had moderate success - at least compared to the other Belichick disciples -.
  2. Cheap QB - DeShaun Watson is one of the brightest young stars in the NFL and a guy who often single-handedly wins games for his team. He’s still on his rookie contract and seems to be back to full health after a nasty injury in 2017.
  3. Really good defense - They are a top-ten defense with stars like JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney leading the way. They aren’t world beaters but are good enough to give the offense a chance to put things away with their young QB.

Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Consistent Leadership - Mike Tomlin is not considered a great coach but this is a team that year in and year out is competitive and consistent. Players, fans and coaches know each year what they will get from their front office and ownership and this is key to earning the trust of players - as long as they aren’t named Le’veon Bell.
  2. Hall of fame QB - Say what you will about the guy, Ben Roethlisberger will undoubtedly earn the gold jacket considering his two Super Bowl wins and his many years of success. He’s also another passer who seems to get better with age and is having another fantastic season for the Steelers.
  3. Hall of fame WR - You could also point to a good defense and solid offensive line but when you think of Pittsburgh, Antonio Brown immediately comes to mind. One of the best receivers of the last decade, Brown is a guy who puts up the stats each week but always seems to show up the most in the biggest games.

New England Patriots

NFL: New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Great Head Coach - What more needs to be said about the Hoodie. He is perhaps the greatest coach of all time and has led teams with seemingly little talent to successful seasons and Super Bowl Victories.
  2. Hall of fame QB - As with Belichick, Tom Brady requires no description. One of the top 3 passers of all time, Brady has led some of the greatest offenses ever and raises all boats in terms of production and talent.
  3. Consistent leadership - Though the Hoodie may not be loved by his players and Brady is known for his sideline tantrums, the team does nothing but win year after year after year. From the top down they are the epitome of a well run franchise and as they say, success breeds success.

Winning Approach

So what did we learn from this long list of nice things about other teams - some of which we hate - ? There are clearly just two approaches to winning in today’s NFL:

  • Find a hall of fame QB and/or coach.
  • Hire an offensive HC and build a team around a young and cheap QB.

Since it’s extremely difficult to bring in a true game changer at quarterback and hall of fame coaches earn that title over many years of trial and error, it seems clear that the Broncos should aim for the second strategy. Bring in an offensive Head Coach - best if young and full of energy - and find a young QB who you can fit into a system while you spend your money on the talent around him.

This is not a far fetched scheme for our Broncos and it’s a very real possibility that they are already working on a plan to bring this idea to fruition. This should give us real hope and the idea that our team is only a QB, a coach and a few other pieces away from success should help us survive a “whelming” 2018 season.

So, do you agree? Let me know in the comments if you would rather a different strategy or if you think I am wrong about the current trends of winningness.

Quick Thoughts from the Skipper Dude

As fans, most of us scratched our heads when the Rams and Eagles collectively traded four first-round, three second-round, three third-round and one fourth-round pick for Jared Goff and Carson Wentz in the 2016 draft. And then we straight-up laughed (I know I did) when the Bears traded two third round picks and a fourth in 2017 to move up one spot to pick Mitchell Trubisky.

Mitchell Trubisky? Really?

But here it is 2018, and who’s laughing now?

Join Kevin and me on the Broncos and Bratwurst podcast over the next couple of weeks as we explore our plan for “fixing the Broncos” and discuss the coaching staff and finding the Denver Broncos franchise QB of the future.

Poll

Which team should the Broncos imitate?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    L.A Rams
    (838 votes)
  • 5%
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    (85 votes)
  • 6%
    New England Patriots
    (105 votes)
  • 33%
    None of the above
    (519 votes)
1547 votes total Vote Now