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This week’s Ultimate Fan is the first to predict a loss - which hopefully will mean a win!

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Hey, reverse psychology can work!

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos are looking at “some 3-5 bullsh*t” right now and nobody likes the idea of another loss before the Bye Week - especially this week’s Ultimate Fan. But it’s getting harder to be optimistic about the team’s chances at salvaging the season when it keeps making costly mistakes at very inopportune times.

KilledByAnAngel becomes the first Ultimate Fan this season to predict a loss, but don’t be too hard on him - the last time a fan did that, the Broncos responded with a win just to show us...and we’ll take that all day long - won’t we, KilledByAnAngel?

Of course we will. :)

Week 9: Texans at Broncos

MHR - Broncos hung tough with Kansas City for part of the game but couldn’t keep it together long enough - whether it was penalties or other mistakes - to really make a run for a win. Is that what this 2018 team is - “just not quite good enough”?
KilledByAnAngel: Unfortunately, I think so. As much as I want to keep chugging the orange kool-aid, I’ve lost hope that this team can get over the hump of mediocrity. I’m not sure exactly what the necessary change is to be “good enough,” but my gut tells me that it’s a coaching change. We have a tremendous amount of talent on our team but it’s not coming together under this staff. The fact that we have hung in there against some of the best teams in the league tells me that we’re not lacking for heart.

MHR - Demaryius Thomas is now a Texan. Do you like this move? How do you think Courtland Sutton will do in a No. 1 WR role?
KilledByAnAngel: I was actually shocked by the uproar that this move created in Broncos Country. It felt like just the other day that everybody was adamant that we trade DT. Ultimately, I do like the move. DT has been one of my favorites for a long time - his is one of the few jerseys I own.

But there’s no denying that he has lost a step and is no longer the No. 1 receiver on our team. Between the salary and lack of production, it was time to move on. This is one of those circumstances where the move was best for both parties involved. It allows DT to go play with an actual quarterback and have a shot at the post-season, and it frees up cap space for us while giving Sutton a chance to grow.

Sutton is still rough around the edges, as you would expect from a rookie, but his physical ability has already flashed dramatically. He’s got great body control and the ability to make contested catches look easy. I agree with what Elway said - moving Sutton into a more starring role is only going to aid in his development, and I expect great things from him from here on out.

MHR - Bill Musgrave called more running plays against KC and it paid off. Yesterday he said “I second the f****** motion” when reminded Broncos lead the league in yards per carry. Do you believe Phillip Lindsay and Devontae Booker can have the same success against the Texans run defense, which has gotten much better the past five games?
KilledByAnAngel: This is going to be the stiffest run defense we have faced, so I’m not as confident our tandem will find quite as much success. I would have more confidence in our run game if our passing game was a viable threat, but that’s not where we’re at right now. I do have faith that Lindsay and Booker will be able to gain yardage, especially if Musgrave commits to the ground game. But the moment that we fall behind or the Texans stack the box, that’s all she wrote.

MHR - The Texans’ front 7 - led by JJ Watt - can totally wreck an offense. How do you think Case Keenum and the Broncos’ O-line will do against this group? What kind of play calls for Keenum would you put in the game plan this week?
KilledByAnAngel: Between Bolles’ propensity for penalties (which has not improved this season) and the injuries that have fallen upon our O-line, I’m worried about it. Keenum is holding on to the ball too long, which is a deadly combination with our poor pass protection.

We need the same kind of play calls for Keenum that we need every week - we need to get him outside of the pocket. He thrived on play action and roll outs with the Vikings. Musgrave should call plays that don’t require Keenum to be a pure pocket passer.

MHR - Two weeks ago Colby Wadman had a 50-yard punt. Last week, a 12-yarder. Are you concerned about our punting situation, especially when it needs to happen so often in our games?
KilledByAnAngel: Of all of the things I’m concerned about, punting is not high on the list right now. Wadman seems to be having the struggles of getting used to playing professionally, but I think he’ll improve with more experience. Sadly, with as much as we’ll need to punt, an ugly shank or two is to be expected.

MHR - Bradley Chubb was just named Defensive Rookie of the Month. What kind of impact do you expect him to keep having this season and down the road? Do you believe choosing Chubb over a QB was still the right move in the draft by Elway?
KilledByAnAngel: Chubb’s progression has been awesome to see! I expect him to continue to improve as the season wears on. Despite a slow start, we’re starting to see the powerful combination of Von Miller and Chubb that we all expected when he was drafted. He’s going to acquire more and more skills, his instincts will become more refined, and we already know he has the motor to power it all.

Choosing Chubb was absolutely the best move in the draft. Although we are in DESPERATE need of a proper QB, there was not going to be one available where we were picking, especially with the QB-needy teams ahead of us. Despite the fact that we already had Von, we went with the BPA and you can truly never have enough edge rushers in this league. This tag team is going to pay dividends for us for many seasons to come.

MHR - Deshaun Watson is a talented QB who has become more and more comfortable each game after having a season-ending injury last year. How should the Broncos attempt to contain him?
KilledByAnAngel: We’ll have to use a game plan that is similar to how we kept Russell Wilson in the pocket. Our edge rushers can’t lose contain on the outside. With that said, Watson can still damage you from inside the pocket, so we’ll need our DBs to hold up on the back end. That’s easier said than done with Hopkins and now DT, but if we get those two aspects of our D mostly working, we’ll be able to get some push up the middle of our defensive line and limit Watson’s playmaking ability.

MHR - Su’a Cravens is back on the field this week. What kind of improvement can he bring to the secondary to help against DeAndre Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas?
KilledByAnAngel: To me, Cravens’ impact is all potential right now. We’ve talked about him as a savior since the moment we acquired him, but until I actually see him on the field performing at a high level, I have a hard time fathoming any improvement from his contributions. I love that he came out and said, “I’m going to try to blast somebody” because I’m eager to see that kind of tenacity.

I don’t see him contributing much against Hopkins and DT but I look forward to him covering the tight end, playing hard nosed against the run, and blitzing.

MHR - The run defense has been gashed in several games, a few times by mediocre running backs. Lamar Miller has been great the past two games but hasn’t faced the toughest of defenses. Who has the better day on Sunday - Lamar Miller or the Broncos’ defense?
KilledByAnAngel: Broncos’ defense for sure. Miller isn’t going to make it to three straight 100-yard games. He’ll find a bit of success, but I think our D is going to clamp down on the Texans’ run game and force them to beat us in other ways.

MHR - What are your thoughts on the season - do the Broncos have any chance at all for a Wild Card spot, are they going to end up with “some 7-9 bullsh*t” or should they tank to go for a better draft pick?
KilledByAnAngel: I really, REALLY want to say that they have a chance at a Wild Card spot, but I can’t see it happening. Not with our coaching staff and not with Keenum’s unsteady play. Our defense has the potential to be world-beaters but also ends up giving up massive games due to ineffective play calling.

The Broncos will never tank - there’s just too much damn heart on the team. But I do see us in the Jeff Fisher range of 7-9. Just good enough to not get a blue chip draft pick but bad enough to give us our first back-to-back losing seasons in decades.

MHR - Finally, Chris Harris joked (but not really) that he would win the one-on-one with DT if matched up in Sunday’s game because he “was just that good.” On the day Broncos honor DT, who gets the best of the matchup?
KilledByAnAngel: I have to agree with Harris on this one. In watching DT week to week, my highly developed sense of being a couch coach tells me that he has slowed down. His route running is still great, but he doesn’t seem to fight for balls and certainly doesn’t have the speed he used to. I’m sure Harris has slowed down as well, but you wouldn’t know it from his prowess in the secondary. But I see DT getting around 70 yards and a score if another corner is covering him.

Predictions

Stats for Case Keenum? 22/35, 275 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Stats for each Broncos RB? Lindsay: 80 yards, 1 TD. Booker: 48 yards.

Number of yards receiving/TDs for each Broncos receiver? Sanders: 97 yards, 1 TD. Sutton: 57 yards, 1 TD.

Longest FG for McManus? 52 yards.

Number of sacks to Keenum?

Number of sacks to Deshaun Watson?

Broncos player with the most tackles? Todd Davis

Broncos player with the most penalties? Garrett Bolles

How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 1 INT, 1 FF, 0 FR

Final Score? 27 Texans, 24 Broncos (Sorry!)

The Favorites

Favorite Broncos game EVER? There have been so many good ones, but I have to go with Super Bowl 50. It was the culmination of what felt like a magical season and provided a ring for deserving players like DeMarcus Ware.

Team(s) you hate to lose to the most? The Chiefs. Mainly because of the fan base and my dislike of the walrus coach and the obnoxious Kelce.

Team you love to beat? The P*ts. Any time someone can beat them is cause for celebration.

Favorite upcoming game this season? I’m eager to see how we do against the Bolts. It’s always a blast to watch Rivers pout.

Toughest game on the schedule? The Steelers. Between Antonio Brown and James Conner, they have so many dynamic weapons.

Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Emmanuel Sanders! Great guy in the community, full of charisma, and pours everything he has into the game.

Favorite Broncos player of all time? Terrell Davis. Total class act and one of the most fun to watch.

Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Lindsay! The underdog, undrafted story is hugely compelling, and he always runs like his hair is on fire. It’s electric every time he touches the ball.

Superstitions on game day? I can’t wear any Broncos gear - it’s a guaranteed loss.

Least favorite game analyst/commentator? Lord almighty. So many of them. Let’s go with Collinsworth though. Here’s a guy who could drive you up a wall with his sack riding.

Favorite sports cliche? “Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships.”

How did you become a Broncos fan?

Birthright! I was born in Colorado, and the family has always been Broncos fans.