It has been quite a struggle this week to dig in and knock out my normal No Bull Review. I finally have an evening to work on writing (thank goodness for being done with finals!) and I decided to take Broncos Country for a little bit different direction instead of my normal game review.
I do have some takeaways for you but will keep them short and simple:
- The biggest problem from a personnel standpoint was the offensive line. They looked absolutely pathetic in every facet of their jobs overall.
- Case Keenum morphed into Trevor Siemian...how did this happen!? Dude needs to strap on a bag of marbles and start trying to go downfield.
- Our young WRs suck at route running and creating separation though
- Joe Woods / Vance Joseph are out of their damned minds with the lack of a game plan for George Kittle and the failure to adjust to him in the first quarter when it was obvious that he was the main issue (I could have told you this well before the first quarter though…)
- Joseph was a bumbling idiot in his overall management of the game - bad challenge, failure to challenge a bad call that would have been overturned, and constantly going for it on 4th down when points could have helped.
- I mostly loved the work of the front-7 in the game...they defended well and rushed the QB well.
It has been a roller coaster season
We started off winning for a couple of weeks. Then we lost and lost and lost and the sky was falling. We then rattled off three very nice wins to get our hopes up. Then we lost to the hapless 49ers.
I get it. I’m on the ride with all of you out there in Broncos Country. We bleed orange and blue, and we love cheering for this team. When they suck, we get negative. When they rock, we are on cloud nine.
But when I try to analyze this team, its players, its coaches, and its front office, I try to take a step back and put my opinions together in a sensible manner. I largely use what I’ve seen over time about all facets of the team and put together assumptions based off that evidence. Some of it is the ability to read people. Some of it is just good ole common sense. Some of it is the eye test, and yes I do look at some stats here and again to get a better idea in some areas of what is going on.
The team may have been up and down, but let me tell you that I’m standing firm on a few things:
Vance Joseph is not cut out as a NFL Head Coach
He’s about as much a NFL level head coach as Trevor Siemian is an NFL-level starting quarterback...or as much as Ben Garland is an NFL-level starting guard...or as much as Rahim Moore was a NFL-level starting free safety.
That last loss should (if John Elway has more than one brain cell firing upstairs) be the nail in the coffin for Joseph as the head coach for the Denver Broncos.
It doesn’t matter how new he is.
It doesn’t matter if he improved on his mark of 5-11 last season.
It doesn’t matter if we don’t have an answer at quarterback (we don’t...that’s a subject for another day though).
Joseph is not a “leader of men.”
He is not a savvy coach on game day from the sideline.
He doesn’t inspire anyone or anything.
He needs to go, and we need to find someone who can do a better job.
Either Joe Woods isn’t cut to be a DC or Joseph meddles too much
It is one of the two or both.
This defense while very soft at cornerback and having some big question marks at safety, has a lot of talent and the capability to be very good. Just look back to that recent three-game win streak. They stopped the run. They created turnovers. The pass rush was consistently present. They were pretty good on third down.
Most of the problems I see tend to come from the coaches calling a vanilla defense and getting exploited by mismatches. The best examples of this were last week with Kittle and Kyle Shanahan using him to rack up huge gains on offense.
With the coaching focused on branching out into more zone coverages (which they have run a lot more of this year at times), it appears to have required more simplistic calls and less creative design. I’ve seen far fewer blitzes even on obvious passing downs. I’ve also not seen many post snap coverage shifts where you start out looking like man, but guys rotate into zone out of it or vice versa.
Bill Musgrave is very good at play designing, but lacks ability to adjust on game day
I have really enjoyed a lot of the designs Musgrave has put together this year. I have absolutely loved how he’s designed the run game to work for the different backs. I also love how effective he’s gotten the line to be.
But on game day, the fancy designs work for a handful of plays. The rest of the game marches on, and we look very bland.
Maybe a lot of that is on the quarterback.
It could also be that there just hasn’t been a lot of well developed talent on the offense that allows Musgrave to switch things up on game day.
But adjustments just don’t seem to be his forte and they certainly don’t happen until halftime.
The worst thing that could happen to the Denver Broncos is for them to win out the rest of the season
Don’t get me wrong; I want them to and will be cheering for them to win every game.
But winning out gives a very big opportunity for John Elway to kick the can down the road yet another year on Vance Joseph. Elway likes having his “Yes” man at coach and is going to have a hard time finding another one quite as malleable as Vance Joseph has been.
What the team needs is a real, honest reboot. They need a new coach, they need a new vision, and they need a coaching staff that can get the players dialed into that vision so that the team can be far more successful than it will ever be under Vance Joseph.
Also they need a real quarterback...which means they need draft capital to use in order to help get one. Waiting for another Peyton Manning to fall into their laps isn’t happening and is not a plan.
Cleveland is absolutely no joke. Losing to them isn’t something I think is out of the realm of possibility (which I can’t say the same about last week honestly). But if the Broncos are a good NFL team, they should beat Cleveland.
The Raiders are absolutely a joke. If we don’t beat them handily, then Vance really is a dumpster fire.
The Chargers the last week of the season will be no easy game for the Broncos. If they were to play spoiler, it would help placate the fans going into the offseason.
Be ready, Broncos Country.
Change is coming...and it should have honestly happened last year with that absolute atrocity of a season that was 2017.
As always, hit me up in the comments and share your thoughts on the game, the coaching situation, or even how much John Elway is responsible for the sorry state of the team.