Halfway through the season and I am back to a normal review since the Denver Broncos are back to playing somewhat decent football... at least on defense.
I’m not going to focus as much this week on the big picture or the coaching and instead, we’re going to dig in nice and deep into the players and what is happening on the field. Buckle up, Buttercup. This isn’t going to be a nice stroll in the country.
I have to say, I’m pretty impressed honestly with what Vic Fangio is being able to do with the players he has on defense. We have absolutely zero depth at corner and are missing a playmaking ILB to match with Alexander Johnson. But this defense is absolutely killing it.
Really a lot of the credit for this team being able to slow anyone down goes to the front seven. With Bradley Chubb out, we’re seeing some pretty impactful play from Malik Reed. He isn’t jumping off the stat sheet, but he’s doing a pretty decent job applying pressure for a rookie.
Derek Wolfe has absolutely been killing it up front against the run and the pass. He had two sacks, 2 QB hits, a FF, and a TFL and absolutely looks like a man making a statement about still being a great NFL talent. He’s setting himself up for a nice final contract after this season honestly.
Von Miller is back to wreaking havoc. I implore any and all of you out there in Broncos Country to straight up change radio stations the next time you hear anyone talking trash on Von’s game from this year. He’s adjusted to the defense and is still elite. I think he’s figuring out how to manage himself and the high number of snaps as well. The fact that he’s having a 1.5 sack, 3 TFL, 2 QB hit game when the other team knows he’s the best player and is scheming to stop him speaks for itself.
I know this defense is new and as I mentioned above it has taken the players some time to adjust, but where is the Todd Davis from last season? I honestly expected him to thrive with Fangio. It isn’t that he’s bad though...he just looks kinda average out there compared to Johnson. I’m curious to see if he’s just a bit behind the eight ball from his injury.
Let’s start off with a little discussion about Justin Simmons. They need to sign this guy yesterday. He’s a superb talent at safety and is a guy you would like the team to build around as they try to get better in 2020. He’s one of the big reasons that teams aren’t having any luck getting big plays on this defense and it isn’t just because he’s playing deep. He knows where he needs to be and where the ball is going and has the skills to attack it. He was 2nd on the team in tackles this week and had a superb pass defense to boot.
Coty Sensabaugh on the other hand really looked bad to me. I’d darn near say I’d prefer to see Isaac Yiadom out there honestly. That we’re trotting out guys like this and still making a decent showing on defense is a real credit to the coaches honestly.
Here’s where things get ugly. As much as I liked what I saw early in the season from this offense, I am honestly beside myself at the ineptitude I saw from the offense this week. I really didn’t note any kind of play design that impressed me in this game from Rich Scangarello, though I’m not entirely sure that is his fault. I think there are some pretty huge issues with our offense that are screwing everything up at this point and there’s just no good way to scheme around them.
The biggest problem that the offense is having is that Joe Flacco has turned into a man with no stones. On almost every 3rd down, he’s just looking for an escape instead of looking for an open man. I know earlier this season I said the problem wasn’t Flacco, but after 2 games in a row of this hapless wonder, I’m honestly done with the experiment. QBs in the NFL need to be able to step up and deliver a throw in pressure situations, not throw the ball away and stroll to the sideline while what’s left of their moxie trickles down their leg.
And while I’m on the subject of Flacco, let me say this about his post game talk about how he wanted the team to be aggressive on 3rd and 5. You have got to be kidding me, Joe. The reason the offense isn’t going for it on 3rd and 5 is because you wouldn’t actually go for it on 3rd and 3 or 5, or 6, or 8. Yeah. There’s a laundry list of 3rd downs you had in the game that you gave up on. Don’t go to the media post game and talk trash on the coordinator. How is he supposed to call plays for you when you won’t actually try to execute them!?
I say bring on Brandon Allen...and I also say I sure hope John Elway learns from this.
What can we say that hasn’t already been said? Half the problem with our current “quarterback” is that he’s absolutely petrified of getting killed because our tackles aren’t good enough to pay Division II college ball. Garett Bolles being able to suit up and step onto the field each and every week is an insult to the game of NFL football. I kinda give Elijah Wilkinson a pass..he’s a back up. There’s a reason he’s not #1 on the depth chart at tackle.
Speaking of which, does everyone still love the free agent signing of Ja’Wuan James? I don’t. I think that signing sucked. I think we have to start getting actual healthy options to play tackle for this team.
Shout out to Ron Leary. He wasn’t superb, but I didn’t really notice him this game and that’s saying something positive. Heck, let’s add Connor McGovern in that group along with Dalton Risner. The guys in the middle are doing a damned good job honestly.
There honestly wasn’t a lot more there for Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman in this game. I really have a great deal of respect for the Colts defense. They play the run well and really did a solid job of bottling up our running game so that it never really had the impact we need from it to put points on the board in any big manner.
There is Courtland Sutton as an offensive playmaker on this Denver Broncos offense and there is a long drop to the next best weapon. I am honestly blown away by how well Sutton is playing week in and week out. He has the look of a guy that gets it. He understands what it takes to be great in the NFL and he’s busting his tail to get there. I’d love to see him get even more involved in this offense, but until we get a QB who will actually throw the ball, we’ll have to settle for 3 receptions for 72 yards.
I honestly liked force feeding Noah Fant if for no other reason than for development. Fant has all the tools to be a really good TE. He has size, speed, and I see flashes of technique. He needs more action on game day to help hone in his development.
I am going to say I’m sick of losing games because teams are getting nonsense calls to help them move 15 yards down the field. That horse collar call was absolute bull. I have no compunctions about losing a game because the other team makes good plays (such as that awesome throw out of the end zone by Jacoby Brissett to T.Y. Hilton. But the Colts didn’t deserve 15 critical yards on that drive that the refs handed them and it cost us the game.
I know all of us are sick and tired of our team losing so much, but there are 3 penalties that have cost us 3 games. This team could easily be 5-3 right now and it makes this NFL fan want to puke.
I honestly think this team needs some big change at QB or tackle if they are going to do anything right or good this season. I’m honestly sorry to hear about any player getting injured, but I’m looking forward to seeing Brandon Allen get a shot at QB. Maybe that will give Scangarello something to work with to manufacture some more points and to make teams back off of stacking the box against us.
Looking forward to next week we get to play our brother franchise the Cleveland Browns (because that’s the kind of franchise this team is looking like now, sadly). Maybe we can get a win this week.