Why are we here?
Many fans might be tempted to turn the TV off and avert their eyes from the end of the Denver Broncos’ third straight losing season. Who could blame them? This period in Broncos history has been unkind to Broncos Country.
But let me offer a glimmer of hope that will perhaps keep fans from tuning out too soon. My guess is that most fans will have no problem watching the Broncos take on the Detroit Lions to see more from Drew Lock. As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio Podcast, there is a lot to be excited about in Denver, and it doesn’t end with the rookie QB.
Set aside wins and losses for the rest of the season. What we should be watching for is how Denver’s offense continues to grow. Lock has been the main story the last three games. Obviously, the key to his success will be his growth with players like fellow rookie Noah Fant, and receivers like Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick.
We are also witnessing young players taking on a leadership role in Denver. While the defensive side of the ball can lean on veterans like Von Miller for leadership, it appears that Sutton is also stepping up to that leadership void on offense. His play on the field coupled with what he says off the field is a perfect example of what Denver needs. Just look at his quotes about hating playing the Chiefs.
Sutton 2/2: "This will be a film we'll break down. Its not going to be something where I turn the page. Its frustrating because I expect a lot out of myself and having 2 drops and Tyrann making a good play in end zone, I count it as drop on myself. It's unacceptable." #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) December 16, 2019
Along with Lock’s rapport with his fellow offensive players, it will be interesting to see how Lock’s relationship with Rich Scangarello and QB coach TC McCartney can flourish in these last two games. Will the play calling continue to expand? Can they find a rhythm that puts points on the board?
It’s not just the offensive side of the football that should be interesting to watch down the stretch. Alexander Johnson has blossomed as the Broncos middle linebacker. Justin Simmons is one of the best safeties in the NFL (never mind the Pro Bowl snub). Will Parks will get his chance to prove he deserves to be a part of what Vic Fangio is building now that Kareem Jackson is done for the year due to suspension.
Since Denver has wrapped up a losing season and will be missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year, it might be difficult to get up for these games. Late season preseason is never fun, but in a surprising twist, that might not be the case in Denver. It feels like a changing of the guard is finally taking place. Both the offense and defense are building toward the future. While the games don’t count, unless you are talking about draft position, they certainly matter.
So hang out and watch a couple more games. Be excited, have fun and look forward to the future.