Don’t look now, but the marathon preseason is a week from its completion.
The Denver Broncos reported to training camp over a month ago, and you get the sense everyone is ready for the regular season. The penultimate game of the preseason is Saturday at the Los Angeles Rams. Whether the starters play for Denver is still up in the air, according to head coach Vic Fangio. Given this is the second of three games in 10 days, it’s a safe bet none of them will play.
So what does the MHR staff want to see from Saturday’s game? On the MHR Radio Podcast (ApplePodcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher), Adam Malnati and I took a stroll down nostalgia lane with the pigeon-toe walk of John Elway.
Before we get to what we want to see, here’s the preseason history between the Broncos and LA. In the regular season, this is where you will see the offensive and defensive rankings/stats for both teams. I might carry over this brief history for the regular season as well.
- Saturday’s game is the 11th in the preseason between Denver and the Rams. The Broncos are 8-2 in those games — 4-1 at home; 4-0 on the road; 0-1 on a neutral site.
- The last time Denver played the Rams in the preseason in Los Angeles was Aug. 3, 1988, at Anaheim Stadium. The Broncos won that game 40-31. The first preseason game between Denver and the Rams was Aug. 23, 1980, at Mile High Stadium. The Broncos lost 26-13. The most recent preseason game was Aug. 27, 2016, at Mile High. Denver won that game 17-9.
- The lone neutral site game was Aug. 9, 1987, at Wembley Stadium in London. The Broncos lost 28-27.
- The lone preseason game played in St. Louis was a 20-13 Denver win on Aug. 8, 1998.
Now to what we want to see from the game.
The “teams” need to show something (positive)
I’m not even talking about special. As I’ve said, I cannot refer to them as such because over the course of the preseason that area has been far from special. Show something positive. Take the words of Chris Harris Jr. to heart.
“I guess the kids don’t really understand this is how you make the team,” Harris told the media before Wednesday’s practice. “It’s a 53-man roster. This is how you make the team, on special teams. They might have to pull out my old clips, my old highlights from special teams my rookie year. Kind of show them how I was and then they can see. Then later on in their career they might be able to play on offense or defense.”
Time is running out for guys on the bubble to show they deserve a spot on the Broncos’ roster. Take advantage of the chance on Saturday. — Ian St. Clair
Stealing this from an earlier key by Adam, but no more injuries. — Just_JoRo
I’m bored with the preseason already. — Scotty Payne
Kevin Hogan not be terrible
We should see plenty of Hogan, and it’ll be key for him to be not terrible. Hogan has suffered from receivers dropping balls, as Drew Lock did, but a 43-percent completion rate against vanilla preseason defenses is alarming. The Broncos will need Hogan to back up Joe Flacco until Lock is healthy, so they need to see improvement from him. — Taylor Kothe
Nothing x 2
Honestly, I’m with Scotty. Play only backups for the Rams game and then forfeit the final preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. — Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann
Pass the stone
Has Fangio passed his kidney stone? — Luke Patterson