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Broncos feeling urgency to get a win - especially at home

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Facing a rookie quarterback could help, but the Jaguars D has bounced back into form, and “Minshew Mania” is carrying this team farther than most thought possible at this point. Is this finally the week the Broncos can get a win?

Denver Broncos v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

As the Broncos prepare for Minshew Mania along with menacing defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Marcell Dareus, it’s hard to know which will be more threatening to the Broncos’ chances of getting their first win of the season.

Will the stache-sporting, Jorts-wearing, jock strap-stretching QB who likes to sling the ball downfield with abandon cause more issues to our struggling secondary?

Or will Campbell - last week’s AFC defensive player of the week, by the way - and Dareus crush our quarterback, exposing the Broncos’ truly biggest weakness - the offensive line?

Unfortunately both options seem possible, if not likely. Especially when you add in Dede Westbrook and Leonard Fournette on offense to give the Broncos’ defense some real trouble.

Vic Fangio is fully expecting both to cause real trouble.

“[Campbell] is a hell of player. He always has been,” Fangio said. “They have two good outside rushers. They have Dareus inside. They have linebackers when they bring impact. They’ve got a good defense. They’ve been good on defense there for the last few years.”

Although the Broncos’ offense hasn’t scored more than 20 points yet this season, Fangio believes generally a team will need to score at least that many points in order to beat their opponents. Luckily the offense has been improving each week.

“I think we’ve moved the ball a good bit of the time well. We just haven’t finished drives,” the coach said, noting that turnovers last week were the big downfall for Joe Flacco and the offense. “I think that the magic number all depends on the quality of your defense. You definitely want to get in the 20s at the minimum, but you may be a team that needs to get higher.”

My money is on Fangio thinking the Broncos would be one of those teams, and hopefully Flacco will be up to the task this week.

“When you look at our film, it’s tough not to be disappointed just because what our record is and all that, but man, guys are fighting. We’ve got a lot of guys that are playing so hard and you just love to see their effort. We’ve just got to make some things happen,” Flacco said. “Right now, we are just stuck in that point range that we are and it’s going to be tough to win football games like that for sure.”

Flacco is an advocate of hefting the ball downfield more often, but the Broncos haven’t really been in a position to unleash an air attack without abandon. But the quarterback says the offense is “getting there.”

“We’ve got to hold up and everybody’s got to do their job,” Flacco said. “When you’re trying to get some of those throws, it takes 11 guys. Like I said, right now it’s just a thing here or a thing there, one thing here, one thing there. We’ve played some good defenses and teams that are on top of that a little bit. We’ve just got to keep pushing and understand that those things are going to come if we keep practicing and playing the way we are.”

Both coach and players cited the team’s upbeat morale - especially given the 0-3 circumstance - as reasons for faith in the Broncos’ chances weekend.

But a win - especially at home - still seems to have some urgency to it.

“As far as the effort and guys’ attitudes and all those things, it does not look like a losing football team when you turn on the film and watch us play,” Flacco said. “We’ve got to find a way to make that turn and I think we’ve got the right guys to do it for sure.”

Kareem Jackson agreed with his teammates that the 0-3 Broncos don’t feel like a team with zero wins.

“It definitely doesn’t, but like you said we are what our record is,” Jackson said. “I feel like we’re very close as a team. We just have to figure out how we can make one or two more plays in every phase. If we can do that, start to create some turnovers defensively to get our offense more opportunities I think it will turn around for us.”

Phillip Lindsay reminded the media that reporters are the main ones not believing in the team.

“Only you guys are sitting here not believing in us,” Lindsey added. “If you’re a true fan, then you believe in us. ...At the end of the day, we have a lot of football left.”

And then Lindsay reminded them why they always play the game instead of letting pundits call it.

“If you haven’t played this game, then you just don’t know,” Lindsay said. “We have a lot of games left and we can still be in the playoffs and we can still make a big run for it. When we do it, I don’t want everybody jumping on the bandwagon saying I told you so.”

Still, for any chance at the playoffs, the Broncos are definitely going to need Lindsay making big runs of his own while Flacco tries to get the offense into the end zone mistake-free and Miller finally gets a hit on a QB.

It may be a race between the offense and defense to see which one can make a big difference first - will “Flacco & Lindsay” get three touchdowns on the board against this formidable Jaguars D before their defensive counterparts “Miller & Chubb” can log three sacks on Gardner “I-once-tried-to-break-my-own-hand” Minshew?

And until the team at least gets to .500, Fangio isn’t even thinking about the playoff possibilities.

“Honest to God, I haven’t looked [at the standings],” he said. “I’m a one-game-at-a-time guy. What I do know is until you get above .500, you need to not worry about what you’re alluding to.”

Horse Tracks - docllv’s MINSHEW MANIA picks of the day

Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew mania should be embraced. - Big Cat Country
Nothing lasts forever. Except maybe Tom Brady.

Jaguars’ Gardner Minshew has captivated fans across America | SI.com
The mustache. The jorts and aviators. The completion percentage and passer rating in the first three games of his NFL career. The aura of Jaguars backup QB Gardner Minshew has captured the NFL early this season—but how long will he continue to shine?

Horse Tracks - Broncos v. Jaguars news

Jaguars DL Calais Campbell wins AFC Defensive Player of the Week - Big Cat Country
Jacksonville Jaguars 12th-year defensive lineman Calais Campbell was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in Jacksonville’s Week 3 victory over the Tennessee Titans. That could be trouble for the Broncos.

Gardner Minshew on Broncos' 0-3 start, Jake Plummer, Ralphie and whipping the CU Buffs
Minshew Mania is coming to Mile High this weekend, and the Jacksonville QB held court on all sorts of topics in advance of his appearance.

3 Jaguars to watch on offense vs. Broncos
The Jacksonville Jaguars will take on the Denver Broncos this Sunday in a tough road matchup at Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos will be looking for their first win, while the Jaguars will look to keep up their momentum from their huge AFC South division win against the Tennessee Titans.

Broncos need chunk plays to jump-start sputtering offense - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
The Broncos rank among the leaders in total plays but are "making it harder" with only four plays of 30 yards or more. They rank 29th in scoring.

Broncos promote WR Fred Brown from practice squad to active roster
The Broncos also signed WR Trinity Benson to the practice squad.

Emmanuel Sanders donates sports equipment and fields tough questions from young fans | 9news.com
Emmanuel Sanders thought he was getting a day off from the tough media questions Monday after the loss to Green Bay. His youngest fans had other plans.

Horse Tracks - NFL news

Agent - AB still wants to play, teams interested
Agent Drew Rosenhaus said he believes Antonio Brown still wants to play in the league and that several teams have asked about his status.

Can Browns right ship before their playoff hopes are sunk? - Cleveland Browns Blog- ESPN
The 1-2 Browns face the possibility of their playoff dreams being all but extinguished in October with a daunting stretch to their schedule on deck.

Melvin Gordon ending holdout, will report to Chargers - NFL.com
Melvin Gordon will return to the Chargers and will report to the team on Thursday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. He will not play in Week 4.