Ugh. It’s hard to watch this team.
Speaking for myself - queen of the ultimate fans as I like to be - it’s not so much because I don’t want to watch but because it hurts to see players trying hard and having little success. Sometimes because the odds are stacked against them, sometimes bad luck and too often because they are just so over-matched to even pull out the most “Rocky II” of performances.
But as ultimate fans, we will trudge on. We will support, watch, cheer, critique. And keep doing it until we are rewarded with success.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange joins us again to lift our spirits and remind us that there is a path to a W tonight if only the Broncos will take it - hand the ball to Melvin Gordon and don’t let Frank Gore go anywhere. Those two tactics should go a long way in moving the Broncos into the win column and at least for some entertaining football.
Regardless this post is highly entertaining so enjoy!
Week 4: Broncos at Jets
MHR - This is not getting better. Half the team is on IR - or close - and Broncos are basically fielding a third-string team. Any positive takeaways from the Bucs’ game (aside from being one game closer to the end of the season)?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: [crickets and the haunting wail of a distant fog horn]....
MHR - Brett Rypien came in to play the second half and put together a decent drive, completing 8 of 9 passes. Sure, one was a pick, but at this point, are we really going to be too “picky?” [I’ll see myself out...maybe] Do you like the choice and how do you think he’ll stand up against the Jets?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: I can’t wait to see the beginning of the Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen, Drew Lock, Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien era. Should I get excited, or hold my beer for the Blake Bortles era? I was not able to watch the Tampa Bay game, however, Rypien sounded good on the radio. Brett seems to have a quicker read of the defense and release than Driskel, which should benefit him against the Jets Thursday night.
MHR - This TNF game is the NFL’s 29th-best offense (Denver) playing the 17th-best defense compared to the NFL’s 32nd best offense (Jets, obviously) against the league’s 20th best defense. These are not numbers for a barnstormer, but where is Denver’s best advantage here - offense or defense?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: Despite the injuries to the D-Line, I believe Denver has the defensive advantage. Denver catches a break with Le’Veon Bell out, facing the ageless Frank Gore instead, plus a depleted Jets WR core. With the exception of the final minute 59-yard run by James Conner in the Pittsburgh game, Denver’s run D has been more than competent. Taking out that run (19% of all rush yards against), Denver’s run defense is only giving up 3.1 yards per carry. Someone will need to man-up and replace Jurell Casey, though.
MHR - Noah Fant and Jerry Jeudy only caught about 50% of their passes last week while Tim Patrick - targeted four times only - at least caught every one. Should he be more of a go-to receiver this week for Rypien?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: Fant and Jeudy are the No. 1 draft picks the last two years and at times this season, have played the part. I like Patrick’s game as a bigger red zone target and sideline target; however, we should keep running the passing offense down field through Fant and Jeudy, once we establish the run game.
MHR - The Jets are particularly bad at run defense. Should Thursday night be the Melvin Gordon Show?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: Yes, absolutely! If we can grind out long drives on the ground, then Rypien’s job becomes that much easier with play action and roll-out throws.
MHR - Joe Rowles stated today that Garett Bolles is currently the Broncos’ best player on the offensive line based on play the first three games. Do you agree? Now that Elijah Wilkinson is also out, is there any hope for this line this season?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: I don’t think any other statement in the past four years says more about the depths Denver’s OL has fallen than Joe’s quote. Most of us expected a much improved OL these past two seasons with OL Coach Mike Munchak holding the reins. Instead, RT remains a revolving door, in more ways than one; we have young C and LG struggling to maintain consistently good play and our newly minted millionaire Glasgow doing his best to hold the fort on the right side. As sadaraine pointed out in his No Bull Review, Denver “...can’t win the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball...”, and this, more than anything else is a failure.
MHR - How good is Shelby Harris playing right now? He got two sacks on Brady and a batted-down pass. How much fortune will he have against Sam Darnold this week?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: I’ve been a Shelby Harris fan since his day one as a Bronco and felt he deserved more playing time two years ago. How we were able to get him on a one-year prove-it deal for 2020 is unbelievable and one of the better bargains in football. Harris should be able to duplicate those numbers against Darnold, provided he gets help with coverage and OLB pass rush.
MHR - On defense the Broncos are missing starters Von Miller, AJ Bouyé, Jurrell Casey as well as some key backups in Jeremiah Attaochu, Austin Calitro. Yet the defense has still been rather strong - especially in the run game. Can it stay strong enough the whole season to give the Broncos some life...or is it hanging by a string as well?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: After the Steelers’ loss, I commented this already felt like a long season because of the injuries, and it’s gotten worse. The loss of Casey along with Walker and Jones on IR is testing the DL like I have never seen. In prior years, we would lose Wolfe late in the year, or have a few dinged up players, but nothing like this. Add other pro bowlers Miller, Bouye to the IR list and hanging by a thread is an appropriate statement at this point.
I felt leading into the season that at some point during the regular season, some of these games will resemble a fourth preseason game due to injuries and team/reserve Covid-19 list - basically second- and third-stringers with a smattering of starters. We’re not quite there with the Broncos-Jets game, but we’re close.
MHR - The good news for the Broncos defense this week could be that Sam Darnold just threw three picks on Sunday - do you think he’ll be ripe for more and the Broncos D can take advantage?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: If Denver can get a bit more push up the middle and scheme a few blitzes, then yes, INTs will follow. I think almost all of my responses have had an “IF” in there.
MHR - The Broncos’ pass rush has been rather non-existent. Is this merely a feature of “no Von,” or is Vic needing to be more aggressive with the players he has?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: Both. Von is always better than “No Von” as he makes others around him better, if for no other reason than the double-teams he commands. Vic does seem reluctant to be more aggressive, which makes sense against the likes of Big Ben and TB. However, Darnold is no Big Ben or TB, so bring it, Vic, and force some bad throws.
MHR - Adam Gase is playing for his job - as publicly stated. Do you believe that ultimately Vic Fangio is too...or should he get a break this season given the Covid/IR challenges?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: This week, no. However, when the talk of the Jets this week is who will replace Adam Gase, Denver has to take advantage in this measuring stick game, i.e., are we as bad as the Jets? In a short week, which head coach can rally the troops better? Which team can overcome the depleted rosters? Which team can survive the MetLife turf? Changing coaches every two years is a recipe for long-term failure in the NFL, just ask Browns’ fans. Let’s hope Elway and Fangio and coaches can get this figured out.
MHR - Name a player on offense and defense that has really stood out to you so far and why?
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: I still like the improvement with Fant despite the drops. He has the look of a perennial pro bowler that can help get the rest of the offense working, too. On defense, Shelby Harris as mentioned above. I know this is another contract year for Shelby, but you still have to perform to get that contract.
Stats for Brett Rypien? Conservatively 230 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT
Stats for each Broncos RB Gordon with 80 yds and 1 TD; Freeman with 25 yds
Number of yards receiving/TDs for each receiver? Fant breaks 100 with 110 and the sole TD; Patrick 50 yds; Jeudy with another 50 yds, Hamler one catch for 20, plus a couple runs
Longest FG for McManus? 49 yards, where he is money
Number of sacks to Rypien? 3
Number of sacks to Sam Darnold? 3
Broncos player with the most tackles? Alexander Johnson is the answer here, weekly
Who gets the most sacks? Harris with 2 again
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 2/1/1
How many penalties will the refs get wrong? Fortunately, they will miss 3 or 4 holding calls on Bronco OL...again.
Final Score? Denver 23 - 19
Favorite Broncos game EVER? Super Bowl 32 will always be #1, ending the long suffering for this franchise and fandom.
Team you hate to lose to the most? Da Raiders
Non AFC West team you hate to lose to the most? Any team led by TB
Team you love to beat? Raiders
Favorite time Broncos beat Jets? Favorite time to beat the J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS would be AFC Championship Game on the road to SB 32.
Favorite game looking forward to this season? There are 8 winless teams in the NFL through Week 3, so THIS game, getting off of the snide and beating the Jets is the game I am looking forward to seeing.
Toughest game on the schedule? Chefs, twice as there is not much of a home field advantage this year, sigh… What is it now, nine consecutive losses?
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Von Miller. I truly hope Elway and Miller restructure Von’s last year on contract and he returns to finish his career as a Bronco.
Favorite Broncos player of all time? Elway
Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Jeudy. He has the makings of being an all-time player for this team, provided we find a QB that isn’t throwing him into the path of a linebacker.
Superstitions on game day? Wearing different hat and jersey combinations and changing seats to view the game until I find something that works.
Least favorite game analyst/commentator? Are Tessie and Booger still at it? Thankfully, no! Let’s go with Phil Simms.
Favorite sports cliche? Win one for the Gipper.
Best sports GIF? I’m not much of a GIF kind of guy. Here’s one that exemplifies Denver’s season so far, and the not-so-special Special Teams, too:
How did you become a Broncos fan?
When I moved to Denver in 1981, I laughed at the interest a few friends had concerning the Denver Broncos and hopes for the ‘81 season. I quickly saw what they saw: Joe Collier’s Defense was no joke and entertaining to watch. Once Elway was drafted in 1983, I became a fan for life.
While we’re living in past glory days, which defense was better - 1977 Orange Crush or 2015 SB champs? (yes, I know this is an impossibly unfair question, but so is this season so get over it!)
This poll is closed
1977 Orange Crush...by a mile
Von and the 2015 Orange Rush, baby!