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Broncos vs Bucs: The No Bull Review

The Broncos fall in spectacular fashion to another mediocre NFL team. Here are my thoughts, opinions, and analysis on the Denver Broncos’ most recent game.

NFL: Player Headshots 2020 Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It is only week 3.

I didn’t really expect greatness this season, but it sure felt like we were going to get competent NFL football and probably have something to cheer for in the last quarter of the season other than seeing a new QB get his shot.

This is the kind of loss that puts into perspective just how far the Denver Broncos are from getting back to Pat Bowlen’s standards.

This was a team that didn’t compete on offense.

This was a team that was completely flaccid on defense.

Vic Fangio talks a great game about how good coaches need to coach the players up and have them ready.

Well Vic, this week you were marked, measured, and found wanting, my dude. You were out-coached on both sides of the ball. You led this Denver Bronco team to looking completely out of their depth.

John Elway talks a great game about the ups and downs of being GM and how he really feels like he’s on the right track in the past couple of drafts.

Well John, your team can’t win the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball...not even half the time. I don’t know if you are aware or not, but if you can’t do that, your team is almost guaran-damn-teed to finish with a losing record. So thanks for getting a bunch of young weapons to revitalize the offense. It is a crying shame that we don’t have a healthy competent QB who can get them the ball, operate the offense, or avoid a pass rush enough to lead to scoring drives with any consistency. Also, I don’t portend to know how things work in the afterlife, but I’m pretty sure my Dad is rolling over in his grave at how pathetic our offensive line plays every Sunday.

Defense

I’ve kinda already spelled it out, but let me be clear about what ails this Broncos team on the defensive side of the ball: This team has almost no pass rush ability whatsoever. That moment we all got excited about where Bradley Chubb almost had a sack? That was because of coverage. Brady was knitting a frigging sweater back there for about 10 seconds before he got tackled.

The travesty I saw this week was that Fangio even called some blitzes. I saw two times that he brought two extra rushers...and generated absolutely no pass rush whatsoever. We either have a supreme lack of talent / ability in our players on this roster or a completely lackluster scheme (to be fair it might be both).

Front 7

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Shelby Harris was the lone bright spot for me in the front 7 in this game. He had a nice pass tip to stop a 3rd down. Should have had intentional grounding on a QH later in the game. He was disruptive and a main contributor to the few times the Bucs had trouble with their pocket.

Bradley Chubb looks like a back up edge player who has the size, but no speed, quickness, or moves that make him any kind of threat. At this point, it looks to me like his ACL injury ended his career. He’s ineffective and looks nothing like the player we saw two years ago looking like a future NFL star pass rusher.

Secondary

Does Justin Simmons understand that he had a top 10 NFL safety contract offered to him this offseason? Does he know just how absolutely dumb he was not to sign it? He has been FAR more down than up in the first three games of the year. He’s getting burned more than my oldest sister’s mac and cheese when she was in high school and more than a little air-headed.

NFL: Denver Broncos-Training Camp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Ojemudia is the bright star in the defensive backfield from this young season. He is still looking like a really good football player. He’s a solid tackler who isn’t afraid of the moment. I’m impressed with how well this rookie knows his job, assignment, and now to use technique to put himself in position to win his one on one battles.

Offense

So Pat Shurmur is looking about as good now as his former QB Case Keenum looked after three weeks with our team. Shurmur looks like an offensive coordinator who keeps churning out his decade old plays expecting them to come back in style a la Gary Kubiak.

I’m almost willing to give him some grace, though. I’ve not seen an offensive line this inept since...well...last season when Joe Flacco was QB.

Come to think of it, didn’t we hire Mike Munchak to solve all these woes? Weren’t we supposed to get linemen properly coached up now so that the offense could stop being a woeful anchor dragging this team down to the dregs of the NFL so that I can in all honesty compare this franchise in its current state to the likes of teams like the Jets, Browns, and Bengals?

Quarterbacks

Yeah, I get it that Jeff Driskel is a backup. He’s not going to look great. But the problem is that he looks straight up bad. With a line this poor, you can’t have a QB that takes 4 seconds to read a play and make a decision on where to go with the ball. You have just about 2.5 seconds. The #1 thing any QB needs going forward is the ability to make quick reads and get the ball out. It is the only way forward for this offense in 2020 and Driskel doesn’t have it.

Brett Rypie

NFL: Denver Broncos-Practice Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

n on the other hand seems to have it in spades. The problem I saw with him in his short time out there was that he doesn’t have the velocity behind his throws to cut it. Teams are going to sit on the inside routes an when he is forced to throw outside, he’s going to get picked because the ball takes way too long to get there.

Line

NFL: Denver Broncos-Training Camp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Garett Bolles is the shining spot on the offensive line. How sad is it to see these words typed in my review? Honestly though, he is looking in his normal end-of-season form of playing competently and I applaud him for the improvement.

The whole rest of the line...both guards, the rookie center, and especially the right tackle are playing like hot steaming garbage. How any of them wake up in the morning, look themselves in the mirror, and have any joy whatsoever that they are earning a paycheck doing what they do for a living is beyond me. They need a gut-check and to get serious about working hard to correct their mistakes and give this offense a chance.

Running Backs

Melvin Gordon is doing what he can. He looks competent and I love the style he runs with. I am looking forward to getting Phillip Lindsay back though so it isn’t all on Gordon’s shoulders.

Receivers

Detroit Lions v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Tim Patrick nice route for the TD. He’s really stepping up as a receiver and showing off with the absence of Courtland Sutton.

What the heck happened to Noah Fant? He morphed into Captain Butterfingers in this game with a handful of drops when the team was actually trying to run its offense through him to climb back into the game.

Special Teams

I’m not going to spend a lot of time here...the coach of the special teams has been pathetic at his job for years and still under prepares his team for the game. It is a miracle the Bucs didn’t return a kick for a TD in this game with how many missed tackles there were.

Final Thoughts

Honestly...we’re the Jets. This team sucks and gets the opportunity to have a moral victory on Thursday against their equals. Hopefully Lock heals up quickly and comes back out to restore some feeling of hope to our fan base.