Oh, ultimate fans...it’s been a tough week. We want to be positive. We love this team. But $&*#! They are so maddening. They should be better. They should be hungry for winning. They should...be winning.
But they aren’t. And yet, we are still here hoping.
This week spworldtour expresses the frustration in words that so many of us feel. We can’t help rooting for this team in spite of the poor play and the losses, but we also don’t trust them to pull out of this losing funk ... and that’s a tough place to exist as a diehard.
No matter, we come here together on the weekends to share the excitement or the pain - whichever it may be.
Let’s hope there’s a chance for the former this week.
Week 8: Washington Football Team at Broncos
MHR - I really hate to ask, but any thoughts about the Browns game you’d like to share…other than “burn it all down” - because that was pretty much my kneejerk take after the game.
spworldtour: The Browns game was everything we’ve come to expect of the anemic Broncos that we’ve all come to know and…. Love? It was a completely winnable game. Had the Broncos had any way to stop the run, that game would have been over. Unfortunately, we’re down three starting linebackers and there is really nowhere to turn at this point.
MHR - Jerry Jeudy is back and provides an element with his game that should be hard for WFT to cover - especially since their corners have been getting burned even more than ours. What are your expectations for Jeudy coming back in his first game since Week 1?
spworldtour: Very little unfortunately. Wide receivers don’t make a difference if the rest of the team is a wreck. Our “star” tight end is a turnstile and can’t/won’t block. Our offensive line is useless, and the receiver/QB aren’t making the same Hot Reads to salvage the offensive line woes. So, after all that, maybe there is hope that Jeudy will make a difference. Sutton was sidelined during training camp and preseason, so there was a Teddy/Jeudy connection that maybe can help reduce the pressure on the QB.
MHR - Although WFT’s first class defensive front has been underperforming, it’s a stout group. And Teddy Bridgewater and the offensive line have struggled - to the tune of 18 sacks, at least two times a game. And WFT has now amassed six sacks in the past two weeks. How do you expect Bridgewater and the O-line to fare against WFT? Who wins that battle?
spworldtour: So, I’m not an expert on line play, and my read on the issue is that the line is only about 30% of the problem. The two biggest culprits in the sacks are Teddy and Fant. Fant is so bad at blocking, it would be better to have no one than to have Fant there. Somewhere I read that Fant is ~26 rating when blocking, ~63 when receiving. Unfortunately, I can’t find the source. That said, the number of times I’ve seen Fant’s rusher come unblocked infuriates me.
As for Teddy? I think he’s rattled and has lost his groove. He’s slow to get the ball out of his hands, he doesn’t see the rushers and he isn’t getting the open receivers (when there are some).
MHR - If there’s been one bright spot on the offense, it’s Javonte Williams. Do you think Pat Shurmur knows how to implement, stick to, utilize a running game? How would you do it this game when there are four first-round draft picks on the defensive line waiting to stuff the run up the middle?
spworldtour: So, the funny thing on Javonte is that depending on who you’re listening to/reading Javonte is good but underutilized, or mediocre and a disappointing draft. My personal opinion is that he hasn’t done enough to separate himself. He’s essentially a good 1-2 punch with Gordon, but isn’t special enough to be a top tier RB. Is that on Shurmur? Likely. And I don’t know exactly what to do about it. We’ve had 10 quarterbacks in five years, but we’ve also had three offensive coordinators. When someone doesn’t come in and perform immediately, they’re out and we’re on to the next guy. I think our need for success today is just as much to blame as a guy who’s struggling to out-think his opponents.
MHR - A writer for Hog’s Haven, SBNations’ WFT blog, told Joe Rowles he’d recommend the Broncos focus on a quick passing game to get the ball out quickly and negate WFT’s pass rush. Can this Broncos’ QB and offense do that?
spworldtour: God I hope so. It’s the only choice we have. We can’t protect Teddy. So let’s go to that much maligned “dink and dunk” offense that moves the ball and moves the chains.
MHR - Von Miller is questionable for Sunday’s game. How much do the Broncos need him? If he’s not 100% should he risk it? Does it matter at this point? What do you think the future of Von and Denver will be/would like it to be?
spworldtour: Von is the only linebacker for our starting linebackers left. He’s also been “meh” this year. I suspect a lot of that is that he’s only one guy and easy to scheme out when there is nothing else to worry about on the defensive front. If he’s not there, will it hurt? Yep. Will we struggle through? Yep. If we could get a 2nd or 3rd for Von before the trade deadline…yeah, I think we should trade him. Give him a chance to go be great again. Let him try for another ring because it won’t be here, and his legend would be better served being great somewhere else than watching it fade to obscurity here.
On first possessions, the Broncos are the league’s worst team — on both offense & defense — the last two seasons.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) October 30, 2021
But nearly step-for-step for with them is the Washington Football Team.
It’s a get-right-or-get-gone game.https://t.co/FnX7g59JFQ
MHR - Last game the defense - the defense that was predicted to be one of the best in the NFL before the season - let backup quarterback Case Keenum march down the field on them while also letting a third-string running back gain nearly 150 yards. How much can we expect new inside linebacker Kenny Young to bring to this defense to make it better? Where is the weakest link on this defense?
spworldtour: It’s unfortunately the whole group. The lack of ILBs, OLBs and CBs that are underperforming means that the other side’s OC can call any play and expect it to work. There isn’t a play or type that we’re good against right now. Kyle Fuller is washed, Justin Simmons has underwhelmed on his new contract. It’s a shadow of the defense we were expecting.
MHR - Like WFT, the Broncos’ secondary hasn’t lived up to its hype this season, but it is facing a backup quarterback who has mainly locked in on one receiver in Terry McLaurin. What are your hopes for the defense’s chance at takeaways this weekend?
spworldtour: Unfortunately low. I don’t trust it to stop anyone. Of all the games, we SHOULD win this one. It’s a bad WFT team we’re playing. They only have one receiving target that’s great. And I expect to see more of the same - teams we can’t stop that keep the ball for 10-minute drives while we go three-and-out until our defense is exhausted and the game is over.
MHR - What drives you crazy with this team? What gives you hope?
spworldtour: The biggest thing that drives me crazy is the tale of two halves. The first three games against bad teams where the Broncos looked great, the offense was in sync, the defense was clicking, and it was a team worth watching. And then the last four games - they weren’t close games where things were going back and forth. No we lost horribly, where the team looked lost and couldn’t get first downs, nor could they stop the other teams.
Hope? I guess the hope for me is that the players decide to play. Just to play. Maybe if they start having fun, they’ll sort out how to play well.
MHR - Name a player on offense and defense that has really stood out to you so far this season and why.
spworldtour: Offense is Bolles. He made huge progress last season and continues to impress this year.
Defense: I guess I’m just going chalk here, but PS2 (Patrick Surtain II) seems to be worthy of the hype. He was unfortunately forced to take the No. 2 role earlier than expected due to injury. And he’s performed for a rookie. Hopefully he becomes the kind of player, like Champ, Harris and Aqib who makes a difference year after year.
MHR - I was looking back at my original UFG post for the season to see who was on tap, and I caught a few of my words in the article - “This Denver Broncos team should be exciting, will certainly be aggravating but will definitely be interesting all season.” I’m not at all happy to say that only one of those seems to be true. WTF is wrong with this team? (FYI, this is your invitation to rant at will or remind Broncos Country not to forget this team didn’t always look like it did 2012-2015 or 1998-99 or 1986-90…)
spworldtour: I think I’ve already ranted quite a bit. That said, I want to know what’s going on with the injuries to the team. Year after year people keep getting hurt. And not a few, or short term injuries. No, season enders, and a bunch of them. I know people chalk it up to luck and ohh that’s so unfortunate. But is it really? Is it just luck of the draw? Or is it a conditioning issue? Is this a breakdown in having people take care of their bodies? I don’t know but I’m tired of it. Figure out how to keep people healthy, and winning will be MUCH easier.
MHR - Let’s end on a happy note. In honor of Peyton Manning’s Ring of Fame induction and Hall of Fame recognition, what did you love best about Manning as our quarterback and what was your favorite game of his?
spworldtour: Ahh, something I can enjoy… My favorite Manning year was not the SB win. Don’t get me wrong, that was amazing and we all got to enjoy getting the win. But for me, it was the year before when the team was simply unstoppable. Give me those games where any time Manning had the ball in his hands, the game was not only possible but hopeful. Even in the Super Bowl 48 loss, I remember thinking, well Manning’s having an off moment, give him another shot at it, and he’s going to turn it around. We haven’t had that kind of trust and faith in a long time.
When Peyton Manning talks, you listen — especially when he’s mic'd up. pic.twitter.com/RJBjmL2HIZ— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 30, 2021
Stats for Teddy Bridgewater? 227 yards passing, 23 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 4 sacks
Stats for each Broncos RB? Gordon, 16 for 82 and a TD; Williams 16 for 100
Number of yards receiving/TDs for each receiver? Sutton, 5 for 80; Patrick, 6 for 63 and a TD; Jeudy 5 for 55
Longest FG for McManus on Sunday? 53 yards
Number of sacks to Bridgewater? 4
Number of sacks to Taylor Heinicke? 2
Broncos player with the most tackles? Kareem Jackson. (I know it’s usually a LB, but I think Vic has to bring Jackson down into the box to shore up the ILB issues)
Who gets the first sack in the game for the Broncos? The most? Shelby Harris for both
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 1,
How many penalties will the refs get wrong? 3
How many bad challenges will Vic Fangio ask for? All of them
Final Score? 17-14 either way
Favorite Broncos game with Peyton Manning? 2014 AFC Championship
Favorite postseason win, not a Super Bowl? The Drive
Favorite Broncos game EVER? Super Bowl 50
Team you hate to lose to the most in the AFC West? Raiders
Team you love to beat the most in the AFC West? Chiefs
Team you hate to lose to the most in the entire AFC (outside of the West)? Anything with Tom Brady (and I know he’s in the NFC now, but.. Yeah. FYTB)
Team you love to beat the most in the AFC? Steelers
NFC team you cannot stand? Cowboys
NFC team you could root for in the Super Bowl (if not playing the Broncos, of course)? Rams (Since I was a kid, I loved them)
Favorite game now looking forward to this season? Um… yes? I’d say the Chiefs, because it would be fun if we could beat them, but I just have no trust we can beat anyone.
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Drew Lock………Okay, for real, Justin Simmons, but I’m annoyed with his poor play.
Favorite Broncos player of all time? Champ Bailey
Superstitions on game day? None. I have small children so if I get to watch more than a half I’m SUPER excited
Least favorite game analyst/commentator? Cris Collinsworth
Favorite sports cliche? “On any given Sunday”
Favorite sports movie? Invincible
How did you become a Broncos fan?
Born and Raised. Been watching Broncos football with the family for years.
Favorite Peyton Manning moment?
This poll is closed
2013 Ravens revenge game in Week 1
All of 2013 (until SB48)
2013 Broncos beat Cowboys 51-48
AFC Championship 2013
AFC Championship 2015
Super Bowl 50