As the Denver Broncos prepare to take on the Pittsburg Steelers, Broncos Country has to be wondering what is in store for Sunday. Obviously, the 3-0 start was fun, but reality set in when the Baltimore Ravens handed the Broncos their first loss.
Not the reality we wanted, but one that was probably inevitable. The Broncos just aren’t quite on the same level as the elite teams in the NFL. This means there will be uncertainty as we prepare to watch Denver take on the Steelers.
As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio Podcast, this game is difficult to predict. Much of the confusion stems from the QB situation. Once again, we find ourselves wondering what will happen with Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock.
This time, it has to do more with injury than ability. Bridgewater, in the first three games, proved he was the starter moving forward. If he is healthy, he is the starter. If he can’t get out of concussion protocol, Lock will get another chance to face the Steelers, and try and get the team back on track.
In the end, I don’t believe anything changes at the QB position moving forward. When Bridgewater is healthy, he is the starter. What I do wonder about is Pat Shurmur.
There is no doubt Shurmur’s job performance was in question most of 2020. With all the offensive issues, it was hard not to look at the offensive coordinator and wonder if he was fit for the job. In the first 3 games of the 2021 season, there haven’t been many reasons to question Shurmur’s decision making.
Then the loss to the Ravens shined a spotlight on something. Is Shurmur capable of calling a good game for Drew Lock. To be clear, Drew Lock doesn’t do Shurmur a lot of favors, but Shurmur isn’t great at putting Lock in a position to succeed. It’s a real conundrum.
One of the stats that causes a little worry from the Ravens game is the number of run plays Shurmur called in the second half. Four. 4. Just 4. Javonte Williams was out there winning the Angry Runs scepter from Kyle Brandt on Good Morning Football, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. Melvin Gordon averaged 6.2 YPC, but Shurmur only dialed up 4 run plays in the second half?
That should give Broncos Country pause. With Drew Lock in the game, Shurmur decided to abandon the run? I know they were losing, but it wasn’t like the game was completely out of hand. And running the ball sets up Lock’s strength, the play action pass.
The Broncos have a chance to get back on track against the Steelers. The QB situation will be a big part of that, but so will Pat Shurmur.