Lets be real, while Denver is likely not as bad of a team as portrayed and Dallas was not as good of a team as portrayed. Does this game change anything, here is the reality (IMO) of our current situation. While this game showed the potential of this team, it also showed the limitations. Lets be clear, had it not been for a freak bounce on the blocked punt, this game likely would of been very different. As it was, it turned out to deflate a Cowboys team that looked like they had not really prepared at all for the Broncos. But credit to the Broncos who could of simply folded after trading Von Miller and punched their clock early.
What I think this game showed about the Broncos.
1) There are some good character players on this team who do not quit, I point to TB and Tim Patrick on offense and Kjax and S Harris on defense. We need guys with high character, and I think trying to keep all of these players after this year is paramount to helping develop a winning culture. Even if some are not starters next season.
2) We still have issues on the offense line, while truly commendable what a patchwork offensive line did yesterday, they also were exposed many times when Dallas blitzed. Particularly, Dalton Risner and Loyd Cushenberry got exposed on interior blitzes by Miach Parsons. And while this line definitely performed well in the running game, Dallas was also not respecting our run game throughout and basically was playing heavy DB packages for most of the game. So take it somewhat with a grain of salt. But it would appear that Munchak coaching is starting to gain some steam, maybe we can see if Shurmer will continue to make that a priority.
3) Coaching, sorry but we still need a new HC next season. Give credit to Fangio for not letting this team quit, but again we did benefit from a fair bit of luck this game. Like I highlighted earlier, a fluky touch with the blocked punt, likely would of changed the momentum of the game towards Dallas, numerous dropped passes from Dallas WRs and additional passes that were flat out missed to wide open Dallas WRs and this game easily could of been vastly different. Likewise, Schurmer benefited from Dallas failing to adjust their defense to the run game and leaving in dime and nickle packages and getting bull dozed.
4) QB play, I really like TB, but in no way do I think he is the QB of the future in Denver. And while he had a great game in Dallas, I don't believe it is indicative that he has the talent to be anything other than a good and effective game manager. When he has a solid running game and has time, he can definitely make accurate throws and find the right player. But is he going to be a guy who can take the whole burden of the team when everything is not working and find a way to win, I really don't see that. I would love him to be that bridge QB and hopefully serve as a great backup for Denver. But I think this game showed what he can and can't do, he can be really good when everything else is working, but he won't be able to make up for others mistakes like when Micah Parsons ragdolls your starting guard and is breathing down your face.
5) We are more talented in some areas and less talented in others than thought. Lets start at LB, I gotta admit, I was not sold on either Copper or Browning when we drafted them, but they look like they definitely are starting to come onto their own. Likewise, I think getting Stephen Weatherly and Kenny Young looks like some great moves both in short term and long-term. Likewise, our DBs, were exposed again, while they helped make some plays breaking up balls, there were again a fair amount of wide open WRs that simply dropped the ball or Dak Prescott simply missed. While I think we have some solid foundational pieces in Simmons, PS2, and Sterns appears to also be a solid piece, I have to question the existing depth beyond that.
6) The ST simply needs to get much, much better. Not going to dwell on this, but I am tired of beating the dead horse again.
So how does this change or not change any offseason priorities. Well lets go with the first.
HC - Barring this team running the table and winning a playoff game or two, which I seriously doubt, simply put one win against a team clearly unprepared (no matter how good) does not erase the history of mistakes and bad play from this team. We will be looking for a new HC.
QB - Again, really like TB, just not as the starting QB long-term, think he is a great character guy, a leader, and has talent to be a starter but not enough to be an elite QB. Whether it is bringing in a player from the draft or veteran, this position needs to be upgraded if we are going to have sustained success.
Offensive Line - Still needs to be a priority in the offseason
Defensive Line - Could use a solid interior rush player, have some decent pieces, but no true all stars.
WRs - I really like this group, keep them together and see what they can do going forward.
TEs - Need someone who is going to be a plus player, have seen potential but nothing sustained, would not be opposed to rebooting this position group.
LBs - Have some good depth, keep seeing who we can find.
DBs - Need some more solid CBs, not sold on the depth
RBs - If we don't resign Gordon, we really need to find another solid all around back in the draft.
1. HC and coaching staff
2. Offensive line
3. QB of the future
6. Defensive Line
8. Linebacker depth
9. WR depth