clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pat Shurmur deserves due credit for Broncos success

Last season, Shurmur took the heat. This year, he deserves praise.

DENVER BRONCOS, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Broncos can’t keep starting each game like an overweight divorcee easing into a hotel hot tub. Denver has been timid and predictable. There just isn’t an expectation of success within the offense that they will score early in games.

What a difference a year makes! When I wrote that in November of 2020, fan frustration with Denver’s anemic offense was at a nearly unprecedented high. It’s no secret that Denver struggled to score points last year. That made for painful possessions that often yielded embarrassing results.

However, in the last two weeks, it appears that the Pat Shurmur, Drew Lock working relationship has emerged as one of the biggest areas of concern.

Despite all the preseason handwringing, it has become apparent that Denver has picked the correct quarterback to lead this Broncos squad out of the desert. With a 76.8% completion, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, footballs are again flying to the correct team in Denver.

Early in games, it feels like Pat Shurmur is content to sacrifice early possessions with pedestrian play calls that yield pedestrian results. The hallmark of the Mike Shanahan era was that he would script out the first ten plays and they would set the tone for the rest of the game. After 9 weeks of Broncos-brand football, it’s become apparent that the same emphasis on starting strong just isn’t there.

It should go without saying that when the offensive coordinator has confidence in their quarterback, great things will happen. With Teddy Bridgewater, Shurmur has found someone who can execute his offense and not make crippling mistakes. In Sunday’s game, it was refreshing to see the commentators noting how Teddy was working through his progressions before finding the open receiver with his fourth read for a completion.

The Denver Broncos have looked good through their first 3 games. While the old argument holds that you can only play the teams on your schedule, it’s worth remembering that thus far, Broncos opponents are a combined 0-9. The Broncos schedule is about to get a little more interesting now that it will feature teams who have actually won with fans in the stands.

I believe these Broncos are ready to take that next step. The ineptitude of 2020 and the preceding years are not dragging this Denver team down. There is confidence radiating from the coach’s box in the man under center and it’s having a positive effect on the whole of Broncos Country. Denver has made a stand through the first 3 weeks of the season. Now, it’s time for Pat Shurmur and the Broncos to make a statement.

HORSE TRACKS

Broncos vs. Jets: Denver injury updates
Head Coach Vic Fangio said the injured players will get MRIs "as soon as they can."

Full game highlights: Jets vs. Broncos | Week 3
Check out all the highlights as the Broncos beat the Jets in their home opener at Empower Field at Mile High.

Victory Speech: Inside the locker room after #NYJvsDEN
Go inside a happy and victorious Broncos locker to watch as Head Coach Vic Fangio speaks to the team after a 26-0 win vs. the Jets.

Cover 4: Broncos' defense dominant in 26-0 shutout win over Jets
The Broncos got after rookie Zach Wilson, and the Denver offense did enough in the team's home opener.

‘This defense has the ability to just change games’: Broncos smother Zach Wilson and Jets, turn takeaways and sacks into shutout
"That’s what we expect from them," Teddy Bridgewater said of the defense's performance. "We’re honestly not surprised by it."

Denver Broncos vs. New York Jets NFL game story | 9news.com
NFL game story from the Denver Broncos vs. New York Jets at Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday, September 26, 2021.

Broncos paste Jets 26-0 to improve to 3-0 - ProFootballTalk

NFL: Denver Broncos are the league's most surprising team
Vic Fangio was supposed to be on the hot seat. Instead, he has Denver atop the AFC West.

Jets couldn't have looked worse in embarrassing loss to Broncos
The Broncos shut the Jets out, embarrassing Robert Saleh’s crew with a 26-0 win on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High.

Broncos blank Jets for their first 3-0 start since 2016
So it is, the Broncos bathed in the 90-degree sun and their first 3-0 start since 2016, throttling the Jets 26-0 at Empower Field at Mile High.

Authorities approve Saints' return to Caesars Superdome after Hurricane Ida, fire
After Hurricane Ida displaced the team last month and a small fire started on the roof of the Caesars Superdome this past week, the governor of Louisiana and mayor of New Orleans informed the NFL that the Caesars Superdome is ready to host the Saints’ hom

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid taken to hospital for dehydration after Sunday's loss, source says
Chiefs coach Andy Reid was treated for dehydration after Sunday's loss, a source told ESPN. The team said in a statement that Reid is "doing well."

Giants owner John Mara booed as loss to Atlanta Falcons drops New York to 0-3 to start the season
Giants owner John Mara was loudly booed during a halftime ceremony for Eli Manning on Sunday as New York was headed to a loss to Atlanta, its third straight to open the season.

Mike Zimmer says Vikings' effort on offense in Week 3 best he's seen in 8 years in Minnesota
Kirk Cousins' red-hot start to 2021 has put his teammates on notice. "It's been a different Kirk," Adam Thielen said. "He's just locked in and on time, he's trusting it."

FMIA Week 3: McVay Has A Headache; 50 Hours In New England Before Brady Returns - Peter King
Peter King's Football Morning In America Week 3 begins with Sean McVay's headache after Rams top Bucs. Plus 50 hours in New England before Tom Brady returns

Myles Garrett's 4.5 sacks breaks team record - ProFootballTalk

Odell Beckham catches five passes but felt like he never got going in return from knee injury - ProFootballTalk

Rashad Weaver breaks right fibula - ProFootballTalk

Aaron Rodgers on his first thoughts ahead of game-winning drive: Throw it to Davante Adams - CBSSports.com
Rodgers found Adams twice to get his team into field-goal range

Ravens' Justin Tucker stuns Lions with NFL record-setting 66-yard field goal on final play of game - CBSSports.com
The Ravens kicker just did the impossible

Raiders vs. Dolphins score, takeaways: Las Vegas knocks off Miami in overtime to stay undefeated - CBSSports.com
Derek Carr guides Raiders to perfect start

NFL officials may have missed delay of game penalty prior to Justin Tucker's record-setting FG in Ravens win - CBSSports.com
A controversial non-call may have changed the outcome for the Lions

Bears offense produces second-fewest yards per play in a century as Matt Nagy accepts blame - CBSSports.com
Chicago will play the Lions in next week's division opener

Chiefs HC Andy Reid 'doing well' after leaving Arrowhead Stadium in ambulance
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid left Arrowhead Stadium via ambulance following Sunday's 30-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers for precautionary reasons, NFL Networks James Palmer reported. The team later released a statement saying the veteran co

2021 NFL season, Week 3: What we learned from Sunday's games
Around The NFL breaks down what you need to know from all of Sunday's Week 3 action.

Matthew Stafford, Rams prove the hype is real in win over defending champion Buccaneers
The Rams aren't shy from making the big move, and their blockbuster trade for Matthew Stafford already is reaping rewards. Jim Trotter details the substance behind the hype in L.A. following Sunday's 34-24 win over the Buccaneers.

Justin Fields' frustrating debut vs. Browns leads to more concerning questions about Bears
Justin Fields' first start wasn't the least bit promising for Chicago Bears fans. But Jeffri Chadiha says the rookie's frustrating performance had less to do with Fields and more about coaching, lack of preparation and more.

Patriots RB James White carted off field with hip injury in loss to Saints
James White is injured. The concern now is how badly. The Patriots RB was carted off the field Sunday after suffering a potentially serious hip injury. He was immediately ruled out against the Saints.