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.
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