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Ultimate Fan Guide: It will be ugly, but Broncos can win this

We’ve got our own backup QB today, and he’s scoring touchdowns all over the place. Let’s hope Ryp can do the same.

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Broncos are coming in with their backup QB and so is the UFG! Huge thanks to mad horses for stepping into the huddle at the last minute to make sure the Ultimate Fan Guide maintains its perfect streak!

And what an awesome UFG it is. I’m pretty sure I agree with everything mad horses says - which is not a requirement of the UFG but always good for some extra orange slices after practice!

So in spite of the rough week in Dove Valley, mad horses sees a victory today, because as he says so eloquently, “I will take the pissed-off home team against the over-confident visiting team.”

Me too.

Let’s go Broncos!

Week 7: Jets at Broncos

MHR - Broncos have a losing record, tons of injuries and a confidence problem at the highest levels. How are you feeling about this team regardless of all that?
Mad horses: Well … all those things are true. Our Broncos have reached an undeniable low on many fronts. Up until this week, my feelings have been that of deflated optimism and perplexed let downs. It’s been rough, for all of us, to say the least. Such high expectations coming into the season.

Now my feelings are becoming more grounded on the realities of this team, and the obvious transitions taking place, with some confidence about what could lie ahead. I am totally stoked about this defense … a top caliber unit playing lights-out football. Special Teams is making some improvement over past years, but that was inescapable … you can only get better when you have hit the bottom. If our offense can just get in sync, and the talent is there for this to happen, this team could really ascend. I am hopeful that we start to see that ascension in the second half of this season.

I will share that I think there has been too much negative rant about RW. The guy is a proven QB with multiple Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl ring. He has had six games with a new team, a new coach, and a new system. And while his play has been bad at times, it has also been good at times. IMO, there is too much newness with our coaching staff and I am not a big fan of Hackett and his inability to adapt a scheme to fit RW’s strengths. The OL remains less than good, with injuries of course.

Here’s hoping that Paton does a good job of negotiating a trade or two to land some additional picks for next year, and Denver starts building a better OL to give its QB the protection that he deserves. Hackett will likely be replaced before next season, unless he really turns things around quickly. With this top-five defense, and the talents that Denver has on offense, this team should turn things around.

MHR - Jets coach Robert Saleh said this week he believes the Broncos are “freakin’ close” to clicking on offense. Do you agree - or is this just PR coach speak to not provide any bulletin board material before game?
Mad horses: I don’t agree with the “freakin close” description. Yeah, that’s a bit of coach-speak. A better characterization might be “the talent is there.”

MHR - Let’s start with the QB…what are you thinking about Brett Rypien…he IS 1-0 versus the Jets???
Mad horses: Don’t read too much into the 1-0 versus the Jets hype. Everything has changed since that victory. That stated, Rypien’s strengths do play into this match-up to some degree. He has the ability to quickly progress through his reads. He has decent accuracy and while he has no cannon of an arm, this game will not be won on deep passes. It will come down to strong running, good reads, and quick throws.

MHR - What about confidence in the coaches to put together a game plan that’s good for Rypien, good for the Broncos? What IS that game plan, in your opinion?
Mad horses: Offensively, here’s hoping that we see much more play under center, and less reliance on the shotgun. All emphasis on the running game, with split carries between Gordon (time to get over the pout, Melvin) and Latavius. Boone can also be a contributor, especially with some short pass plays. It will take strong play by our OL, which is a big hope here. Quick passes, rollouts, and bootlegs. Less reliance on time-consuming pocket plays, which have proven to be disastrous thus far.

Defensively, more of the same. Zach can and will be pressured. It’s important that this happen early and often. Our secondary can cover just fine and shut down the pass game today.. Strong play along the front seven and focus on run defense. That is the Jet’s bread and butter.

Special teams … don’t make dumb mistakes and play smart.

MHR - So much drama this week over Melvin Gordon and his “benching” during the Chargers game, but the bottom line is that generally the run game hasn’t been great. What is your expectation this weekend for Gordon, Latavius Murray, Mike Boone and anyone else they want to suit up?
Mad horses: First, I enjoyed your article on Melvin. I think that the negative reactions have been a bit over the top, although we all acknowledge that the fumbles have been costly. But I remain a fan of Gordon overall and am hoping that he plays with a major attitude today. We obviously need less drama. We need a win and a glimpse of positive things to come. BTW, Latavius was a great acquisition. Would like to see him and Gordon take control of this game.

MHR - Jerry Jeudy hasn’t been enough of a factor in this offense. Is that on him or on the QB…or on this scheme? Or…all three?
Mad horses: The Jerry Jeudy bandwagon is nowhere to be seen. He has not been a real factor, and this falls on him more than the scheme or QB. When we see Sutton battle for the ball the way he does, or Hamler finding his separation with relentless determination, and then watch Jeudy, the level of play just doesn’t match up. Not to the level of a first-round pick. There is no fire. There needs to be fire. If Tim Patrick did not go out for the season with a torn ACL, Jeudy would be less of a discussion here. I personally think that he will be traded before the deadline.

MHR - The offensive line is once again a revolving door of players at different positions. Is there even a chance these guys can stand up to Quinnen Williams and the JETS d-line?
Mad horses: Yes. But only with help. The QB will need to do a better job with the pre-snap reads, and show some quick releases to ease the pressure on the OL. The running game absolutely must take off … this game will hinge on that happening. Some added help with effective blocking (TEs and RBs) will be needed.

Again, time-consuming pocket pass plays will not be the answer today. Handoffs, screens and rollouts … maybe the dreaded bubble screen on rare occasions (*editor’s note: please no bubble screens...I have heart palpitations every time we run one).

MHR - Greg Dulcich had his NFL debut last week that included two catches, one of them a touchdown. And then he was hardly called upon again. Is it too soon to get excited about Dulcich as an all-around TE? In general how would you like to see Hackett use the tight ends?
Mad horses: Not too soon at all to get excited. Dulcich is the complete package, and he quickly showed his skills last Monday night. The guy is a baller (my only successful mock for Denver this year!). I hope that Hackett uses his TEs heavily today … we would see a lot of 12 personnel schemes and provide some needed help to our OL and QB. Could Dulcich find his way into the endzone again??? That in itself would be something to get excited about.

MHR - Last week the offense ran the ball on first and second down and passed on 3rd-and-short way too often (in my opinion). Then on 3rd-and-long it would throw short passes. GRRRRR…How would you fix this offense if Hackett called you up and asked?
Mad horses: First, therapy. Just to get over the mindblowing, abysmal, lame-ass playcalling that we have seen of late.

Second, a reversion to the simple and obvious. Third and one plays, when the running game has been effective (and it has), should be a no brainer. Line up under center and find that yard on the ground. Just do it. Pass on the obvious passing downs, and on occasion with some well-timed play action, but other than that, run the #$&* ball. Hackett has tried too hard … he has outsmarted himself, I think. Just do what works, and quit trying to surprise the opposing team, and the rest of the universe, by calling the unforeseen.

MHR - The defense continues to impress, even with some key injuries. What about that pass rush from Chubb and Browning? Is Zach Wilson in for a long day on Sunday?
Mad horses: Yes, Zach is in for a terribly long day. Here are the circumstances: 1. Our edge rushing has been the true strength of this team (added to our secondary play by “Surtain and the Safeties”). 2. Chubb is in a contract year and he’s playing for that big payday. 3. Browning is the real deal … he’s playing like his hair is on fire. 4. The interior of our DL has been getting a good push up the middle. Zach will be facing the best defense that he has yet seen. Welcome to the NFL, rookie.

MHR - Alex Singleton had 19 solo tackles last game, but last year he was one of the league’s leaders in missed tackles. What do you think of him and Jonas Griffith so farbas they play without Josey Jewell?
Mad horses: Thanks for asking this. It has been a great story. This one, IMO, goes to the coaching abilities of our defensive coordinator. Big fan of Evero and what he is doing for this defense. Denver’s linebacker play has really been elevated and tackling is much better.

MHR - Justin Simmons is back, so the only starter missing from the secondary is Rondald Darby. Although his replacement - Damarri Mathis - had a tough outing last week with four DPI calls, what are your thoughts on this secondary overall and the depth?
Mad horses: Totally intrigued by Mathis. The four PI calls have been the topic of much discussion with MHR, and rightly so. Two of those calls were bogus. Mathis will tighten up and it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to think that he will supplant Darby as a starter altogether. Overall, the secondary is excellent and we have some depth. Surtain is a shutdown corner., and the safeties are arguably the best in the league. Caden Sterns could start on any team and K-Jack is a dawg. Also excited about Turner-Yell. Simmons? The dude is simply all pro.

MHR - We don’t talk about the defensive line all that much but DJ Jones, Dre’Mont Jones, Mike Purcell, Deshawn Williams…they’ve been quite good overall with pressure and stopping the run. How will they hold up against Breece Hall this week?
Mad horses: I think that they hold up but let’s be honest here. Breece Hall will do some damage in this game. He is the strength of the Jet’s offense of late. Expect him to break a couple.

MHR - Last week’s special teams blunder in OT probably cost the Broncos the game - even though they could have won it before that on multiple opportunities AND there’s no guarantee this team’s offense could have done anything other than just get through the game with a tie. But what do you think of that “situation” last week between Montrell Washington and PJ Locke with the muffed punt? Overall, what is your impression of Washington?”Mad horses: Washington is reliable and a threat to get some return yardage when he has some space. That blunder was not on him, even though he owned it after the game. PJ Locke should not have been near him. It cost Denver the game, which is really unfortunate.

MHR - The JETS are 4-2 and coming off a big win on the road against the Packers. Is their confidence going to be too much for a dejected Broncos team?
Mad horses: The fact that they will roll into Mile High with a big win and a 4-2 record is just fine. Denver is beat-up, dejected, and desperate. I will take the pissed-off home team against the over-confident visiting team. Denver has something to prove here. It’s no longer about playoff runs and being a contender in the AFC West. It’s about a very talented team that has been the brunt of national media attention in all the wrong ways.

MHR - No matter what happens in the game today, fans will be treated to a tribute to the Super Bowl 32 winning team - probably my favorite game EVER. What is your favorite memory of SBXXXII?
Mad horses: Driving home on I-70 to watch the second half of the game. Hearing the back and forth on the radio as Denver and GB kept pace. It was nail biting. Finally in front of the TV to watch Terrel Davis’ ridiculous yardage and setting a SB record for touchdowns. One of the best memories ever. Oh, and the helicopter tackle on Elway. What a game!


Stats for RUSSELL “CAN WE STILL RIDE” WILSON? Let’s switch it up to Rypien. Hoping RW is 0 for 0 over the next three weeks! Two games and a bye. He needs to heal. The torn hamstring can be worsened if he plays any time soon. For the record, I am a RW fan and am confident that his time in Denver will lead to many victories. Just not this year … too much transition and a playbook that is not conducive to his strengths.

Stats for each Broncos RB? Latavius and Melvin eclipse 60 yards each. Boone has a combined 25 yards.

Number of yards receiving/TDs for all 187 receivers? OK, trick question, right? Sutton for 50 yards and Dulcich in the endzone again. This will not be a passing game. Judy will be exhibiting bad behavior on the sideline.

Longest FG for McManus? 49 yards. Don’t want to see him making attempts over 50 yards. Field position will be a key factor today.

Number of sacks to Rypien? I think that he will take two sacks and have several pressures and hits.

Number of sacks to Zach Wilson? Four. AT LEAST FOUR. With multiple pressures as well. Zach will be rattled.

Broncos player with the most tackles? Singleton, again.

Who gets the first sack of the game for the Broncos? Baron Browning. Beast.

Who gets the most sacks? Chubb with two, and Nik B with one as well.

How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? This will be the difference in the game. Defense with three turnovers and a defensive TD.

How many passes on 3rd-and-1 will Coach Hackett call? None. Eventually things do sink in.

How many non-TDs in the Red Zone this week for the Broncos? One.

Final Score? OK, call me crazy. I am with Tim Lynch on this one. Low scoring game … Denver takes the win. I know it seems obvious for any Ultimate Fan to pick a victory. But consider this: the XXXII Superbowl Denver Broncos will be on the sidelines today, there will be thousands of empty seats in the stadium, and this team is desperate for a win. Today we celebrate a victory in a low scoring defensive affair that won’t be all that pretty. But we are used to ugly at this point, and will gladly take a win! 20-16, Denver!

The Favorites

Favorite John Elway win outside of the Super Bowls? Comeback victory over the Baltimore Colts.

Favorite win over the Jets? AFC CHampionship … January, 1999

Team you love to beat the most in the AFC West? Kansas City

Coach you laugh at the most in the NFL? McDaniels. What a Clown.

Coach you most want to throw an egg at? Best not answer this one right now. (*editor’s note: it’s totally ok to answer that one; I’d throw an egg at him too!)

Team you hate to lose to the most in the rest of the AFC? KC

NFC team you could cheer for in the Super Bowl? SF

NFC team you want to face more than any other in the Super Bowl? Seattle. How fitting for RW to have that chance.

Favorite game looking forward to this season? Last game of the season against Chargers at home … should be there for that one!

Easiest game left on the schedule? Raiders at home on Nov 20th.

Toughest game left on the schedule? In KC. Ugh.

Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Justin Simmons

Favorite Broncos player of all time not named John Elway? Peyton Manning

Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Patrick Surtain

Food/Snack you have to eat on game day? Chili.

Favorite game analyst/commentator? Dave Logan

Which sports cliche best describes the Broncos? “It’s gut check time.”

How did you choose your MHR handle? The blowout loss to Seattle in SB XLVIII, which resulted in an overhaul of the Denver D, leading the way to a SB victory a couple years later.

If YOU were giving a tour of the Ring of Fame at Mile High, which players would you make sure to highlight in your talk? Tom Jackson

How did you become a Broncos fan? College at CSU. The Broncos used to have their training camp in nearby Greeley.


Favorite moment of SB32?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    The Helicopter
    (4 votes)
  • 10%
    John Mobley’s PBU
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    TD’s TDs
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Pat Bowlen’s "This One’s For John!"
    (0 votes)
  • 70%
    (14 votes)
20 votes total Vote Now