What do you do when your team is in the cellar of its division, has injuries up and down the roster and is showing little hope or ability of “making a run” toward a winning season?
You double up the Ultimate Fans and get two win predictions, of course! Thanks to veterans kingbronco58 and BayAreaUnitedinOrange for coming through in dark times.
Oh, Broncos Country, there’s so little to get excited about with this team right now, but there’s at least a decent chance for a win this week.
And if nothing else, there’s always that SB50 DVD...
Sadly, it's not #SB50 anymore.— Doctor of Words (and tights) (@docllv) November 26, 2022
Instead of battling for the best of the best, this #DENvsCAR matchup features teams with two of the worst records in the NFL.
Can the #Broncos pull out a win and get a little momentum for the rest of the season? https://t.co/22Rx3XfrII
Week 12: Broncos at Panthers
MHR - Was last week’s loss at home a new low…or just more of the same?
kingbronco58: More of the same, the Broncos the last six years have shown they don’t know how to be competitive and win close games. This defense gets a lot of credit for being good, but they have not been clutch in key moments to help close out the game like the No Fly Zone could do.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: In the words of the Talking Heads, “Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.” Or John Fogerty, “it’s deja vu all over again.”
MHR - The big “accountability” move this week was cutting running back Melvin Gordon. Will it make a difference? Was it the right move? Does it send the intended accountability message do you think or could it hurt locker room morale?
kingbronco58: Cutting Melvin was the right move. In my opinion, they shouldn’t have re-signed him this offseason. However I don’t think cutting him shows the team is holding players accountable. It’s a desperation move to appease the fans. Gordon continued to get carries last week and in the past, no matter how costly his errors. While he has a reputation as a leader, I don’t think his cut will make a significant impact on the team as players are making business decisions in another lost season and Melvin wasn’t a particularly efficient runner this season.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: Right move and there should be a short term difference. I believe the locker room may be saying “ok, but who else is being held accountable? What’s next? Am I next?”
MHR - Now that Gordon is gone and newly traded-for Chase Edmonds is on IR for a minute, what do you make of the running back situation for the rest of the season? Should we put Latavius Murray in bubble wrap?
kingbronco58: It’s a real bummer Javonte got hurt early in the season. I think the backfield remains by committee and the coaching staff should give the most carries to the hot hand. I think Murray should take the majority of the carries as he has looked OK most of the time.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: In this day and age, running the ball by committee and going with the hot, non-fumbling hand is the way to go. Let’s roll with our new M & M - Murray & Mack.
Marlon Mack was a 1,000-yard runner before he tore his Achilles tendon in 2020. Now he's recovered and poised for his most extensive work since that injury. Could he be an answer for Denver on the ground?— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) November 25, 2022
More @1043TheFan: https://t.co/ncpjs9xMpN
MHR - How did you feel about Klint Kubiak’s playcalling debut for Russell Wilson? Although the offense struggled still to score consistently, the Broncos generally moved the ball better. Was that a turning point? Does Justin Outten even do anything now (did he ever?)
kingbronco58: I thought the offense looked more in sync with Klint calling plays. The first half the team was actually moving the ball, but the second half looked like more of the same and the offense seemed very out of sync. I’ll believe it’s the turning point when the team starts to score an average of 24 points the rest of the way. I think Outten spends most of his time preparing for his weekly press conference.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: It felt different, there was a bit of flow for the offense, there was promise, then some of the same issues appeared. I’m talking about a crucial fumble, non-apparent half-time adjustments, non-existent second-half production and the Broncos failing to top 16 points. Too soon to tell on turning point or the value Outten brings … or ever brought.
MHR - Russell Wilson made a choice to throw a low-percentage pass on 3rd-and-10 at the end of the game last week, which ended in an incomplete that gave the Raiders almost twice as much time and allowed them to get a game-tying field goal. Apparently, he was told the one thing he couldn’t let happen was to stop the clock. How do you read this situation - is Wilson just playing hero ball and ignoring good advice? Or is he just a competitor that really wanted to get a first down and go for the win?
kingbronco58: I think Wilson wanted to end the game and truly end the game. That said I think Wilson is more like Kyler Murray and has more confidence in his abilities than he consistently shows on the field. But the defense still should have stopped the Raiders in the final two minutes and OT if they are truly as elite as fans like to give them credit for.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: Hero Ball or Zero Ball? You’re the hero if you hit that pass, but the wise play was to make certain, 100% certain, the clock keeps running.
MHR - Thankfully the Panthers’ defense is pretty bad and should be one of Denver’s best chances at getting the offense right. If the Broncos do pull out a win in Charlotte, how much do you celebrate it?
kingbronco58: I don’t think there is much to celebrate in beating the Panthers. The team itself is unlikely to make the playoffs. And beating a bad Panthers team isn’t a big accomplishment. However since I will be at the game, and I’ve never seen the Broncos win at any road games I’ve been at I hope they pull this out.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: In all honesty, not much to celebrate. I’ll watch, I’ll cheer, but this is as far from the SB 50 matchup as you can possibly get. “Let’s win one for our contracts next year” is about where we are.
MHR - Kendall Hinton and Jalen Virgil keep making some big-time contributions. Do you see them becoming regular starting WRs (if not in Denver, elsewhere)?
kingbronco58: I think Hinton could be a solid contributor on most teams. He’s become a solid route runner, but I think at most he fits a role of WR3 or 4 in the NFL. Jalen Virgil’s skillset really intrigues me. I really liked what I saw this preseason, and think with another year or two he might develop into a really solid WR. Hopefully he can fill the role we hoped for Hamler.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: The more Hinton plays the more he looks like he belongs and the more plays he makes. He’s shown he can be a WR3 or WR4 on a team. Jury is still out on Virgil, incomplete grade, but he does have that one thing you can’t teach - speed.
MHR - Somehow Josh Jacobs really gets the best of our run defense. But what kind of bounce-back game do you expect from the Broncos run D this week against thankfully D’Onta Freeman and not Christian McCaffrey? What is the missing piece for our run defense and how would you address it (free agency, draft, etc)?
kingbronco58: D’Onta Freeman isn’t anywhere near as talented as McCaffrey or Jacobs but Sam Darnold isn’t exactly the greatest QB to play the game so the Panthers will rely on the run. I think the Broncos defense will sell out to stop the run and dare the Panthers and Darnold to beat them through the air. I think the Broncos need bigger DEs, and 3-down linebackers. When the Broncos faced the Titans they asked Dre’Mont Jones to play stand up OLB to fill the role that Chubb left to stop the run. So a focus on gap integrity and getting bigger bodies to stop run will be the best ways for them to get better.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: Oh boy, look ahead? Our D-line and run D has been solid to great, except against Jacobs. Have you seen what Derrick Henry has done against every other team not named the Broncos? Easy answer is better ILB play, finally sign that big stud in the middle a lot of fans have been wanting.
MHR - Pat Surtain was on the losing end of a Davante Adams burn last weekend that led to a wide-open Raiders OT touchdown. It’s hard to admit but was that just a genius offensive play call by Josh McDaniels? Were there any rookie mistakes in there?
kingbronco58: I think it was miscommunication by the defense. I think that Surtain thought he had safety help in Simmons, but Simmons appeared to go toward the middle of the field. Surtain rarely gets destroyed like that, and getting beat by a great WR in Adams is nothing to be ashamed off.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: Good question. I ignored most of the post-game commentary on “what happened?” It appeared to be a bad read by PS2 and an even worse reaction. If anything, it might have been a recognition of a D we were in earlier that Raiders thought they could exploit later. Question: If Raiders coach is McDummy, what does that make our HC?
MHR - The injuries this year are off the charts bad. Why are the Broncos so fragile? Is it the thin air?
kingbronco58: I think it’s time to fire Loren Landow. This team has been injury plagued for the last few years. Loren has no experience as strength coach in the NFL and it shows. I also think the NFLPA should encourage the least injured teams to share training programs to help ensure players remain healthy.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: Thin air, the water, traffic on I-25, high gas prices. It’s impacting my Avalanche, too, LOL. In all honesty, I don’t recall a season where there are so many injury timeouts in ALL NFL games I’ve watched. Players are wearing down a path to those blue tents.
Not ideal but at 7 losses it’s becoming more reality. Plenty to still learn about this team in the remaining 7 games, though. Silver lining is we don’t have to debate on here whether the #Broncos should tank or not. Play to win every game & focus on changing the losing culture https://t.co/7UTbX6ve5x— Ryan Edwards (@redwardsradio) November 22, 2022
MHR - As head coach, Nathaniel Hackett lost to the Raiders twice, lost three overtime games, lost 7 games and lost six of those despite leading the game until the final drive. Fire him now - or as Woody Paige suggested - make him suffer this awful season with the rest of us - before sending him packing at season’s end?
kingbronco58: Send him packing now, promote Evero and see how things go. I’d love to get Evero a trial run and see if he can hack it. If he does well we could promote him otherwise we know we need to start another coaching search for Hackett’s replacement.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: Seven games remaining in this season, with maybe three, at most four, winnable games left on schedule. The time to fire Hackett would have been after the London game. Didn’t happen. Looks like he’s stuck with the rest of us until Black Monday.
MHR - Rumors circled a little more loudly this week that Ejiro Evero is a consideration for not just head coaching jobs elsewhere but potentially even in Denver. Would you take a chance on Evero as HC next season - who would be another first-time head coach - to replace Hackett?
kingbronco58: I probably wouldn’t take a shot on Evero to replace Hackett permanently unless he has success as an interim. The D has been solid but has come up short in key moments. I also wonder if the defense would look as effective if this offense could put points up on the board. Another first-time HC I’m interested in is Shane Steichen from Philly or Mike Kafka from NYG. Both have offenses tailored to the strengths of the players on the team. Additionally they both call plays and have been working under a HC that handed over playcalling. That said with three first-time HC failures in a row, I would be surprised if our next head coach wasn’t Dan Quinn or Frank Reich - someone who has at least filled the role at the NFL level.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: We are Ohhh for Three on first-time HCs of late. Yet other first year HCs are excelling this year - Brian Daboll, Mike McDaniel and Kevin O’Connell of note. Spin the wheel and try again with A) Hot College Coach; B) Hot NFL OC / DC; or C) NFL Retread. I don’t think we will be in the D) Sean Payton sweepstakes … would you want to step into this mess?
MHR - In honor of the SB50 Broncos team that beat the Panthers, what one piece of advice could that team offer the current one (or its coach)?
kingbronco58: I think the biggest piece of advice they could offer is to stay focused and keep up the intensity and close out games. The SB50 team played a lot of one-score games and defense would always come up big with a turnover or a key sack. This defense and team have been a huge letdown when it comes to closing out the game.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: That season was so crazy I did not want to rewatch or relive any part of it, except for the Super Bowl. That team should tell this team to play 60 minutes, fight to the end of every game, next man up means to perform as well as the last man up, and trust the veterans and leaders on this team to lead you to victory.
Predictions - kingbronco58
Stats for RUSSELL “WILL WE EVER RIDE” WILSON? 18/26, 244 yards, 2 TDs 1 INT
Stats for each Broncos RB? Murray,18 carries, 67 yards; Mack 12 carries, 42 yds
Number of yards receiving/TDs for the receivers? Sutton, 5 catches, 63 yards, 1TD; Dulcich, 3 catches, 47 yards, 1TD; Hinton, 3 catches, 36 yards
Longest FG for McManus? 47 yards
Number of sacks to Sam Darnold? 3
Broncos player with the most tackles? Singleton
Who gets the first sack of the game for the Broncos? Dre’mont Jones
Who gets the most sacks? Dre’mont Jones
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 2
How many times will TV announcers mention SB50 on Sunday afternoon’s broadcast? Too many, especially with the fall of both franchises from relevance
Final Score? 16-10, Broncos win
Stats for RUSSELL “WILL WE EVER RIDE” WILSON? 15 of 30, 205 yards, 1 TD
Stats for each Broncos RB? Murray, 95 yards, 1 TD; Mack, 35 yards
Number of yards receiving/TDs for the receivers? Sutton 65 yards; Hinton, 55 yards, 1 TD
Longest FG for McManus? 53
Number of sacks to Sam Darnold? 2
Broncos player with the most tackles? Singleton
Who gets the first sack of the game for the Broncos? Browning
Who gets the most sacks? Browning / Cooper
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 2 INTS, 1/1
How many times will TV announcers mention SB50 on Sunday afternoon’s broadcast? You mean if the game is a snoozer? Coming out of every timeout break, with highlights.
Final Score? 17-16, Denver
It’s not for everyone. I get it. I’m not the soccer evangelist trying to convince everyone to love the sport. But I will say that today’s 0-0 draw was far more entertaining than that 12-9 puntfest on Thursday Night Football last month. https://t.co/KEPKkqRekx— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) November 26, 2022
The Favorites - kingbronco58
Favorite Broncos win ever? Broncos24-point comeback against the Chargers with Peyton
Favorite Peyton Manning win? Besides the above, SB50 win
Favorite John Elway win? Honestly I’m a younger fan so haven’t seen any of Elway’s wins
Favorite Russell Wilson win? Home opener against Houston, it was an awful game but I was there. Hopefully the answer to this next week will be Carolina
Team you love to beat the most in the AFC West? Raiders
Coach you despise most in the NFL? Besides McDaniels, Belichick
Team you hate to lose to the most in the rest of the AFC (outside AFC West)? Patriots
NFC team you could cheer for in the Super Bowl? Vikings or Eagles
NFC team you’d want to face more than any other in the Super Bowl? Seahawks
Favorite game looking forward to this season? Looking forward facing the Ram; looks like the least painful game left
Toughest game left on the schedule? Both Chiefs games
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Javonte Williams
Favorite Broncos player of all time not named John Elway? Von Miller
Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Greg Dulcich
Food/Snack you have to eat on game day? Flaming hot cheetos, buffalo wings
Favorite game analyst/commentator? Tony Romo, or the Manning Cast
Which sports cliche best describes the Broncos? “Next man up”
The Favorites - BayAreaUnitedinOrange
Favorite Broncos win ever? SB XXXII still special for any long suffering Bronco fan
Favorite Peyton Manning win? His 2013 season was amazing. How about Game 1 vs Ravens…7 TDS!
Favorite John Elway win? Elway’s last game, SB XXXIII and the MVP award
Favorite Russell Wilson win? Wow, what a selection. I still do not know how we beat the Niners, so let’s go with that one.
Team you love to beat the most in the AFC West? Still the Raiders
Coach you despise most in the NFL? McDummy
Team you hate to lose to the most in the rest of the AFC (outside AFC West)? Pats
NFC team you could cheer for in the Super Bowl? Vikings. Speaking of long suffering fans…
NFC team you’d want to face more than any other in the Super Bowl? Lets see, in order, we owe: Dallas, Giants, WTFs, and Niners. Any of the above.
Favorite game looking forward to this season? Before the season started, I could not see any way Broncos would lose to Seattle opening night, you know, unless the team came out unprepared, undercoached, under motivated, out schemed, out played, out classed…
Toughest game left on the schedule? Chiefs
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Much like RW wins, not much left on the roster and still healthy to select… Let’s say Justin Simmons
Favorite Broncos player of all time not named John Elway? Terrell Davis
Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Greg Dulcich
Food/Snack you have to eat on game day? Nothing special
Favorite game analyst/commentator? Greg Olsen
Which sports cliche best describes the Broncos? Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
If YOU were giving a Ring of Fame tour, where do you start?
Kingbronco58: Not a player but Pat Bowlen to start, then Champ Bailey and John Elway
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: All those involved with Orange Crush defense
How did you become a Broncos fan?
Kingbronco58: I honestly don’t really know, I just started watching football one day and was hooked. I grew up in Denver so became a Broncos fan and followed along closely after Josh McDaniel was hired. Haven’t missed watching a game since then, even through the rough seasons.
BayAreaUnitedinOrange: I came to Colorado in 1981 and began following starting in the Elway years and continue as a fan in my Bay Area years
If you could take one Bronco from the SB50 team to add to the current team to make a difference, who would it be?
This poll is closed
Gary Kubiak ;)