It’s Game Day Sunday and Denver’s home opener...and that has the UFG ready to bounce back just like the Broncos!
Last week’s debacle is done and gone (but we’re going to talk about it one more time here, lol) before looking ahead to what should be a pretty interesting matchup. Both the Broncos and Texans suffered unexpected outcomes in their respective games last week in a crazy Week 1, so Houston will be coming to town with their guns ablazin (figuratively, of course!)
But WesternAZ has been with this team a loooong time, so he is optimistic - and so am I! After the Broncos’ defense adjusted at halftime (what’s that? adjusted, you say? why yes, I know it’s crazy), it looked like a team that knew how to stop an opponent in key moments while the offense showed all game it could roll down the field and score (even if some fluky fumbles kept it from happening).
With first-game jitters out of the way, mental errors corrected and a home field advantage a mile high, this game should be the one Broncos Country is waiting for. Thanks to WesternAZBroncosfan44 for giving us another treat before the Orange and Blue take the field!
Week 2: Texans at Broncos
MHR - Hmmmph. That final play call against the Seahawks was…something. So tell me why you’re not freaking out over the super dumb play call by Nathaniel Hackett that cost the Broncos their chance at a comeback win?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: Rookie coaches do rookie things. During that last drive when Williams had the chance to go out of bounds and he fought for more yards, that got me to wondering what’s going on? Then the play with the loss of yards! Next play Wilson accidentally threw the ball into the ground and I was thinking, “damn the smegma of the last 6 years is creeping onto our QB!” Then the next play happened and no one was calling for a time out! I was convinced that our whole team and staff had the smegma! So they called out the FG team and I told my wife that this game is over.
After the game I found out that Hackett bought a bottle of Elixir from a “ Snake Oil “ salesman named McManus during the game, and I had my answer to the question of “why would you pull your bought-and-paid-for Franchise QB off the field?
So to answer your question better, this was only the first game out of 17 and it’s a non-conference, non-divisional game kinda like an appetizer) so hopefully it doesn’t ruin the main course (our chances for a playoff berth ).
This game I got to see a lot of the little things that have been missing for half a decade. The team had a plan on offense that worked for the most part. The team actually made in-game adjustments and it worked. The team has an O-line again that works. So I see progress again and with that HOPE that someone on the Broncos staff will tell Hackett, ”don’t be a bone head!” (*editor’s note: my money is on his QB making sure of that)
MHR - How are you feeling about this coaching staff right now? Have you lost any confidence or feel like last week was just expected “lessons learned” from a first-time head coach?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: I like Hackett, and I especially like Evero, the defensive coordinator, and how he made adjustments at halftime and stopped Seattle’s offense like putting out a cigarette! I am confident with the new staff. I just wished they would have practiced like they used to back in the 80s - indoors with loud speakers. I believe the Broncos were the first team to do that. They used it for games that were going to be loud and possibly confusing. This is twice now that we lost to Seattle due in part to the crowd’s noise! Unprepared for it and Wilson was running up and down the line yelling at his teammates to get them on the same play call.
I was also impressed with how the Broncos played on offense - they looked markedly different compared to the last five years. The game flowed (except the last 3 minutes) and looked like a real team again on offense. The (not-special-yet) Special Teams looked a little better and the second half defense was a lot better.
MHR - Both the Broncos and Texans are coming off games with rather bizarre endings…the Broncos missing a 64-yard field goal that they opted to do instead of letting franchise QB Russell Wilson throw a five-yard pass for first down AND the Texans blowing a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter and ending in a tie. How do you see Game 2 playing out in this matchup between two teams really, really wanting a win?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: I hope that the Broncos aren’t looking past the Texans and that they do start the game with a good mix of runs and passes. Just keep pounding the rock and use the Mile High home field advantage to wear the Texans defense down. When the Texans have the ball, stop their running game and make them one dimensional. Pressure Mills into making mistakes or having to play hero ball like we have seen it used against us for the past five years. Let the Texans stub their toe and when they do, pounce on it and capitalize! I see this game close until the 4th quarter and then the Texans run out of gas. The Broncos need to relearn how to win close games and put the other team on the bus home with a loss!
MHR - Aside from the mistakes before the snap and at the goal line, Wilson and the Broncos offense moved down the field pretty well. Once again they’ll be facing a strong defense but not without its weaknesses. What kind of matchups do you expect the Broncos O to exploit this weekend?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: I expect them to pick on the front 7 of the Texans. Especially the linebackers with quick openers and misdirection runs combined with slants to our wideouts and passes to the running backs out in the flats. Make the Texans commit to stopping the run and short passing game and put 8 or 9 in the box, and when they do have Wilson throw one of his deep passes to Sutton or Jeudy for the big gain or TD! I do believe that the linebackers for the Texans are the weak link and the key to beating them!
MHR - Wilson found a lot of different targets last week and seemed to really like throwing to his running backs and tight ends before finding his big-play receivers. Do you think a similar approach is a good idea this week or do you think we see more Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and maybe KJ Hamler this week?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: I like the game plan that the Broncos used last week. They should do something similar this week and truly make the Texans have to cover the entire field. The only thing I would do differently is “not go to the well too often“ with the same play. They used a screen play (something I hadn’t seen in a long time and they pulled it off ) too much and it wound up biting them. Hamler has been ruled out and I would love to see the wideouts get more involved this week with some shallow crossing routes and rack up some yards after the catch. Especially Sutton and Jeudy.
MHR - The running game also appeared relatively efficient last week even if not electric. How are you feeling about Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon (other than both needed some Gorilla Glue on their hands and/or the ball!)
WesternAzBroncosfan44: I was glad to see Javonte again running over and through defenders last week. Gordon looked just as good pushing the ball down the field as well. It would be great if this season they both amassed 1,000 yards rushing. That would be special to watch and would indicate to me that the team is heading in the right direction with the O-line.
MHR - The Broncos defense looked very out of sync in the first half last week (something Kareem Jackson definitely blamed in part on their lack of playing together in a game setting) but tightened up in the second half. Which parts of the defense concern you the most and which ones have you jumping up and down with excitement?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: ILB and Edge depth has me nervous about this season’s team. The CB depth is questionable after the starters as well. The three players that have me the most excited are Jones & Jones, Inc.,. on the D-line and Patrick Surtain.
MHR - The Broncos pass rush also took time developing last week but eventually got to the QB. With a game behind them, how do you think Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory will do this week on their way to bring down Davis Mills (who played pretty well last week)?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: They should have a blast at playing “meet me at the QB” as long as they have some interior DL pressure that makes Mills step back instead of into the pocket. I am excited about having both Chubb and Gregory on the field at the same time.
MHR - The defense will be without Justin Simmons for several weeks. How big of a loss is it to lose him in the secondary? What could that do to the Broncos’ communication on the field (something that was definitely an issue last week)?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: “Caden Sterns, you are the next man up!” I have confidence that he will be just fine as long as he doesn’t do what the D did in the first half of last week’s game. Just know your assignment and be there in position to do it. Josey Jewell is back this week and he should communicate and help with getting everyone on the same page.
MHR - With Caden Sterns in for Simmons, do you anticipate the Texans putting Brandin Cooks on the newbie as much as possible? If/when Patrick Surtain lines up against Cooks, who wins those matchups?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: I would expect that will be the case. They will try to pick on him, and Caden will have to step up. I liked how Surtain dealt with Seattle’s No. 1 receiver last week. Blanketed him and held him to minimal gains. I know that Cooks is fast and he will get a couple of plays on whoever is covering him. They just need to negate him as much as possible - and no freebies this game. I think Surtain is up for him and will win more than he loses against Cooks.
MHR - Describe in one word how you feel about having Russell Wilson at quarterback for Denver?
MHR - I know you are a true diehard Broncos fan, but explain the difference in your optimism this season versus last?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: The way the offense played in the Seattle game. In seasons past the offense was so predictable. The best way I can describe it is being inflight on a jumbo jet and you are watching a mechanic pop up out of the wing and he starts working on the plane. Shurmur appeared to just call anything at anytime and hoped it worked. It just looked different to me and the test for me is “do you get good results?” The team did but got caught up in a bad decision at the end that cost them the game.
MHR - This will be the Broncos first home game since Wilson joined the team. On a scale of 1-10, how electric will the home crowd be? How much of an advantage is that for the Broncos this weekend?
WesternAzBroncosfan44: 10 for sure! I remember the thunder back at old Mile High Stadium. I can only imagine if the Broncos start out hot and get a couple scores ahead! Kinda feel for the Texans…. Nah I don’t!
Stats for RUSSELL “LET’S RIDE” WILSON? 28/30/315, 4 TDs
Stats for each Broncos RB? Gordon 15, 105 and 1 long TD run. Williams 15, 110 and 1 TD
Number of yards receiving/TDs for all 187 receivers? Too many receivers is right so 2 yards a piece and ¼ TD for each ;) OK, seriously - Sutton
and Jeudy get 2 TDs, and I have no idea who is gonna get the rest
Longest FG (aside from 64) for McManus? 45 yds
Number of sacks to Wilson? 2
Number of sacks to Davis Mills? 7
Broncos player with the most tackles? Josey Jewell
Who gets the first sack of the game for the Broncos? Chubb
Who gets the most sacks? Gregory
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 2 picks (Surtain); 2 forced fumbles; and 2 recovered
How many times will the Network show Lovie Smith with a lost look on his face? Many
How many hugs will Coach Hackett give during the game? 6
Final Score? 38-14
Favorite Broncos game in the Brian Griese era? (hehehehe, just kidding!!) Favorite John Elway win outside of the Super Bowls? The Drive game
Team you love to beat the most in the AFC West? All of them!
Coach you laugh at the most in the AFC West? Josh McDaniels
Team you hate to lose to the most in the rest of the AFC? Ravens. I can’t stand that team!
Team you could cheer for in the Super Bowl from the AFC? I would say the Bengals, don’t know why?
NFC team you cannot stand? Cowboys, Eagles, Giants. Hell any team in the NFC Least
NFC team you want to face more than any other in the Super Bowl? Cowboys ..I still remember the Super Bowl loss to them, ripped my heart out at the time.
Favorite game looking forward to this season? The Chiefs games, they have beaten us (or we’ve beaten ourselves) too much lately and a win against them would be satisfying!
Toughest game on the schedule? Chiefs @ KC
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? I like J Williams & J Simmons
Favorite Broncos player of all time not named John Elway? Easy peasy…Floyd Little, hands down
Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Montrell Washington
Food/Snack you have to eat on game day? Brats and sweet tea
Favorite game analyst/commentator? I like Nance or Romo!
Which sports cliche best describes the Broncos? If you want to be the best you have to beat the best!
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? ALL OF THEM! I do interpretive programs at work and have to cover a lot of things in a short amount of time! I got this.
Which player do you expect to be today’s game MVP?
This poll is closed
Brandon "snake oil salesman" McManus
Patrick Surtain II