Well ultimate fans, Week 4 had everything! Ups, downs. Good offense, bad offense. Bad defense, good defense (even some great defense)! The question is...can the Broncos offense and defense carry over their 4th-quarter Bears performance for an entire four quarters this week against the J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets!?
I don’t know. I keep hoping this team will find some rhythm to build on and improve each week. Sean Payton always believes it takes three to four weeks to really find out who the team is, so this week against the Jets should tell us a lot.
And it will be a hugely interesting matchup, even (especially?) without Aaron Rodgers. Ironically, the Broncos and Jets are perfect opposites with strength (Broncos offense) against strength (Jets defense) and weakness (Broncos defense) against weakness (Jets offense). I believe it will come down to which team’s weakness can win out. In other words, can VJ outsmart Hackett?
Here to tell us - and offering one of the best references ever (I’ll let you read to find it) - is SickBoy67. And once again, it’s UFG-worthy! The Broncos may be 1-3 but the UFG is 5-0!!
Week 5: Jets at Broncos
MHR - Welp. It was a win. About four weeks too late but still a win. What did you think of the come-from-behind victory and do you see it being a motivator that can lift this team up to some more wins?
SickBoy67: I was really happy to see the team rally. Yeah, it’s the Bears, but it’s difficult to win on the road in the NFL. Also, it’s important psychologically for a team to know that just because they’re behind in the 4th quarter, it doesn’t automatically mean a loss. Payton talked about learning how not to lose first before learning how to win. I think this helps that along. Oddly enough, I’m also encouraged by how the Bears looked against the Commanders. A lot of people thought that Fields would regress to what he looked like earlier in the season, but he stacked up a second good game in a row. So, sometimes it’s a matter of flipping the switch.
MHR - The offense came out firing, then sputtered. But then fired up again and scored quickly. What lessons would you like Russell Wilson and Sean Payton to take away from that and improve this week against a VERY good defense?
SickBoy67: Well, the lesson is that it’s possible to get back into a rhythm after having a slump. Also, you can make halftime adjustments that work. They still need to be more consistent over the course of a whole game, though. I think the offense is coming along, and I’m hoping they find that consistency with more time together.
MHR - Which Jets defender scares you the most - Sauce Gardner, CJ Mosley or Quinnen Williams? How does the Broncos offense neutralize them with play calling and scheme?
SickBoy67: It has to be Williams. Wilson can ignore Gardner if he wants to, and as good as Mosely is, the Jets are still allowing 4.2 yards per carry in the run game. I’m having a hard time finding Quinnen Williams current pressure rate, but last year he was either second or third among DTs in the NFL. With some of the pass blocking issues our offensive line has, I can see him blowing up plays and disrupting the rhythm of the offense all day. They might need to run 12 personnel more often so that they can put an extra body on him. Getting the ball out quickly with a lot of short passes could help as well.
MHR - Jaleel McLaughlin seemed to prove last week that his preseason heroics weren’t just fools’ gold. What did you think of his performance and do you think he can do it again this week against a tougher defense?
SickBoy67: This kid is lightning in a bottle. He may be a scat back, but he’s not afraid to run inside if he needs to. He’ll get some opportunities, but I think we’ll see a lot more of Perine in this one. I think they need to look at using some pro set formation and motion to confuse the defense. I haven’t really seen Payton use that look this year, though.
MHR - The receiving targets look a lot different than we were probably expecting before the season started. Instead of a lot of Jeudy and Sutton with a little Patrick for fun, we’re getting a little Jeudy and Sutton to move down the field but Brandon Johnson and Marvin Mims for the big plays. What do you like about that? Do you see that as our offensive M.O. down the stretch?
SickBoy67: Generally, I like it. Sutton has looked a lot more like a possession receiver than a playmaker for the last couple of seasons, so I think it fits where he’s at now. In Jeudy’s case, I think some of his usage has been based on the injuries that he’s been dealing with. Overall, I think Payton’s using his receivers well.
MHR - Now for the elephant in the room - Nathaniel Hackett. Without Aaron Rodgers, he’s having to actually call plays. Do you think Vance Joseph’s defense can outsmart Hackett’s offense? Or are we still on the losing end of this?
SickBoy67: I think the computer from Madden 2008 could outsmart Vance’s defense, so I think that Hackett probably has the upper hand. On the other hand, Hackett is often his own worst enemy when it comes to play design, so this could be a case of “in-over-his-head object meets inept force.”
MHR - What did you think of trading Randy Gregory - fan of the move? Do you like the trend toward a younger team?
SickBoy67: I like it. He wasn’t working out here, and he wasn’t interested in being a backup. Starting the younger guys is an accountability measure. Gregory’s play has been pretty bad this year, so there’s no reason he should have been starting any longer.
MHR - Last week the defense looked like it could falter big again, but it rallied and finished the fourth quarter with some impressive stats - a three and out, a 4th down stand, an INT and a strip sack, scoop and score. What impressed you about that finish?
SickBoy67: They were making some game-changing plays. I’m resigned to the fact that Vance’s defense is going to get steamrolled a lot. The only way to partially offset that is by pressuring the QB and creating turnovers or timely stops. They did that in the second half.
MHR - Nik Bonitto and Jonathan Cooper seemed to develop a pretty good chemistry last week - whether intentional or not. What kind of impact could those two have on the young Zach Wilson? What would you like to see in terms of blitz v. pressure this week?
SickBoy67: I think that they have to generate pressure on Zach Wilson in whatever way they need to, but they have to be careful not to let him escape and make plays on the run. Honestly though, they need to stop the run first or they won’t have the favorable down and distance matchups to apply that pressure.
MHR - As an Iowa State alum, I love me some Breece Hall - and was super bummed to see him get hurt last year after such a promising start. Of course right now I’m not super happy he’s coming off a pitch count in time to play the Broncos. How much of a problem could he be and can our Broncos defense stop him?
SickBoy67: I bleed orange and blue as a fan, but I appreciate good players on other teams. I like Breece Hall, and was sorry to see such a promising rookie year cut short. I wish him continued success, except for this week. Currently, the Broncos are pretty much the bottom run defense in the NFL. They are last in yards allowed, tied for last in TDs allowed, and second from last in yards per carry allowed. As you mentioned in your question, Breece Hall is off of the pitch count now and starting to round back into form. He’s going to have a huge day. If they can somehow shut him down, then this game suddenly gets a lot easier. I don’t see it happening.
MHR - The defense will have Justin Simmons back; how does that help this week?
SickBoy67: He’s a leader, and he comes up with big plays at opportune times. The secondary has been looking a bit depleted lately, so it’s nice to have him back.
MHR - This matchup is very different now that there’s no Aaron Rodgers to contend with. I’ve been saying that matching the wits of Sean Payton v. Robert Saleh is a chess match. But matching Hackett and VJ is more like playing Twister. Between the two, which ones come out on top and where does that leave the final outcome?
SickBoy67: Well, I’d go with my earlier answer from above. Neither of these guys is that good. Hackett hasn’t actually had that much success as a coordinator when he’s the guy actually designing the plays. Vance’s ceiling is “meh”. I think that Hackett and his offense are probably extra motivated for this one, so I’d give the advantage to him.
MHR - Which ONE player has to be an MVP on Sunday for this game to end with a check in the W column?
SickBoy67: Russell Wilson
MHR - What is your hope for this team for the rest of the season?
SickBoy67: I want to see real growth. When you hire a coach like Payton, you do that with the long term in mind. I want to see this team fighting hard in every game. I want to see the light bulbs start to come on for certain players. If they could win 6 of the remaining games, I’d be happy enough, but I’m not sure they can do it with this defense.
Super fun convo...and thankfully Rick didn't make me give a score prediction https://t.co/SjjCkSaAwS— Doctor of Words (and tights) (@docllv) October 6, 2023
Stats for RUSSELL WILSON? 14/21, 244 yards, 2 TDS 0 Int
Stats for each Broncos RB? Perine 12 carries for 51 yards, 2 catches for 15 yards. McLaughlin 7 carries for 48 yards, 3 catches for 32 yards and a TD
Number of yards receiving/TDs for the receivers? Sutton 43 yards, 0 TDs; Jeudy 61 yards, 0 TDs; Johnson 15 yards, 0 TDs; Mims 45 yards, 1 TD
Longest FG from Lutz this week? 52 yards
Number of sacks to Zach Wilson? 4
Broncos player with the most tackles? Singleton
Who gets the first sack of the game for the Broncos? Bonitto
Who gets the most sacks? Bonitto
How many INTs/FF/FR for the JETS D? 0 Int, 2 FF, 1 FR
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 1 Int, 1 FF, 1 FR
How many penalties between the two teams? 14
How many times does the crowd count the play clock for Hackett? 10
Final Score? Denver 20 - New York 17
Favorite Broncos win ever? Super Bowl XXXII (a zoo full of monkeys finally off of our backs)
Favorite Peyton Manning win? 7 TD opening game performance of 2013
Favorite John Elway win? Super Bowl XXXIV (final game and MVP)
Team you love to beat the most in the AFC West? Raiders
Coach you despise most in the NFL? McDaniels
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? Lions
NFC team you’d want to face more than any other in the Super Bowl? Dallas (can’t stand Jerruh)
Toughest game remaining on the schedule? Week 10 at the Bills
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Pat Surtain
Favorite Broncos player of all time not named John Elway? Shannon Sharpe
Favorite Broncos Hall-of-Famer? John Elway
Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Marvin Mims
Food/Snack you have to eat on game day? popcorn
Favorite game analyst/commentator? Aikman
Give me one word/phrase/cliche to describe your hope for this season? Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Who do you highlight in a Ring-of-Fame introduction to a new fan?
That’s tough. Mecklenburg, Nalen, Jackson, and Wright for sure. I think I’d want to talk about these great players that unfortunately aren’t in the Hall of Fame. I left Gradishar off of the list because I’m hoping he’s actually getting in this year.
How did you become a Broncos fan?
My best friend was a HUGE Cowboys fan, so I became a HUGE Broncos fan in the lead up to Super Bowl XII. That didn’t go according to plan, but I became a fan for life. Loved that Orange Crush defense!
Guess docllv’s favorite line from this week’s UFG because she literally laughed out loud ;)
This poll is closed
"can’t stand Jerruh"
"case of ‘in-over-his-head object meets inept force.’
"resigned to the fact that VJ’s defenses are going to get steamrolled"
"Madden 2008 could outsmart Vance’s defense."