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Ultimate Fan: Looking forward to competent offense against the Chargers

This week’s ultimate fan likes the move away from Russell Wilson and is looking forward to watching an offense that moves the ball down the field.

New England Patriots v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

I’m not going to lie, Broncos Country. This week has been one of my least-favorite in the history of my fandom for this team.

Not only did Santa NOT listen to my request for just three wins to finish the season, the Broncos lost in dramatic fashion ... almost making me believe in them, only to fall apart in the final three minutes of a game they should have never let get away from them (cough third quarter, cough).

And the Russell Wilson drama is just the kind of noise I was so relieved for our team to be getting away from - finally.

But just like the Denver Broncos in that locker room, I have to set aside my personal feelings and do my job - which is publishing the UFG!

And thankfully WyoBronco is not here to share my negative mood but to rejoice at the chance for an improved offensive game plan with the QB change.’

All I know is if the Broncos ruin my New Year’s Eve the way they ruined my Christmas Eve, I will refuse to watch them ever again on the holidays, lol.

Week 17: Chargers at Broncos ... Happy New Year????

MHR - The Patriots loss was frustrating at best. Any thoughts on it or should we “move on?”
WyoBronco: That game was absolutely the most frustrating excuse for football I have seen from the Broncos since I’ve been watching the team since 1971. I lost my voice screaming at Wilson to throw the freakin’ ball beyond the line of scrimmage!

MHR - Speaking of “moving on,” Sean Payton has decided somewhat unexpectedly (or not) to “move on” from Russell Wilson with two games left in the season. Based on a comment you made to me, I assume you are in favor of this? Explain yourself ;)
WyoBronco: After that Christmas Eve shitshow, I prayed that Management would “Carr” Wilson and bench him for the remainder of the season if for no other reason than to keep him healthy so we can cut him this coming March. I am over the Russell Wilson experiment.

MHR - Personally, I did not like the way Payton blamed the offensive woes on Wilson and called benching him a “football decision” rather than a “financial decision.” For the Broncos’ brass, it’s financial but for Payton this seems to have always been the move - and I believe Wilson deserved a better end in Denver than that. At least Payton could own up to his decision and just say he didn’t want Wilson rather than making it sound like Jarrett Stidham is truly the way we are going to win games this year. OK, I’m almost done with my soap box; the floor is yours.
WyoBronco: To use one of Payton’s own phrases on him - there’s enough stink to go around on a number of people in the Broncos organization, and yes, that means Payton, too. That was one of the sorriest called games I’ve witnessed.

Regardless, the bottom line is that Wilson has shown for a good part of the season that he is very limited in the offense that he can run. We’ve had to run such a vanilla offense that makes it too easy for opposing defenses to scheme against. When our defense doesn’t get the turnovers, we’re screwed.

MHR - OK…truly moving on to the Chargers. They have had some weird wins and losses - such as beating the Patriots 6-0, only losing 24-22 to the Bills but losing 63-20 to the Raiders. What do you make of this team?
WyoBronco: I have been watching as much of them as I can this season and I’m stumped! Injuries have hurt them some but they just seem to be running hot and cold all season. I watched the game against the Bills closely and there were parts of it where they looked pretty good.

MHR - We beat the Chargers at their place a few weeks ago with at least half a game of Keenan Allen and Justin Herbert but still held them to just 7 points. Is there any way the Broncos defense can’t handle this Chargers team that once again found a way to squander so much talent and won’t have either Herbert, Allen or possibly even Joshua Palmer?
WyoBronco: We did well defensively in the first outing and pretty decent offensively. That being said, this is probably not going to be an easy game to win. We won’t have Staley gifting us field position and not putting up points by going for it on fourth down all the damn time (and not making it on most!) And we’ve seen the past few games how hard generating turnovers in our favor has been.

MHR - With two games left, the defense is dwindling after a relatively healthy season. And now with KJack gone, Baron Browning likely out with a concussion, Justin Simmons battling illness and Nik Bonitto still nursing a knee, do you expect a big game from the D again? Can they stop Austin Ekeler? Will they?
WyoBronco: That’s the question, isn’t it? Stopping Ekeler (plus Kelley and Spiller) has to be job No. 1 for the defense. The corners are also going to have to do much better against LA’s receivers than they did last week as well. I’m looking at you, Surtain! Pull your head out and turn it around!

MHR - Pat Surtain did not have a great game last week against a backup wide receiver, allowing a crucial first down that set up a 56-yard field goal that somehow the worst kicker in the league was able to make. Is Surtain’s star falling some or was that game an anomaly?
WyoBronco: See above. I honestly think the last game was an anomaly for him because he’s played pretty damn good for most of the season.

MHR - Among 7th-round draft picks at edge rusher, Jonathan Cooper ranks second for sacks this season at 7.5 (weird stat, I know, but kinda interesting!). What do you make of his performance this season? Between Cooper and Bonitto, though, do the Broncos have enough firepower at edge or is this a position we need to draft early in 2024?
WyoBronco: We need depth everywhere on this team but particularly on the D-line! You can never have too many stud pass rushers! Cooper, Bonitto and Browning can get it done but there’s a drop-off after those on the edge. Zach Allen has been a pleasant surprise this season but I’d like to get him some more help in the middle.

MHR - OK, Jarrett Stidham. What are your hopes and expectations this weekend?
WyoBronco: All I want to see is a quarterback running a competent, complete NFL offense. I want to see some throws to the middle of the field and I want to see him hit a receiver in stride for a change. I want him to throw the freakin’ ball away if the play is not there!

MHR - Do you expect to see a whole different offensive game plan or will it be pretty vanilla since Stidham is starting for Payton for the first time?
WyoBronco:I expect to see a whole different game plan this week. Look, Stidham’s been here all year. He’s got the playbook that has everything in it, including the kitchen sink. He has got to have been as frustrated as everyone else watching this Russell Wilson dumbed-down version. I saw him reading the whole field in the preseason. That in itself will be an improvement!

MHR - Courtland Sutton is probably out with a concussion. Who will benefit the most from putting Russell Wilson on the bench? Is this the game Jerry Jeudy will finally shine?WyoBronco: I hope Jeudy shines in this game and in the next one. I think Mims will see some more targets as well as Brandon Johnson and “not so“ Lil Jordan Humphery. Lucas Krull is a super intriguing player to me!

MHR - Now that the Broncos are most likely out of the playoffs, do you care if they win or lose? What should be the goal for the final two games?
WyoBronco: The goal in these next two games should always be to win! Losing only breeds more losing! Look, at one point in this season I was considering embracing the suck because of the possibility of low draft picks but I’m glad of the possibility of a winning season for a change…draft position be damned!

Predictions

Stats for Jarrett Stidham? 24 of 30 for 224 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int, 2 sacks.

Stats for each Broncos RB? 20 carries for Williams, 75 yds; 12 carries for Perine, 52 yds rushing, 25 yards passing, 1 TD; 8 carries for Jaleel McLaughlin, 40 yards.

Number of yards receiving/TDs for the receivers? Jeudy, 5 for 46 yards; B Johnson, 6 for 51 yards; Mims, 4 for 40 yards Krull 3 for 32 yds.

Longest FG for Lutz? 52 yards

Number of sacks to Easton Stick? 4 sacks

Broncos player with the most tackles? Singleton

Who gets the first sack of the game for the Broncos? Cooper

How many times will the announcers talk about the Russell Wilson/Sean Payton “relationship?” Ugh...Far too many!

How many INTs/FF/FR for the Chargers D? 1 INT, 1FF

How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos’ D? 1INT, 1FR

How many false start penalties for the Broncos? 2

Final Score? 24 - 21, Broncos

The Favorites

Favorite John Elway win outside of the Super Bowls? The Drive, or maybe the monday night snow game against Washington

Favorite Broncos win ever? SB XXXII of course!

Favorite Peyton Manning win? SB50!

Team you love to beat the most in the AFC West? The Chiefs now. It used to be the Raiders.

Coach you laugh at the most in the NFL? It was Staley. I don’t know now.

Coach you most want to throw an egg at? McDaniels

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

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

NFC team you want to face more than any other in the Super Bowl? Dallas. We owe them big time!

Favorite game so far this season? Chiefs

Least favorite game this season? Last week

Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Simmons

Favorite Broncos player of all time not named John Elway? Randy Gradishar

Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Ja’Quann Mcmillian

Food/Snack you have to eat on game day? Nothing in particular, just whatever snacks I have on hand.

Favorite game analyst/commentator? Romo

If YOU were giving a tour of the Ring of Fame, who do you highlight? Gradishar and the rest of the Orange Crush Defense!

How did you become a Broncos fan?

I moved to Denver in 1971 one week after high school graduation to continue my education. The Texaco station where I worked at 8th and Colorado was running a Broncos promotion that I ended up knowing who all the players were. Game tickets were cheap and the first one I went to was against the Chargers. Floyd Little made me a fan that day!

The truth of it is that even though I didn’t care for any sports when I moved there, you just couldn’t live there in the 70s and not get caught up in Broncomania. It was glorious!