When your team loses its home opener to your most-hated rival, you need two Ultimate Fans to get you to the next week.
So that’s exactly what we did! Brahncos came in as a rookie and showed us he was worthy of that first-round pick, while the seasoned veteran WesternAZBroncosfan proved he still has a lot of 100-yard games in his future.
But seriously, thanks to both of you for providing outstandingly thoughtful answers to the questions. No doubt it’ll help get us in the right Game Day mindset!
Let’s do this!
Week 2: Commanders at Broncos
MHR - Ugh. Starting the season with a loss. Be honest - did you have a jaded “sky is falling” mentality after losing to the Raiders? Or did you see some improvement in the team’s play that can be built upon?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: I was bummed out because Garoppolo found him a lollipop in Mathis. Vance Joseph appeared to not have an answer. That and dumb mistakes. I have seen this over and over the last seven years…. We do not know how not to win. The offense looked great the first half. Second half not so much. It’s like they took their foot off the gas!
MHR - What did you think of Sean Payton’s play calling overall? Hindsight is always 20/20, so aside from the outcomes, did you like the aggressive stance at the beginning of the game with the onside kick? Would you have gone for a touchdown on 4th and goal in the second half instead of taking a field goal to only go up 6 points?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: I loved the onside kick to start the game. Punting on 4th and 3? Take the 7 all day, especially with a kicker that missed an extra point. I hope Payton learns from this and stays aggressive for the Commanders game.
MHR - Russell Wilson was sharp, comfortable and effective passing the ball and running Payton’s offense. How did the offense’s performance make you feel about the potential (or not) of the offense this season?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: It is a learning curve for this team and they should get better as they learn the concepts. Can’t play fast if you are thinking all game long. I have hopes for the future but am not getting hyped up or immediately bummed until after Game 4.
MHR - Jerry Jeudy is expected to play this weekend, but Greg Dulcich is out. What will the addition of Jeudy bring to the game this weekend? What will the loss of Dulcich mean to the offense’s game plan; are the other 94 tight ends in the room able to pick up the slack left behind by Dulcich’s absence?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: Great question. Jeudy needs to play that’s for sure because they are probably going to bracket Sutton until a new problem appears for their (Commanders) defense. I like Dulcich and hope we have another TE to pick up the slack.
MHR - The Commanders have an incredible defensive line and a very athletic defense overall. What would be your advice on the best offensive strategy against this group? WesternAZBroncosfan44: Run, run, pass. Mix it up - have three plays called and trade out players (WRs and TEs) after each play. Grind that Front 7 down and use the altitude to our advantage. I know they are big and fast, but run a hurry-up style of offense and make them use time outs to rest their big guys. Then you can dictate the game to them. The last couple of seasons I’ve called out the plays before they ran them. Be unpredictable.
MHR - The running game last week wasn’t spectacular but it was effective and efficient. Do you expect to see a lot more of Javonte Williams, Jaleel McLaughlin and Samaje Perine on the field Sunday? What is your assessment of our run game overall and our running backs specifically?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: I like JW a lot; that kid has my respect. Anyone that loves this game enough to go through the injury he suffered and come back from it to play…Wow! Samaje is a powerful young man as well. He is a good addition to the team. Jaleel has vision and speed and with more experience can become a weapon like Kamara was for the Saints.
I’m happy with the run game so far and a good block here or there and one of them is going to the house with it!
Is tomorrow a must-win game for the Broncos? pic.twitter.com/F6PnJK2EDU— DNVR Broncos (@DNVR_Broncos) September 16, 2023
MHR - What did you think of the Offensive Line’s performance last week? Russell Wilson gave them high praise. Do you think our OLine will be able to match pressure and skill of Washington’s very strong D-line?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: I was not down on their performance at all. McGlinchey did well, and the whole unit needs more time to gel. At least they didn’t look like the bunch of matadors we had playing last year. I also didn’t see any “LOOK OUT!” blocks (note: that’s when the O-line whiffs on a block and yells look out!!!) during the game. Our center appears to be the weakest link so far.
MHR - Despite blitzing 41% of the time last week (3rd most in the NFL), the Broncos’ ability to pressure the QB and/or sack him was among the worst. In your view, why didn’t the pressure work well against the Raiders?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: I am not happy with the crew we have at the moment. I am not impressed and don’t have an answer besides…maybe we need a first round pick next year? I’m trying to wait until after the fourth game before I make up my mind on the defense whether they have regressed like predicted by some of our MHR members before the season opener.
MHR - Sam Howell was a fifth-round pick and is in just his second year in the pros. How should Vance Joseph rattle this guy with pressure? Protections?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: I would blitz him from whatever side Mathis is on and make Howell look for somewhere else to throw…which is hopefully into a mistake where one of our DBs can pick it off! Mix in some different looks and blitz Surtain a couple of times to keep the Commanders honest.
MHR - What is the biggest threat from Ron Rivera and his Washington Commanders this week?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: Jack Del Rio with a good defense to work with. Scary Terry [McLaurin], their All Pro wideout.
MHR - Wil Lutz missed an extra point and field goal and the Broncos lost by one point. What should the punishment be at practice for Wil Lutz this week?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: Make him watch “Tommy Boy” over and over. The scene where Tommy is in the cafe and explains to the waitress how he killed his sale! I am trying my best not to be a nattering Naboob of negativity, but the guy has one job!
MHR - How would you feel about this team’s chances for the rest of the season if they lose on Sunday? What about when they win, how will you feel about the rest of the season?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: No misconception from me; we are who we are! I’m hoping Payton can make chicken salad out of this roster and have thought that we would need about half to three-quarters out of this season to see what players picked up on the new way the team is being coached. I will cheer hard for them win or lose, but the losses hurt.
MHR - Which ONE player has to be an MVP on Sunday for this game to end with a check in the W column?
WesternAZBroncosfan44: Russell Wilson. He needs to earn his pay and play a complete game. Not just for a half of the game!
Stats for RUSSELL WILSON? 17/22/210 yards; 2 touchdowns
Stats for each Broncos RB? JW, 15 carries for 100 yards, 1 TD. Samaje Perine, 10 carries for 60 yards. JMc 5 carries for 59 yards, 1 long TD
Number of yards receiving/TDs for the receivers? CS 8 catches, 105 yards, 1 TD. JJ, 8 catches, 80 yards. Mims 1 for 25 yards
How many XPs does Lutz make this week?all that he can
Number of sacks to Sam Howell? 4
Broncos player with the most tackles? Alex Singleton, 15
Who gets the first sack of the game for the Broncos? Zach Allen
Who gets the most sacks? Sanders 3
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Commanders D? None
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? Surtain 1, Mathis 3 (one can only hope!) FF KJ 2 Jones with 2 recovered.
How many penalties between the two teams? 14
How many Broncos fans will be wearing Sean Payton visors to the game? 10
Final Score? Broncos 24 Commanders 9 (16 seems to be our number lately)
Favorite Broncos win ever? Super Bowl 32 or 1978 AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Favorite Jake Plummer win? ANY
Favorite Craig Morton win? Every time he beat the AFC West teams
Team you love to beat the most in the AFC West? Raiders. Hopefully we will beat them soon!
Coach you despise most in the NFL? Josh Mcdoucheals
Team you hate to lose to the most in the rest of the AFC (outside AFC West)? Ravens/Steelers
NFC team you could cheer for in the Super Bowl? Lions, because they have never won a Super Bowl
NFC team you’d want to face more than any other in the Super Bowl? Dallas Cheerboys
Toughest game on the schedule? Jets/or Miami
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Javonte on O and Surtain on D. Hard choice
Favorite Broncos player of all time aside from No. 44 Floyd Little? ;) Funny Doc. Lol. Randy Gradishar, no contest! I will go to his enshrinement ceremony when he gets in! He invented the Woo Hit (according to my grandpa) we would be sitting in the stadium and you could here him hit the other teams player with a loud wack! Some of the fans sitting around us would say Woo what a hit!
Favorite Broncos Hall-of-Famer? 44 in your programs but #1 in my heart Floyd Little.
Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? The new linebacker. Ya know, The Kid. I can’t think of his name...Arrrgh [editor’s note: Drew Sanders???]
Food/Snack you have to eat on game day? Sub sandwich n cheez-its
Favorite game analyst/commentator? Tony Romo
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 the Orange Crush Defense that has been left out of the Hall of Fame. Louis Wright, to start off with. I do interpreting as part of my job!
Give me one word/phrase/cliche to describe your hope for this season? Inspiration. That’s what this fanbase and team needs, IMO.
What was your favorite moment/play of Super Bowl XXXIII? Elway to Rod Smith over Eugene “Toast “ Robinson. Loved that play!
How did you become a Broncos fan?
Grandpa took me to a lot of games when I was young. On away games we would tune in KOA and listen to the broadcast I miss that man a lot. He was at my home during Super Bowl 32 and to see him cry and choked up said to me, “The Broncos finally did it, they aren’t bums anymore!” That was spectacular!