Well, Broncos Country...last week’s outcome could not get much worse (I mean, it could have if the Dolphins didn’t put in backups and forgo a final field goal!) but as diehards, we’re back to see if this team can bounce back.
Luckily for the Broncos, they ordered up another 0-3 team to try and get on the right track, which of course the Bears will be trying to do as well. I like how this week’s ultimate fan - veteran kingbronco58 - described the season so far - “painful.” And his hope for the team this year - “nonexistent.”
No truer words, but he predicted a win nonetheless and has some great ideas on how to win this game. Maybe Sean Payton should hire him.
Week 4: Broncos at Bears
MHR - We always knew beating Miami was going to be tough, but who predicted such a lopsided defeat? What did you learn about this team - or was it exactly as you expected? What was the most disappointing aspect of that loss?
Kingbronco58: I expected a loss to Miami and to feel blown out but more in the range of 35-17, definitely not seeing a historic performance by the Miami offense. I think we learned that the losing culture has certainly swept in and Payton has a lot more work cut out for him than Broncos country probably envisioned. The most disappointing part of that loss was seeing just how far the Broncos have fallen since SB50. It's hard to give up 70 points in the NFL, yet the Broncos did it with the Miami starting offense on the bench after the 3rd quarter.
MHR - The defense should not have fallen off this much from last year, should it? But fully blaming Vance seems like low hanging fruit. VJ has been known as a man-to-man guy and Payton has often had zone with his teams. How much of the issues are VJ’s fault for not coaching well versus Payton’s fault for possibly deciding more of the scheme? Do you trust Payton and VJ to get the defense right soon?
Kingbronco58: The defense was falling off at the back end of last year. So a decline this year isn’t shocking, but to be ranked dead last in nearly every category is. I hated VJ when he was our head coach and orchestrated “good weeks of practice,” and I hated hearing Payton bring him back as DC. Regardless of zone or man, VJ has simply not been effective at any stop as a DC. I have no idea what Payton was thinking hiring him, besides “third time’s the charm.” I think VJ is primarily to blame and Payton brought in an experienced DC to be the CEO of the defense so he could focus on the offense. I do not trust VJ or Payton to get the issues on defense corrected this season. At best they could return to a mid to bottom-tier defense. I fully expect VJ gets canned at the end of the season.
MHR - Last week even our future Hall of Fame cornerback got smoked. Is the new offensive blueprint against defenses super speed?
Kingbronco58: It's hard to assemble an offense with that much speed. Miami is the only team I can think of that has had so much speed on the offensive side of the ball. We also see plenty of fast draft picks flame out of the league like John Ross and Dri Archer. I think Miami is unique in having a coach who knows how to pick fast-talent football players not just fast athletes and use them to their strengths. I don't think we will see many offenses attempt to replicate this style in the future since Tyreek Hills don't grow on trees.
MHR - The Broncos' pass rush has been inconsistent at best, probably more from a play call standpoint than anything else. This week VJ mentioned the dilemma with Justin Fields - rushing four doesn’t pressure him enough but rushing five leaves someone open and he can get rid of the ball with any throw.
Kingbronco58: Justin Fields has been horrible at seeing the field and getting rid of the ball this season. Bring pressure and make Fields find the open guy if the Broncos want a chance to win. So I fully expect VJ to bring four, and Fields to use his legs to give the Bears a shot at their first win of the season.
MHR - If Justin Simmons doesn’t play, how are you feeling about the secondary? Which area of the defense is the weak link and how do we minimize that?
Kingbronco58: Not good, for spending a lot of draft picks at safety we have a surprising lack of depth at the position. Matthis has really struggled this year, hopefully having Moss healthy allows for some competition across from Surtain. The D-line and pass rush are without a doubt the weakest links on this team. They don't do a great job keeping contain or getting any pressure when only rushing four. To minimize this I think Denver needs to stack the box, dare Fields to beat them with his arm as well as bring a blitz to put some pressure on him.
MHR - Which part of the Bears offense is the weakest and how can Vance and this crew expose that?
Kingbronco58: The Bears' offense has been abysmal in passing this year. VJ and company should make sure the Bears don't run all over us by shutting down Herbert, Johnson, and Fields. As Miami demonstrated last week, that isn't our defense’s strength. So the defense needs to be fundamentally sound this week - wrap up and actually make tackles if they want to force the Bears to the air.
Believe it or not, we came up with a winner for this game https://t.co/Ty7qDnFzsf— Doctor of Words (and tights) (@docllv) September 29, 2023
MHR - The offense has been moving the ball and scoring points (except when negated by a penalty) and doing so with a lot of different players - Sutton, Mims, Jeudy, Trautman, Javonte. Do you see one part of the offense being leaned on this weekend?
Kingbronco58: I think the Broncos continue to lean on their air attack. With how good Mims has looked and Juedy getting healthier, I expect both guys will get more opportunities this week. The run game has been pretty inefficient to start the year. So hopefully Denver can get off to a fast start and get the ground game back on track this week.
MHR - Mims keeps having big plays but is still relatively absent from the offensive game plan. Does he warrant more targets in the offense or is his speed being used correctly in the deep passing game?
Kingbronco58: I think you have to put the ball in the hands of your playmakers, so I would like to see Mims get the ball more frequently. With the kickoff return touchdown he had last week it’s clear he can be dynamic after the catch. To get him more opportunities I think he should be playing ahead of Brandon Johnson.
MHR - What kind of role would you like to see the running game play this week? Is it time to unleash Javonte?
Kingbronco58: For a team everyone in the offseason thought our identity would be running the ball, we’ve been doing surprisingly little of it. I think Javonte should be getting at least 15-20 touches per game. I also would be very interested in getting Jaleel McLaughlin more touches. He brings an element of speed the rest of the RB room simply doesn't have. I think getting the run game going will be helpful in preventing the defense from being on the field for extended periods of time against better offenses later in the season.
MHR - Which ONE player on offense, defense and special teams has to be an MVP on Sunday for this game to end with an actual win?
Kingbronco58: Alex Singleton needs to do what he’s known for and make tackles. If the defense doesn't miss 24 tackles this week we should have a good chance at victory.
MHR - Coach Prime defended Sean Payton this week. Do you think Payton will eventually be able to have the same success as Deion at CU? How confident are you that CU is going to move into the Top 10 before the season is over?
Kingbronco58: As a CU alum, this is easily the most fun I’ve had watching CU football. This will be an unpopular opinion, but I have some concerns about Payton. Payton found most of his success with Brees, and didn’t ever develop a QB in his time there. He also played in a relatively weak division during his time there. The offense has looked better than years past, which helps ease some of my concerns. Additionally the next decade of competing against Mahomes, will make it difficult for him to find success. I hope I’m wrong and he can make Broncos fun again. I dont believe CU is a top 10 team this year. I think the PAC 12 is surprisingly good this year, with a difficult schedule CU has their work cut out for them with Travis Hunter being injured. At their best I think they could be a top 25 team this year. Next year they could potentially make the leap to top 10.
MHR - Where are you on the “Tank for Caleb Williams” or “Get this right and start winning” scale? Are you concerned about the toxicity of a losing culture mentality?
Kingbronco58: Honestly I think I lean towards the tank for Williams. This team isn’t close to being a Super Bowl contender right now. The Broncos simply don’t have depth or talent at key positions right now. From KC to Jacksonville, we’ve seen teams turn it around rapidly when hitting on a young QB. I think the Broncos would be prudent to sell vets for assets and truly rebuild the roster. Grabbing a generational QB prospect will help us compete with Mahomes for the next decade. Wilson isn't getting any younger, and won't be able to help this team through a rebuild with the number of holes we have. If we believe Payton is really the guy, then we should pair him with a young QB with insane talent and rebuild this team through the draft.
Stats for RUSSELL WILSON? 21/27 278 yards, 3TDs, 1INT
Stats for each Broncos RB? Williams 13 carries 52 yards; Perine 6 carries 17 yards; Mclaughlin 4 carries 21 yds
Number of yards receiving/TDs for the receivers? Sutton 5 catches, 60yards, 1TD; Mims 3 catches 81 yards 1 TD; Jeudy 7 catches 47 yds 1 TD
Longest field goal for Lutz? 53
Number of sacks to Justin Fields? 2
Broncos player with the most tackles? Singleton
Who gets the first sack of the game for the Broncos? Cooper
Who gets the most sacks? Cooper
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Bears D? 1
How many INTs/FF/FR for the Broncos D? 2
How many penalties between the two teams? 14
How many Broncos fans will be wearing paper bags over their heads after this game? 50% of Broncos Country
Final Score? Broncos win 24-20
Favorite Broncos win ever? Beside SB50, the comeback against the Chargers in Peyton's first Broncos season in 2012
Favorite Peyton Manning win? Chargers comeback his first year
Favorite John Elway win? Elway was before my time, so dont really have an answer for this one
Team you love to beat the most in the AFC West? Raiders and Chiefs
Coach you despise most in the NFL? Does Vance Joseph count?
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? 9ers, gotta beat the best to be the best
Toughest game on the schedule? Besides the Chiefs, the Bills
Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Surtain
Favorite Broncos player of all time not named John Elway? Von Miller
Favorite Broncos Hall-of-Famer? Peyton Manning
Favorite new guy/rookie on the team? Marvin Mims
Food/Snack you have to eat on game day? Dont do this every gameday but my favorite would be buffalo wings
Favorite game analyst/commentator? Greg Olson
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? Not a player, but Pat Bowlen
Give me one word to describe the season so far? Painful
Give me one word to describe your hope for the rest of it? Nonexistent
How did you become a Broncos fan?
No one in my family watches sports, but growing up in Denver it kind of naturally happened. The first Broncos game I ever watched was the Broncos' loss to the Steelers in the 2005 AFC conference championship. But I didn’t get hooked into football until a few years after that. I started watching closely and learning the game of football and cheering for the Broncos the season they hired McDaniels. I haven’t missed a Broncos game since.
This is docllv v. kingbronco58 - tank or win?
This poll is closed
ALWAYS try to win (docllv)
Tank for Caleb Willaims (kingbronco58)