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Broncos ‘built to win on the road’

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With a hot ground game, a stout run D and threatening pass rush, the Broncos are a team made for road wins. So they just need to do it.

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New York Jets v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

A week ago Chris Harris Jr. was calling on his coaches to give the defense more disguised looks and a more aggressive game plan.

They listened, and the Broncos held the Chiefs to under 30 - their fewest points so far this season.

But the Broncos’ defense let the Chiefs back in the game in the fourth quarter as Patrick Mahomes engineered two sustained touchdown drives to pull ahead in the final two minutes.

The problem wasn’t the game plan this time, Harris Jr. acknowledged. It was that Mahomes was a magician.

In any game, corners figure there will be a couple time where the opposing quarterback will extend the play scrambling before finding an open receiver. Having to keep up with a receiver for those few extra seconds as they change their routes is no small task and wears out a secondary.

“You think those things are going to happen probably like twice a game or whatever, you might have to cover longer. But with Mahomes, it happened probably 20 times that game. That never happens,” Harris Jr. said, admitting it definitely wore out the defense. “I don’t want to make any excuse, but I think that really took a lot out of us—having to cover that long on so many plays.”

Harris Jr. ended up getting two IVs of fluids to fight his leg cramps, adding that is the worst he’s felt in a game.

“I was just fighting through it. I pride myself on being in great shape, being able to finish the game and get stronger in the fourth quarter. This game, I couldn’t. I was just done,” he said.

But the corner praised his coach for the game plan - an improvement over last week’s approach - and added the key was playing tougher at the end.

“The game plan was great, they definitely listened to everything I said,” Harris Jr. laughed.

So the key to beating the Jets on the road this week is not just setting the tone early - as they did against the Ravens - but sustaining that tone and playing mistake-free.

“We can’t beat ourselves - play smart football on the road, disciplined football, and we should have a great chance to win,” said No. 25, adding that this year’s team isn’t just built better to win on the road - strong defense, strong ground game - it’s just better period.

“We’re mentally tough,” he said. “Every game has been a dogfight. We’ve been right there. Just a couple plays, just a couple little minor details, things we can fix and we’re going to be alright.”

Coach Vance Joseph also pointed out the Broncos’ M.O. is good for winning road games; it just has to do it.

“I think our team is built to win road games,” he said, pointing out the 5.6 yards per carry average with the run as well as a stout run defense. “Those two things are huge on the road. Rushing the passer is huge on the road. Those things we can do. It’s just a matter of when we get in tight games, being really detailed with our assignments and not making critical errors, whether it’s the first, second, third or fourth quarter.”

The coach added that special teams is also a strength for the Broncos now and that is especially helpful when playing on the road.

“I think our special teams are really up there with Baltimore’s and Seattle’s now,” he said. “We can block kicks and we can make plays in the return game. I think our team is built to win road games.”

A big part of that will be the offense not turning the ball over or going three-and-out and wearing down its defense.

Case Keenum seemed to realize that too. Winning on the road is all about being efficient, he said.

“It’s taking care of the football. Running the football is important. Having the right explosive plays, I think, that’s pass and run. But taking care the football, making sure that you’re taking stress off the defense” Keenum said. “It’s just being efficient. Just being efficient offensively.”

That would be nice on Sunday.

Horse Tracks - docllv’s picks of the day

‘Is this dude a magician?’: With the left-handed throw, the legend of Patrick Mahomes grows – The Athletic
The first-down throw was one of three key plays on the winning drive as Mahomes engineered his first fourth-quarter comeback in a 27-23 win over the Broncos.

Case Keenum hasn’t found his rhythm in Denver yet - The Washington Post
NFL quarterbacks are lighting up scoreboards at a record pace with 228 touchdown tosses through the first month of the season

Horse Tracks

Denver Broncos: Case Keenum struggled on wide-open pass attempts
Broncos quarterback Case Keenum has the NFL's second-worst completion percentage on throws to wide-open receivers this season.

Broncos look to establish run early and, more importantly, often against Jets
Powered by Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, Denver is third in the league in rushing yards.

Von Miller of Denver Broncos praises Sam Darnold of New York Jets
Von Miller's PR game is strong.

Denver Broncos need to run more if they want to win more - Denver Broncos- ESPN
The Broncos have gone 2-2 with a dip-your-toes-in approach to the run game.

‘Is this dude a magician?’: With the left-handed throw, the legend of Patrick Mahomes grows – The Athletic
The first-down throw was one of three key plays on the winning drive as Mahomes engineered his first fourth-quarter comeback in a 27-23 win over the Broncos.

Case Keenum hasn’t found his rhythm in Denver yet - The Washington Post
NFL quarterbacks are lighting up scoreboards at a record pace with 228 touchdown tosses through the first month of the season.

Report: Broncos ‘leaning toward’ playing Wadman over King
The decision will be made official if King (groin) cannot practice Thursday or Friday.

Children's Hospital Colorado Junior Reporter: Kaylea sits down with Domata Peko Sr.
This is the cutest.

Brandon Marshall's plan to give back comes full circle with FEEL Movement
The inside linebacker's charitable efforts will change thousands of lives in the Denver and Las Vegas areas

2018 New York Jets Offensive Line Stats: Week 4 - Gang Green Nation
I knew the Jets offensive line had a bad game against Jacksonville, as expected considering the absurdly talented defensive front they were competing against.

Why Jets QB Sam Darnold is throwing so many dangerous passes - Gang Green Nation
It was a miracle that Darnold walked away from Week 3 without throwing an interception. There were a striking number of high risk throws from the third overall pick.

Chiefs' Tyreek Hill eager for matchup vs. Jalen Ramsey - NFL.com
Where Jalen Ramsey exists, trash talk materializes. But this week, Tyreek Hill is taking the lead, saying of Ramsey, "I'm always up for a challenge. ... The best always go against the best."

Chargers find their pass rush against the Niners - Bolts From The Blue
Whether from up front or the secondary, the Bolts found a way to get after the quarterback.

Bonus Baseball Story

Rockies vs. Cubs - Game Recap - October 2, 2018 - ESPN
I'm a Cubs fan, so it's been a rough week, but even I had to appreciate what a good game this was.