As a way to break up the long bye week I spent Sunday re-watching the games as a way to break up the bye week, I went back and re-watched the Broncos’ last four games worth of running plays. I shared my initial thoughts on Twitter but thought it was worth mentioning again.
While I’ve been really critical of Bill Musgrave this season, the design and performance of this year’s rushing attack is so far ahead of Mike McCoy’s 2017 version, that they’re night and day apart.
Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman get most of the credit, but the entire unit looks better. It will be telling to see how the coaching staff adjusts to the loss of Matt Paradis, but if Billy Turner stepping in for Jared Veldheer is any sign, the running game shouldn’t fall off a cliff.
The tape left me ruminating over the rest of the 2018 Broncos, and while it’s been easy to cry over another lost season, the truth of the matter is this roster as a whole looks really promising.
Consider this: the 2017 rookie class was Garett Bolles and who?
I’ve celebrated this rookie class from Week 1 on, but there’s a good reason. Bradley Chubb, Courtland Sutton, Freeman and Lindsay look like a really special foundation to build upon going forward. All four look like they could be top-tier talents at their respective positions. Even Josey Jewell offers promise.
The last time a rookie class looked this promising, Jay Cutler was throwing passes to Brandon Marshall while Elvis Dumervil was blowing up opposing passers. That should give you just a bit of caution about this year’s squad, of course. Things can change in a hurry, especially if a new coaching staff is brought in. There’s no guarantee Freeman and Lindsay will fit a new running game. No sure bet that Jewell or Chubb will look as good in a 4-3 as they do in Joseph and Woods’ defense. Maybe Courtland regresses? I sure hope not, but keep that in mind before you turn off the games and look to next season.
There’s a good reason to be down on this Broncos squad. Your eyes do not deceive you -they really are better than their record indicates.
At the end of the day that’s all that matters and barring some sort of miracle run to finish the slate, things will change before the 2019 season begins, but there’s no promises so do the best you can to enjoy this year’s squad.
If you missed these, you really ought to check them out.
Elway better slide in some DMs https://t.co/7jM7wpz7yr— Broncos Reddit (@Broncos_Reddit) November 11, 2018
Why the Broncos’ handling of Demaryius Thomas trade could backfire
Head coach Vance Joseph’s decisions in the Denver Broncos’ home loss against the Houston Texans showed that he misunderstands basic game management. He was aggressive when he should have been conservative and too conservative when he should have been more aggressive. He cost his team the game. Sadly, that might not have been the worst failing of Joseph’s to become public in the past week.
Breaking down Jeff Heuerman’s breakout game against he Houston Texans - Mile High Report
This was one of the best performances by a Denver tight end since Peyton Manning and Julius Thomas set the league on fire in 2013 - 2014, and has been a key missing piece of this Broncos offense.
Denver Broncos sign center Gino Gradkowski; send Matt Paradis to IR - Mile High Report
Gradkowski, 30, was once acquired by the Broncos from the Baltimore Ravens in a trade in 2015. He spend the offseason and training camp with the team, before being released. Ironically, it was Paradis who put Gradkowski out of a job in 2015 as the second-year player locked down the center position for the Broncos Super Bowl run.
In 2009, Peyton Manning won AP MVP. His stat line:— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) November 11, 2018
393/571, 4500 yards, 33 TDs, 16 INTs, 99.9 passer rating.
NFL Week 10 passing totals as of 4PM:
389/572, 4,634 yards, 34 TDs, 13 INTs, 102.9 passer rating
17 thoughts as Denver Broncos exit their bye week
Exiting the Broncos’ bye week with 17 things for the 17 combined sacks by Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.
The Squeeze: How the Broncos spent their bye week
Even when the Broncos can get away from football, many of them don’t want to be away from it. A handful of players used their weekend off to head back to their alma maters to take in a game (or two, if you’re Von Miller).
#Panthers waive C.J. Anderson https://t.co/V8PoNLOP98— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 12, 2018
If that’s all she wrote for C.J. he’ll go down as one an underrated gem Denver dug up after the draft. Peyton doesn’t finish his career with a ring without Anderson, so big props. Wish him nothing but the very best going forward.
Future Broncos: Franchise QB unlikely to be found in 2019 NFL Draft - Mile High Report
If the Broncos don’t find a franchise QB in 2019, what position should they address?
Crabbs’ 2019 Mock Draft 3.0 - The Draft Network
Denver Broncos PICK:
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU This team needs a quarterback. Color me stunned that the Case Keenum investment hasn’t materialized as John Elway would have hoped. Here’s the bad news: I’m not quite ready to put Dwayne Haskins into this stratosphere, after watching him in recent weeks. Here’s the good news: if Elway drafted him, he’d almost assuredly bust anyway. It’d be very on brand. So instead, why not add a gifted piece to the secondary and add more competition to a group that needs to find a long term replacement for Aqib Talib?
NFL teams should spend more resources scouting/converting college hoopers into TE. There’s usually one well-attended pro-day per year and the success rate has been comparatively remarkable. These guys are making it.— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) November 11, 2018
A look around the West
It sure sounds like the Reggie McKenzie era is nearing the conclusion in Oakland.
Raiders owner Mark Davis: 1-8 record ‘is my fault’ - NFL.com
”I always look in the mirror, and the buck stops with me,” Davis said. “Where this team is right now is my fault. We haven’t been able to build a 22-man roster. We haven’t been able to give this team a chance to win because the Reconstruction failed. We failed from 2014 on to have a roster right now.” Davis’ Reconstruction comment was in reference to the 2012 Deconstruction leading into the 2014 rebuild. After one playoff appearance in 2016, the Raiders are right back in deconstruction mode.
At current trend the Raiders will get pick 23ish from Bears in 2020 and give them back pick 37ish. Meaning they got a pick in the 20’s in “19” and a flip of about a dozen spots in 2020 for Mack. That could be one of the worst trades ever if it goes that way.— Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13) November 13, 2018
The 2018 Oakland Raiders are a total tire fire and I love it - Mile High Report
You almost pity them.
Mack-Traded— Alex (@Valdez_Broncos) November 12, 2018
Jordy - about to Retire
Cook-Trying to get cut
Conley - hardly playing
Thank you Gruden for making my team's problems seem Elementary.
The Morning After: Raiders vs Chargers - Silver And Black Pride
It’s pretty rough when a 20-6 loss doesn’t seem that bad. It is even more rough when the team is so bad that 20-6 is actually not a bad loss at all.
Derek Carr has given up, and so should Raiders fans
Why fans continue to support a team that has bailed on Oakland and is actively giving up on and off the field is beyond reason.
It’s 4th down, the Raiders need 2 TDs or at least a first down or even just a chance at any of those, so Derek Carr...throws the ball away #LACvsOAK pic.twitter.com/dqaxVwLQ7M— Someone's An Idiot (@SomeonesAnIdiot) November 12, 2018
Raiders’ 5th-round rookies shine in otherwise ugly loss vs Chargers - Silver And Black Pride
As bad as the Raiders look, Maurice Hurst looks like a keeper.
Chargers ascend to AFC elite status with sixth straight win - Los Angeles Chargers Blog- ESPN
”They have an understanding that we start over every week,” Lynn said earlier in the week. “What we did last week really doesn’t matter.”
Stepfather of Mahomes’ girlfriend dies at KC Chiefs game | The Kansas City Star
“Today is a day I will never forget,” she wrote. “Directly after this picture I sprinted to the front entrance to see my step dad passed out! He did not come back from this and he was called to heaven today! I KNOW 100 % he is so happy up there with his kids looking down on us cheering loud that his Chiefs won today! Thank you everyone for the prayers and sweet text! We will miss you Paul So So So much! I will take care of mom for you!”
Andy Reid passes condolences to Patrick Mahomes’ longtime girlfriend - Arrowhead Pride
“Just a quick word on Patrick, on his girlfriend Brittany’s stepfather, Paul,” Reid said. “We’re sorry to hear about what took place [Sunday]. Our prayers and blessings are with the family. I’ve talked to Patrick, and they’re doing well for the circumstance that took place. As they go through this mourning period, prayers and thoughts are with them.”
I was told that it's IMPOSSIBLE for an NFL team to stay on the road for a week https://t.co/ovUx3xg5Es— Ben Baldwin (@benbbaldwin) November 11, 2018
Larry Fitzgerald said he’s never “seen a player like Tyreek Hill” - Arrowhead Pride
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player like Tyreek Hill,” Fitzgerald said. “As explosive and dynamic as that guy is, he can hurt you in so many phases of the game. It was fun to see it in person.”
Larry Fitzgerald has averaged 70.4 receiving YPG during his career— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 11, 2018
At that rate, he would have to play 99 more games to catch Jerry Rice (22,895) https://t.co/DTksHRFliN
Losing Denzel Perryman could be more than just another ‘next man up’ situation - Bolts From The Blue
The injury could help tip the scale in the Broncos favor this weekend as depth behind Perryman is questionable at best. I’ll look into it more for tomorrow’s GIF Horse.
A look around the rest of the league
Hold up. @JaredGoff16 @RamsNFL - What is a “Halle Berry”?? https://t.co/nQyaWHQRrn— Halle Berry (@halleberry) November 11, 2018
Top Potential NFL Head Coach Candidates For 2019 - The Draft Network
With NFL teams falling out of playoff contention left and right, we take a look at 20 names that could be your NFL team’s new head coach in 2019.
What we learned from Sunday’s Week 10 games - NFL.com
The New Orleans Saints have won eight straight. The Browns had their most complete performance of the season. Here’s what we’ve learned from Week 10 in the NFL.
It’s my favorite play ever https://t.co/YLWi7c3DNE— Jared Goff (@JaredGoff16) November 12, 2018
2018 NFL NFC playoff race - Bill Barnwell makes sense of mess through Week 10
The defending champs are in trouble. Two South teams might be locks. The NFC playoff race is shaping up to be pandemonium.
Monday Morning Digest: Can the Patriots Survive the Decline of Tom Brady? | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
Is it still too soon to ask the question?
New England Patriots: Titans’ Dion Lewis rips team as ‘cheap’
“Hell yeah it’s personal,” Lewis said after the game, according to the NFL Network. “That’s what happens when you go cheap. You get your (expletive) kicked.”
Bill Belichick: Not much to say, everything was a problem today – ProFootballTalk
Belichick opened his press conference by saying “there’s really not too much to say” because the Titans were the better team in every phase of the game. Belichick’s first question was about the pass protection being an issue and the coach said “everything was a problem” for the team.
Alex Smith has passed for EXACTLY 178 yards in three of his last four games.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) November 11, 2018
Todd Bowles Needs to Go After Humiliating Loss Reveals Depth of Jets’ Demise | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
In the pantheon of terrible, disgraceful, putrid and unforgivable Jets losses—and there are many of them—the loss to the Bills on Sunday will go down as one of the most terrible, disgraceful, putrid and unforgivable in team history...
Report: Saints coach Sean Payton destroyed locker room fire alarm – ProFootballTalk
According to Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Payton smashed a fire alarm in the visiting locker room at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals said they talked to local authorities about the damage, though it’s unclear what might come next. “We are aware of this situation and have been in touch with the authorities, but have nothing more on it at this time,” the Bengals said in a statement to the paper. The Saints declined comment.
Bengals fire DC Teryl Austin after loss to Saints - NFL.com
On Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals became the first team in the Super Bowl-era to give up 500-plus yards in three straight games. On Monday, the Bengals fired their defensive coordinator.
The Saints have now scored on 66.3% (57/86) of their possessions, the highest rate in the league. For some perspective on that rate, the 2007 Patriots scored on 57.0%, the 2017 Falcons 55.8%, the 2013 Broncos 51.1%.— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) November 12, 2018
Dolphins running back Frank Gore sets a longevity/yardage record – ProFootballTalk
Via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Gore set an NFL record by hitting the 500-yard plateau for the 14th straight season.
Cowboys lean on defense in Sunday night win vs. Eagles | SI.com
Talk to coordinators about the way to stop a thriving offense rooted in conflicting opposing defenses, and they’ll describe something close to what Dallas displayed on Sunday night. Their front is athletic and versatile. They’re unpredictable and can impact protections from multiple fronts and with multiple blitzes. They are technically sound but, when appropriate, freewheeling and aggressive.
Andrew Whitworth recalls “horror” of evacuating home with fire closing in – ProFootballTalk
“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Whitworth said to Peter King of Football Morning in America. “I got four kids and a wife who need me right now. Will they be in school? Will they have school? Will our house make it? Should I take them all with me to Colorado? I just don’t know. It’s a little stressful.”
The other 31 fan bases when they win: "Nice!"— Johnny Kinsley (@Brickwallblitz) November 12, 2018
Browns fans when they win: pic.twitter.com/tzwRZUZUCg
I was Pat Tillman’s wife, but I can’t speak for him. Neither can you. - The Washington Post
But I can say that he would have engaged only in thoughtful and respectful discourse.
What do you think Broncos Country?