A win is a win, even when it feels like a loss
By Julie Dixon// @ABroncoNole
After watching the Chiefs and Redskins duel, I decided against what I wanted to write because we’re in a bye now and some changes are needed. Needed quickly. The above match-up felt like what we should’ve seen in Denver. Two bitter rivals ripping each other to shreds, with the quarterbacks leading the charge.
Instead, we saw a lackluster game that was barren of heat or passion. No fights. Only a couple really hard hits (one by safety Jamal Carter). Knock on wood, but our total injuries were a couple sprains. No broken noses, bloody jerseys or pants. This was no WWE Smack Down or Cage Match. It mostly felt like a pillow fight.
I take that back. The Broncos did break quarterback Derek Carr. He joins a growing list of top QBs we have sidelined. Some have yet to completely bounce back. That intensity needs to hit every position group. Not to knock players out, but to be as focused as Von Miller and Derek Wolfe–heat seeking QB misslies.
Neither Oakland, or Denver is going to beat KC if they don’t find an intensity that is lacking. When former quarterback Peyton Manning played, he beat KC and Oakland in every match-up except one (he was hurt.) He was methodical, dissected them with his brain and pinpoint accuracy. They were surgical wins over bullies. We don’t have Peyton Freakin’ Manning anymore, so we’re going to need to be the bullies and out brawl them.
Safety TJ Ward was our brawler. That’s what’s missing in the DB room. Cornerback Aqib Talib needs to be the one to get the young bucks stirred up. They didn’t play Oakland hard. Every tackle should be, The Longest Yard, worthy. Defensive ends Derek Wolfe and Adam Gotsis, along with nose tackle Domata Peko, do a fantastic job stuffing the run.
Holding Oakland to 24 yards is insane, but am thinking maybe they need to give teams a little more rushing in order to give the DBs a breather. Teams are forced to pass and that means more chances to score, but with volume comes more chances to let the big one by. It also means more mental play. Our backfield has faced quarterbacks Phil Rivers, Dak Prescott, Tyrod Taylor and Derek Carr. Three of those QBs have been considered MVPs.
Defensive coordinator Joe Woods or assistant DB coach Johnnie Lynn may need to have Defensive line coach Bill Kollar show the room how to tackle. Leave bruises with your name on it. Messages need to be sent. It’s not that our defense is soft, because it’s not. Because the offense is so mild, the defense needs to lead the way and hopefully their fire will spill over and light some passion on the offensive side of the ball.
On offense, Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy better find a fix fast. 115 of 155 passing yards and the lone TD occurred in the first quarter. 7-8 completions. Then 9-18 the rest of the game. A big chunk came from a great one handed grab by tight end AJ Derby and a lucky catch on a pass meant for another player. As Head coach Vance Joseph said, big points come from passing, rushing allows teams to stay in games.
I’m thrilled the Broncos have a run game. However, 7 attempts to 3 wide receivers for 73 yards and no TDs is going to lead to frustration in the WR room. It did last season when wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders complained to the press, which was unacceptable. Where’s the juice? One game out of four we saw some.
We’ve now two games where the Broncos red zone and third down production have dropped back to 2016. Yes, we won, which was awesome, but the Broncos were two dropped end zone passes from being beaten by 8 points. Luckily, Oakland can’t catch.
Vance is saying teams are giving us the run, explaining why the lack of passing because they’re playing Zone. Well, know what? Zone means you have wide open guys. Perfect to rifle in bullets on short and go. Or two WRs running crossing patterns, slants. Send Demaryius and Emmanuel out together. Use pick and rub plays.
Oakland and LA (0-4) came within hairs of beating us. Dallas seems like the Cincy game from last season. The one we spend a season hoping to see again, and don’t. What we did see that deserves a woo, is wide receiver Jordan Taylor hitting Raiders like they’re the enemy. Maybe that’s what’s missing, the receivers need to get nasty. Take a flag in the right spot and body slam a defender.
The Broncos won, don’t mean to go off, but not until Christmas week do we see a 10 day break. So, any fixes need to occur now.
Sure, defenses win championships, but offenses win in January and those wins come in fourth quarters. When you have one score in the fourth over four games, there’s a problem. When 4 of your 7 second half scores are from FGs, there’s an even bigger issue. Two straight games with no second half TDs are a red flag. Three games with only one TD says, Houston, we have a problem.
Not to be Chicken Little, we are facing the pitiful 0-4 Giants next, but week five last season is when we went on a 50% streak and it didn’t end well.
The next four games should be a good indication of where this team is at. In that span, is Kansas City, IN KC. If we don’t beat them, the playoffs and any chance of home field advantage, becomes slim. This is why the team needs to come out swinging and show a meaner, nastier and juicier mentality. Go Broncos!
Chat Broncos with Julie on Twitter @ABroncoNole