If you like short pieces to read, this is one. If you left the country for a month-long walkabout, don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. The 2018 Broncos look exactly like the 2017 Broncos except they released a starting cornerback and signed a third string one. They also signed an expensive quarterback, who has to prove himself.
That’s it, kiddies. Seriously.
Well, I lied. They also allowed free agent wide receiver Bennie Fowler and their former second-round pick WR Cody Latimerto walk. Either Elway believes this team only needed quarterback Case Keenum, or he has a ton of transactions up his sleeve.
Let’s talk about the quarterback situation. If quarterback Kirk Cousins were to take a leap of faith and sign with Denver while under construction, keeping QB Trevor Siemian would be a smart move. He’s super cheap, has experience and knows the new playbook.
Plus, no fan would spend their life on Twitter trashing Cousins to get Siemian. This would be the lone exception to keep him. If Denver drafts a quarterback, there is no way you want Siemian around. If the rookie fails, the fans will be calling for Siemian. Hopefully, Denver has learned from the past. As long as Trevor Siemian is on the team, the fans are always going to want him under center.
The Chiefs have secured their playoff spot and a win or loss changes nothing in their seeding. They can sit or start whomever they want for however long they want. On Sunday, their only known starter will be rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes. This could make it tough to game plan for Denver IF they really want to win.
For Denver, they could be playing to lose because general manager John Elway is scouting quarterbacks and the best way to get a top one is to lose. However, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas needs 108 yards to reach 1,000 for the season and running back CJ Anderson needs 54 yards to reach his 1,000. He’s averaging 63 a game so that one should be easy. 108 yards for Thomas will be tougher, as he’s only had one game all season over 100 yards which was against the Giants.
With two QBs only having three starts between them, it’s tough to scout this game. However, since head coach Andy Reid drafted Mahomes and wants him as his future (ironically, he wanted quarterback Paxton Lynch, but Elway moved up to take him away), he’ll put a game plan together to give him every chance to succeed and win.
With that said, It sounds like Denver will be starting their top defensive guys. This should help get the ball back to Denver quickly since Mahones hasn’t faced a defense like the Broncos. Getting the ball in Lynch’s hands will be instrumental in Thomas getting his yards. Plus Elway needs to see Lynch throw more than the ten times he did against Oakland a few weeks ago.
Head Coach Vance Joseph has said he wants Lynch to run. If he bases a game plan around Lynch running and not his arm, the Broncos may be doomed to lose at home because of his injured ankle. WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer, receivers #2 and #3 look to be out, leaving Thomas, Jordan Taylor and Bennie Fowler as the three. Taylor and Fowler will need to be at the top of their game in order to pull coverage away from Thomas so he can get his yardage if they let Lynch throw.
Kansas City has an offense built around the run, so if Denver shows up to win, they should be able to stop it and force Mahones to throw. He’ll want to toss it deep as the gunslinger he is and since defensive back Aqib Talib may not be back next season, he could make sure Mahomes remembers his name.
The key to both sides is the same. Stop these strong-armed quarterbacks from throwing deep and to their top receiver. The difference will be that Mahones has nothing to lose. If he misses, throws interceptions and incompletions, his job is secure, so he should be able to play with no pressure. The press, fans, and Reid are behind him and will excuse a new starter’s mistakes.
For Lynch, the opposite is true. Denver press has portrayed him as the enemy because they championed for QB Trevor Siemian, any mistake he makes will be ripped to shreds by the media and fans who follow them. In addition, head coach Vance Joesph is clearly not a fan.
This will put massive pressure on him to perform. If he does well, they’ll say it was against second stringers, if he stumbles, they’ll say how crappy because it’s against second stringers. His key will be to shut out the outside world and just play. A tough challenge when he could be playing for a job.
Hopefully, Joseph puts Thomas, Anderson, and winning over a handful of spots in the draft. Fans deserve it and after this crappy season, and it would be a good reward for the players. Go Broncos!
The series of events that took place before the half pretty sums up the NFL life of Lynch. Missed opportunities, poor timing and bad luck. Despite a high ankle sprain, he threw a deep pass that few can do. It was over the shoulder, had perfect touch and into the bucket of our running back Devontae Booker for a TD.
On review, with only one angle to see and it was fuzzy, the TD is overruled. They decide he’s a 1/2 yard shy. On two plays, our backs couldn’t get anything. Lynch rolls to his left and throws a laser across his body right into TE Virgil Green. The ball bounces off, hits a Raider, bounces off him and drops into another raider as he’s falling down. It was a classic, are you kidding me, Blake unfortunate Bortles, interception. Had Green caught it, TD or had it dropped, we’d have kicked a FG. Continue reading “Review Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders – The 2nd Half”→
The 3-7 Denver Broncos travel to Oakland to take on the 4-6 Raiders. Every time I type 3, it hurts.
Oakland’s defense has been bad. We’ll now see if it was lack of talent or lack of coaching. To me, it’s 3/4 talent. I’m going to assume they have been thinking of this switch, but seeing us change quarterbacks and offensive coordinator was their perfect time. Not a lot you can do with three days of practice with a new defensive coordinator, but when your opponent is facing the same thing on offense, what better time?
Head coach Vance Joseph has made it clear he has no belief in quarterback Paxton Lynch, Denver’s first first-round pick who had two starts last season. He’s told the media more than once that the game plan will be simple and for Lynch to run, not stay in the pocket (as if quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler were good in it) and basically act like a running back. Joseph is equating Lynch to former quarterback Tim Tebow. I wish he was just pulling a Bill Belichick, but this guy keeps little to his chest.
Based on this, Oakland could underestimate him. The combo of Raiders assistant coach John Pagano not having game film, not knowing if Lynch is as dumb as Joseph portrays him or if new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will have him use his cannon arm more than his fast legs, could help Denver.
What the combo of Musgrave and Lynch have going for them is using the RPO because of his legs and arm. The question will be timing. Three days of practice with the ones, former quarterback Peyton Manning would laugh at. Lynch throws the ball quite a bit faster than Siemian and a little more than Osweiler. Four MPH faster rounds off to two yards per second. Plus, Lynch hasn’t thrown to the ones since August and hasn’t had a day of not splitting reps since last December…when he had three days.
On offense, the key for Oakland is to have quarterback Derek Carr pass to receivers who can catch, wear down Denver’s defensive backs and linebackers. Especially if Carr is throwing to tight end Jared Cook. For their defense, show Lynch looks he’s not seen before and hope he throws some interceptions. Our last win was week 4, the only time our quarterbacks didn’t throw a pick; against Oakland.
On offense, the key for Denver is giving Lynch freedom to make plays any way he wants. Use him 180° from Siemian. I hope Billy puts Vance’s remarks and advice in the trash. Musgrave needs to be his cheerleader. Paxton Lynch has taken the biggest beating I’ve ever seen from any fanbase/media group ever, so having just one guy in his corner will be crucial to his confidence.
The defense needs to sack Carr, early and often. Send defensive end Derek Wolfe up the middle. Since Carr injured his back the last time these two teams played, I’m betting he’s got some bats circling the belfry when the defense takes the field. He’ll want to dump the ball quicker than he should and that’ll set up the chance for our defense to get some picks. Jam their receivers at the line. Just that one step, combined with throwing the ball early, should work.
The weather forecast for Oakland has projected rain, giving Denver the edge. Not that Denver gets a whole lot of practice in wet weather, but rain usually means more run. I’ll take our run defense over theirs. When it comes to catching wet footballs, I’d say both teams are equal.
Do you know what happens when you cut corners and deny? You get Denver the last two seasons. It’s a year overdue, but it appears Joe Ellis, John Elway, and Vance Joseph saw a mistake was made, took a deep breath and are undergoing triage on it. More importantly, Broncos Country needs to accept it’s going to be a while before the results are seen.
Changing quarterback isn’t an easy thing. For Denver, going with Trevor Siemian was about far more than skill, it involved money and fear and ego. Former Head Coach and current Senior Personnel Advisor Gary Kubiak wanted his hand selected choice, as did QB Coach Greg Knapp. Elway backed his friend. That set the ball in motion which has lead to now.
When Peyton Manning retired, suites went unsold and Sports Authority Field went under. Result? The Broncos losing money. Because PaxtonLynch was basically red shirted. His experience and knowledge are lacking. How could Denver stop the money bleed by going with a QB the media and fans had decided was garbage?