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GDT Week 4: KC @ DEN

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3 minutes ago, Broncofan said:

The only game where we likely are favorites is @ARI...and that's just because ARI is just that bad.   

On paper, NYJ seems like a great draw - but their biggest strengths on D are awful matchups for us (their secondary takes out WR's really well, and their front 4 terrorizes bad pass pro OL's - we don't have great weapons to take advantage of bad LB play, which weakens their run D significantly).   Our only prayer is that Darnold's rookie learning curve makes him worse than Keenum is right now - I don't know that I can gamble that on anyone right now.   It's that bad with Keenum.    I'm not at all surprised that NYJ is a 2.5 point favorite - I suspect the line will move even more to NYJ barring injuries.    As for LAR and going to KC...fugghedaboutit. 

I agree, and I think at this point we'll labor our way to a 7-9/8-8ish record. Keenum is just the QB he's always been, and that's an unspectacular bottom half of the league starter. He's the type of player who if put in the right position with good support and good coaching can be serviceable and win you games. I legit heard people say they thought Keenum was going to be the next Drew Brees after his year last year, and many bought into the unfounded optimism that he was going to continue an upward trajectory to become a star. Let me be clear: I think Keenum is fine, I like Keenum, Keenum is not a player you put the weight of the team on and tell him to go win you games.

 

We're in a tough spot here as a franchise. We're in a spot where it's pretty clear that our coaching/qb arent quite ready to compete, but we are clearly trying to win now and have a few players that fit that championship mold. I honestly don't see the coaching situation miraculously changing whether we keep Joseph or hire someone new, the only way I see a drastic turn around is if we nail it on a QB selection this off season. As far as I can tell Peyton aint coming back to save us and we might be headed down a bit of a long road to get back to championship competition.

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4 minutes ago, AnAngryAmerican said:

I am with you 100% on this. 

That said, is there really any way they bail on Keenum after less than a full season, barring injury? I don't know, maybe if we go a skid and Vance gets canned and it's another entirely lost season but, and I said it when he we signed, I can't see them bailing on Case before the end of the year. You don't pay a guy $18m to pull him after less than a full season so long as he is healthy. 

I don't think we bail on Case unless we are eliminated.   So as much as it hurts me to say this, if we aren't a legit contender, i'd rather we not pull out fluke W's - we get better draft picks (and we need a true LT, and there are difference-makers in the top 15 out there, provided they stay healthy), and we also give Kelly more time to show us if he's the long-term guy to invest in.   Until we are eliminated though, I don't see us going to Keenum either, barring injury.  Once we're eliminated though, Elway's no idiot - I think we'd see Kelly then.  The other benefit is that waiting longer also gives Kelly more time to develop, so he's more likely to succeed if he steps on the field.

I don't think it's October, and November might be too soon, but I am of the firm belief that Keenum will not our week 17 starter.  In fact, if he's our December starter, I'd be very surprised at that TBH.    

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2 minutes ago, SenorClean2k0 said:

I agree, and I think at this point we'll labor our way to a 7-9/8-8ish record. Keenum is just the QB he's always been, and that's an unspectacular bottom half of the league starter. He's the type of player who if put in the right position with good support and good coaching can be serviceable and win you games. I legit heard people say they thought Keenum was going to be the next Drew Brees after his year last year, and many bought into the unfounded optimism that he was going to continue an upward trajectory to become a star. Let me be clear: I think Keenum is fine, I like Keenum, Keenum is not a player you put the weight of the team on and tell him to go win you games.

 

We're in a tough spot here as a franchise. We're in a spot where it's pretty clear that our coaching/qb arent quite ready to compete, but we are clearly trying to win now and have a few players that fit that championship mold. I honestly don't see the coaching situation miraculously changing whether we keep Joseph or hire someone new, the only way I see a drastic turn around is if we nail it on a QB selection this off season. As far as I can tell Peyton aint coming back to save us and we might be headed down a bit of a long road to get back to championship competition.

The painful part is that the QB choices are so much iffier this year...than last.   And we passed on last year because we thought Keenum was good enough to stall the Q's.  It's taken all of 4 games to show the fallacy there.  I love Kubiak's overall legacy but he & Elway really have to own this decision.   It's really looking like a franchise-turning decision if Kelly isn't the long-term answer.   Sigh.

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BTW, in case ppl think I'm just raining on Elway & Kubiak's parade, I will say this - this is the first team in 3 years that shows real long-term hope.   Our best players are now our young players, or guys signed for more than 1 year.  And often 2-3 more years.   That's good.   If we can keep drafting as well as 2018, great.   And even though it might a whiff in terms of passing on a QBOTF at 1.5 that we'll regret long-term if Kelly isn't the answer, it's not like we drafted a zero in Chubb, far from it.   

I love what Elway & Kubiak brought to the draft in terms of embracing metrics, and valuing production and football skills, while still not sacrificing high-ceiling guys at the right spots.  I would have preferred we tackle CB earlier, and hit OL depth sometime, but those are really minor differences...other than 1.5 passing on QBOTF because we thought Keenum would be decent.   

I am really encouraged by the character this team showed.  The D was awesome for 52 minutes..and then the ToP caught up to them, and I stand in awe at the magic Mahomes produced.  Sometimes you just have to tip your cap, and salute greatness when you are witness to it.  It still was a game we totally could have won, and that falls on Keenum, our inability to pass protect, and in a huge way, our iffy play calling tonight (which hurts me, because Musgrave had been getting an A+ the first 3 weeks, but this was a F effort on his part to run Freeman only 8x with the juice he had going tonight - Woods had an A+ at halftime, but gets a F 2H, so a C- overall).    But it also doesn't change the overall optimism that we are headed in the right direction...provided we can find our QBOTF (the other pieces, like LT, 2nd CB, etc. - are key, but they are easier to find, at least this year where we are likely to draft next year, than QB will be).

Edited by Broncofan

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17 minutes ago, Broncofan said:

 It's really looking like a franchise-turning decision if Kelly isn't the long-term answer.   Sigh.

I think the last two offseasons there have two critical mistakes at the two most important parts of a team - QB and head coach. What do they say? Picking a team to win, especially late in the year, pick the better HC/QB combo. It almost always works (last year's Super Bowl being the exception that proves the rule, lol). 

But taking Vance instead of Kyle and Keenum/Chubb when we could have taken a Rosen/Allen I think that, long term, come back to bite us. I get the logic in signing Keenum -  Elway needed to keep the veterans on his side and give them a chance to win now and the franchise needs to win now for financial reasons - and I am not ragging on Chubb, he's going to be a good player for us for a long time. I also get Elway being gun-shy about taking a QB early, he missed on the last one and Rosen/Allen were (and still are) far form sure-fire picks. But I even told the lady when we picked Chubb, I loved the pick, but I worry we'll regret passing on Allen/Rosen. 

As far as Vance over Kyle, everyone knew that was a mistake the minute it was announced. 

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8 minutes ago, Broncofan said:

The painful part is that the QB choices are so much iffier this year...than last.   And we passed on last year because we thought Keenum was good enough to stall the Q's.  It's taken all of 4 games to show the fallacy there.  I love Kubiak's overall legacy but he & Elway really have to own this decision.   It's really looking like a franchise-turning decision if Kelly isn't the long-term answer.   Sigh.

The thing is, I do believe Keenum is "good enough" but only so long as we have a coaching staff that has the ability to elevate the talent and make the correct in game decisions. That's where the mistake was made, believing that everything else around keenum was right where it needed to be to make a run. Right now we have nothing that can put us over the top. When we had Manning it was always said that he was a player that lifted all boats, we don't have that right now, we have no "it" factor that raises us above other competitive teams. 

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9 minutes ago, SenorClean2k0 said:

The thing is, I do believe Keenum is "good enough" but only so long as we have a coaching staff that has the ability to elevate the talent and make the correct in game decisions. That's where the mistake was made, believing that everything else around keenum was right where it needed to be to make a run. Right now we have nothing that can put us over the top. When we had Manning it was always said that he was a player that lifted all boats, we don't have that right now, we have no "it" factor that raises us above other competitive teams. 

I wish I could say I see even that.   MIN was the perfect storm.  Anything less, and Keenum's struggled...badly (remember, some HOU teams were pretty talented, with a few gaps...like us now).  

Frankly, if someone else thinks he's worth 18M to take on as a backup, I'd jump at a trade for the offseason (we'd be on the hook for 3M of that 10M guaranteed $).  Frankly, I might pay a team to take him with a pick downgrade to make the $ more appealing to them (like their 7th for our 4th or 5th if it's 18M lol).   We could use the 7M cap relief next year than a straight cut (and 15M if we somehow decided to still roster him).   THAT is the part that really hurts - anyone we'd pick at 1.5 (Rosen still my boy over Allen) would have saved us so much more $ than the 36M (and 25M guaranteed) that we're on the hook for with Keenum.   That was the clincher - to get a cheap 5-6 years of QBOTF over 36M/2...nobrainer IMO.  Oh well, what's done is done.

Edited by Broncofan

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One thing I'm not going to do - and they're getting crushed on social media for it - is the hook-and-ladder play at the end of the game. I won't go so far as to call it a brilliant play call but I don't hate it either, out of the box, creative, unexpected, just what I want to see our offense do. 

Had it worked and we won the game, it'd have gone down in Colorado sports lore and would be the only thing anyone talked about for the next week. Lots to complain about with the coaches tonight but that play call was not one. 

Edited by AnAngryAmerican

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9 minutes ago, AnAngryAmerican said:

One thing I'm not going to do - and they're getting crushed on social media for it - is the hook-and-ladder play at the end of the game. I won't go so far as to call it a brilliant play call but I don't hate it either, out of the box, creative, unexpected, just what I want to see our offense do. 

Had it worked and we won the game, it'd have gone down in Colorado sports lore and would be the only thing anyone talked about for the next week. Lots to complain about with the coaches tonight but that play call was not one. 

The other part of it was that Sutton caught the ball with 12 secs left and no TO's.  The hook and ladder if it worked might or might not have scored - but it would have also allowed Sanders the option to go out of bounds in time, and give us one more shot to score inside the 12 yard line.   On 4th and 10 from the 23 KC had to just keep the play in front of them, and keep the WR's from the sidelines - which is why we needed a hook and ladder play.   Sutton would have had to go down, and we would have had to run up the LOS, get everyone set, and spike it - I've never seen it happen in under 12 secs when you have guys running back from the EZ, and the ball having to be downed, and brought to the middle of the field.  Anyone who criticizes the play doesn't realize that there was zero shot to down the ball in time.  This isn't college ball.

I'm going to absolutely crush Musgrave for 3 crazy calls, though:

1.  That 3rd down TD run by Freeman - only Freeman makes that work, along with Pop Warner level tackling effort from 4 KC defenders.  We should can that play from the playbook entirely.   

2.  That 4th down jump pass that DT converted.  I get you need Booker as the 2-min drill guy.  But on 4th and 1, having Booker there telegraphed a fake run, and KC was ready.  DT bailed out Musgrave in a big way (although LOL at the the jump pass by Keenum).

3.  Most damningly, HOW DO YOU CALL PLAYACTION to start the last drive?   There was zero chance with only 1 TO and 1:22 left that KC was going to bite on play-action.  That lead directly to the sack (that Sanders on 4th and 10 saved).

Those 3 calls, and the decision to go away from the run in the 1H when we were dominating them at the LOS, Musgrave should absolutely take the heat.  He deserves it all there.  The hook and ladder was a choice made of necessity - we didn't have another play unless we get OB or score, that was an ingenious way to give us a chance to do that.

Edited by Broncofan

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It's the hope that makes it hurt so much :(

I don't even see the point in discussing benching Keenum. Guys, it isn't happening until (at the very, very earliest) we are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. With the way the AFC is this year, we'll still be in the 'playoff hunt' until week 15 at least.

Case was just not good enough today. That simple. OL troubles? Yes. Suspect playcalling (especially that last drive)? Yes. But he had key throws available at key moments and he missed them. I've said it in every breakdown I've done this year - we aren't a good enough team to miss in key spots. The Chiefs misexecuted on Offense probably more than we did. The difference is, they have an Offense that can afford to make them mistakes because they can make chunk plays in spurts.

They finished poorly but you cannot blame this Defense. They played so, so well against an Offense that nobody has stopped. I've been rough on Bradley Roby but he was excellent tonight, CHJ too. I saw some people moaning on Twitter about the fact we ended up with OLB's in coverage - you can't cover everyone with perfect matchups against this team. Is Shaq Barrett covering a 4.60 40 TE ideal? Obviously not, but I would rather get beat by Demetrius Harris than Tyreek Hill and  Travis Kelce. I thought Joe Woods, sans the 2nd and 30, called an excellent game and he should be praised as such.

As for our OL - the run game was obviously excellent, but their performance is pass pro in that 1st half was a disgrace, and the worst bit was it was a disgrace on all downs. How, how, how are you giving up instant pressure when we are passing on 1st down? That is unacceptable. Hopefully the all 22 shows up the guilty parties.

We aren't a contender, that is clear. But a win against a flying Chiefs team would've done a lot for the culture around our young guys. I've a feeling this defeat could stay with this team for a while.

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Keenum is who he is. Why the Denver FO thought he could be more is incomprehensible. They completely mismanaged the QB position in the draft. Rosen IMO is going to be the real deal and really feared Denver would take him.

Chubb really isn't jumping off the screen yet and unless he is an all-pro, not taking a QB could prove to be a mistake. 

That said, there is a QB in Justin Herbert who if in a position to land this year, they need to make it happen.

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Denver’s defense really did play a hell of a game.  Even in the 4th quarter.  The pass rush had Mahomes running for his life.  Extending plays is the toughest thing for a DB to account for.  The timing is off and it turns into a bit of backyard football.

What we saw is what looks like an elite QB elevate his game in the spotlight.  He made plays that really only 1 other QB in the league makes, and that’s Rodgers.  The long 3rd down throw to Hill was absolutely ridiculous and was even pretty well covered.  The left handed throw.  I mean the list goes on.  

It happens in sports (Broncos fans watched Elway do this for 15 years) but damn that was a tough one to lose.

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9 hours ago, BroncoBruin said:

They played as well as they could have until late. Lack of contain broke them down the stretch and Mahomes made ridiculous throws. This was all about Mahomes. 

My main takeaway from the game is how incredible Mahomes is. Man 

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5 hours ago, lomaxgrUK said:

It's the hope that makes it hurt so much :(

I don't even see the point in discussing benching Keenum. Guys, it isn't happening until (at the very, very earliest) we are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. With the way the AFC is this year, we'll still be in the 'playoff hunt' until week 15 at least.

Case was just not good enough today. That simple. OL troubles? Yes. Suspect playcalling (especially that last drive)? Yes. But he had key throws available at key moments and he missed them. I've said it in every breakdown I've done this year - we aren't a good enough team to miss in key spots. The Chiefs misexecuted on Offense probably more than we did. The difference is, they have an Offense that can afford to make them mistakes because they can make chunk plays in spurts.

They finished poorly but you cannot blame this Defense. They played so, so well against an Offense that nobody has stopped. I've been rough on Bradley Roby but he was excellent tonight, CHJ too. I saw some people moaning on Twitter about the fact we ended up with OLB's in coverage - you can't cover everyone with perfect matchups against this team. Is Shaq Barrett covering a 4.60 40 TE ideal? Obviously not, but I would rather get beat by Demetrius Harris than Tyreek Hill and  Travis Kelce. I thought Joe Woods, sans the 2nd and 30, called an excellent game and he should be praised as such.

As for our OL - the run game was obviously excellent, but their performance is pass pro in that 1st half was a disgrace, and the worst bit was it was a disgrace on all downs. How, how, how are you giving up instant pressure when we are passing on 1st down? That is unacceptable. Hopefully the all 22 shows up the guilty parties.

We aren't a contender, that is clear. But a win against a flying Chiefs team would've done a lot for the culture around our young guys. I've a feeling this defeat could stay with this team for a while.

My only objection to Woods was using Von in coverage in key 3rd/4th downs.   That's just not how you win - you let your big dogs make the big plays doing what they do best.   Missed in the left-handed throw was that Von was the guy who got there and was taking him down.  You just tip your cap to Mahomes there.   

I will say Woods really impressed me with his 1H play calling, and Roby actually showed real well all game long - which surprised me (I was floored last night when I saw it).  Roby actually did a good job vs. Hill too - that allowed Harris & Stewart to focus on taking Kelce out, too.   

The D was awesome last night until they got gassed...and the playcalling those last 2 drives on D (2nd and 30 haunts me there).   That's also on Musgrave for not pounding the ball early enough to keep the D fresh, and on Keenum for coming up small when we needed him to just make throws that other QB's make routinely (not just the DT GW TD, but others he was late or inaccurate on...again).  

 

Edited by Broncofan

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Quick hits:

Mahomes is really good (Hunt, Kelce, Hill too...). Love both of our running backs, hope Lindsay can up his pass pro game so Booker doesn't lead the team in snaps. Sutton impressed too, as did Janovich. Thought the D played well, were obviously tasked with doing too much in the 2H due to us abandoning the run. How many times did we run for 10+ yard on first down in the 1H, only to not go back to the run in 2H? Crazy. 

Did Von seem hurt to anyone else? I wasn't noticing him on the field as much in the 4Q as I expected, I know he got tired chasing Mahomes across the field on a few plays, but was there something else? 

Oh yeah and screw Keenum. So frustrating, some of his decisions...throws...ugh. Agree though, we aren't seeing Kelly before week 15 at least.

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