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WEEK 8: 3-4 Denver Broncos vs 2-5 Washington Football Team - Sunday 2.25pm MDT /// 4.25pm EDT


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Welp we are playing football in Washington against their team. Sounds about as fun as their name. On the brighter side, we might have jukey Jeudy back which could be fun to watch. I'm more curious to see if we play our newly signed defensive players or at least if it lights a fire under Strnad and others' butts. We will only need 14 or 17 pts to win this game so it should say a lot about how our offense comes out. I personally think Williams could run in that many points by himself but I guess we'll see if Shurmur feels the same way. I guess it's always fun to watch an up and coming talented DE like Young and remember feeling that about Von. Maybe Von will take it personally and "guarantee" another big game from him. Maybe Fant will finally learn to break a tackle, you know being 250lbs and all. PROVE ME WRONG BRONCOS! 

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This is very much a winnable game, for several reasons:

1.   WFT's secondary is abysmal, and their pass rush is underperforming - this is a major minus for WFT's DC Jack Del Rio - who's living off past history and name recognition.   The zone based cover scheme was always their weak link last year - but the difference being their pass rush isn't getting there.  It's masking the fact though that Chase Young is the real deal, and having a terrific 2nd season.   Zero missed tackles, total disruptor inside - but teams can take him away with extra attention.  What's surprising is that they can't get more pressure with Da'Ron Payne, Jonathan Allen & Montez Sweat (Sweat has been a huge underpeformer - see graph in "why WFT can win" section 3).   While our pass blocking has improved, if there's any weakness, WFT has the horses to exploit this.    So this is a huge matchup to watch.   The OL will have to protect Teddy B to win the game.

2.  Jerry Jeudy is back (and maybe Albert O) - make no mistake, we've missed him so badly.   The only guy who can win by himself, be a YAC monster, and get massive separation at all 3 levels (Sutton/Patrick will win by bodying up and being in position deep, and shield guys in short/middle; Jeudy can put guys in a blender all 3 levels).   WFT doesn't have 1 guy who can keep up with him, I expect him to draw zone coverage extra attention.  He should do well, but also let others succeed.

3.  Javonte Williams should get more PT - it's clear he's the alpha dog.   Snap share increasing, but MG3 still gets more work.   That needs to change, other than pure passing downs for pass protection (which this week, can be justified).

4.  Taylor Heinecke is who most ppl thought he was before last year's playoffs - a mobile, adequate backup.   He's not starter material.  Now, he can still push the ball, but he makes bad decisions, holds on to the ball too long at times, and throws late a lot.   The issue is whether our pass rush can force those mistakes, and our coverage able to take advantage - but he will make 4-5 plays to give us a chance (much like how Case Keenum made 4 on TNF <terrible late throw to OBJ that was an INT but OB, late throw into triple coverage to Hooper and 2 missed strip sacks where he didn't feel or see the rusher coming>, but none of them resulted in TO's).

5.  Antonio Gibson is still hurting - which is big, he's their big play RB threat.   If he's back to full health, that's a problem for our leaky run D.   Rookie Jarret Patterson is a guy to watch for, but make no mistake, a healthy Antonio Gibson is a major problem - a home run hitter on every play, who can also sniff out where to get skinny and get the extra yards.

6.  Getting actual help on DL & ILB should help (although less help this week given adjustment) - Kenny Young is an actual NFL level ILB, that can only help.   Adding DL depth with Weatherley is sorely needed.   No cost to either, so it wasn't sacrificing the future.   Both good moves by GM Paton.

 

Why WFT can win:

1.   Terry Mclaurin is a baaaad dude.    He's basically where we hope Jeudy ends up - elite separation ability and contested catches.

2.   The WFT O is actually playing better than last week's score indicates.  They drove against GB's D at Lambeau - only to have a TD taken away by Heinecke going to ground even with no one around him (and the rules stating the play's dead when a QB does this) on the key moment in the game, and then a boneheaded and unnecessary pick by Heinecke in the RZ late in the 4Q, plus a missed G in the 1H - meant WFT usually puts up at least 23+ pts on GB's D, and had put up 22 pts on NO's D as well (with so many RZ opps turning into FG's).   Heinecke is their weak spot, but with Mclaurin / Gibson & their OL (more on that in a sec), they have all the elements to exploit our D issues.

3.  WFT's OL is well-equipped to handle our pass rush (and also run block).   If Von plays, that's a huge help, because no one else can.   Really, I hope that flash Jonathan Cooper showed is legit, because Malik Reed has played so meh (see graph below - it's ridiculously bad how poor he's been in all facets metrically; it's not just the eye test).   A limited Von would still offer more problems, and while RT Cosmi has been very beatable in pass pro, as we saw in the CLE game, when it's only 1 side you need to worry about, that's manageable.   Other note -  Charles Leno has been one of the best reclamation project late stage FA signings, he's solidified LT the way Trent Williams did before he held out and got dealt to SF (CHI were crazy to have let him go - he's thrived in WFT - see graph below in #3).

 

 

And our weakness on interior DL is not just the eye test - metrics bear this out.   

4.  Our OL still has issues - while the pass protection isn't as bad as sometimes perceived, it's still a problem.  Even more surprising is that our run blocking game has been inconsistent.   He's not the biggest problem, but Bolles' metrics even speak to this (and remember, he's been our best OL), while Glasgow's been far better at run blocking, but very weak in the pass pro game (and Muti was indeed as bad as the eye test showed replacing Glasglow).   This creates huge problems both ways.   Same applies for LG / RT / etc.

 

5.  Our QB situation is a mess.   Teddy B played 70 percent of health over 100 percent Lock vs CLE?  That speaks so ominously of our overall situation.

6.  Finally, Fangio & Shurmur look absolutely lost.   I think @lomaxgrUK & others have covered well how our O has no identity, and shows no clear cohesion in direction.  I don't see that changing with both guys in charge.

 

So this is a very winnable game, and it's at home.   A W would not surprise me.  But given the issues with coaching, and the very real possibility that our run D, pass rush and IOL mismatch vs. their DL still offer huge edges to WFT,  I'll go with a 24-20 WFT win.    If this was a neutral field game, I'd suspect WFT would be the favorite, not us as 3.5 pt faves.  

Edited by Broncofan
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Washington will win this game, and probably easier than they have any right to. Even with Jeudy's return, I would expect a lot of ring rust. Our entire defense is injured, and we will still run the same boring, predictable offense that's averaged 5 first half points over the last 4 games.

Watching this coaching staff desperately cling to a banged-up Teddy Bridgewater and Shurmur's 'safe' offense while their entire season bursts into flames would be hilarious if I weren't a Broncos fan. Instead, it's really sad. Fangio thought he could field a top 5 defense. In fact, I would say he bet his job on it, which wasn't necessarily a bad decision at the time. When you know your job security is on the line, you stick with your bread and butter. But once it became apparent 2-3 weeks ago that this defense had no chance of being that dominant, he should have thrown Lock in and had Shurmur open that offense up immediately. While Lock has certainly shown to be less steady than Teddy, there's no denying that our offense looked much more explosive and dangerous with him running it. And we're going to need those points if we're going to have any chance of competing from here out.  

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I think this is a winnable game for us but my confidence level is not high.

Being at home, having come off the mini-bye, getting Jeudy and (maybe) Von and Albert O back all should help. I'm not terribly impressed with the little I've seen from Washington but they appear to be a more competently-run and well-prepared team under Ron Rivera, the roster is just lacking in a number of key areas. 

I think we can get back to winning ways this week if we avoid making mistakes. There is nothing sexy about our team but the same is true for Washington. I see a low-scoring and close game. 

Denver - 20, Washington 16

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2 hours ago, 1234567 said:

Washington will win this game, and probably easier than they have any right to. Even with Jeudy's return, I would expect a lot of ring rust. Our entire defense is injured, and we will still run the same boring, predictable offense that's averaged 5 first half points over the last 4 games.

Watching this coaching staff desperately cling to a banged-up Teddy Bridgewater and Shurmur's 'safe' offense while their entire season bursts into flames would be hilarious if I weren't a Broncos fan. Instead, it's really sad. Fangio thought he could field a top 5 defense. In fact, I would say he bet his job on it, which wasn't necessarily a bad decision at the time. When you know your job security is on the line, you stick with your bread and butter. But once it became apparent 2-3 weeks ago that this defense had no chance of being that dominant, he should have thrown Lock in and had Shurmur open that offense up immediately. While Lock has certainly shown to be less steady than Teddy, there's no denying that our offense looked much more explosive and dangerous with him running it. And we're going to need those points if we're going to have any chance of competing from here out.  

Actually Shurmers' abandoned completely a balanced attack. In all 4 of our losses now we've been averaging about 70/30 to 75/25  pass to run all while running the ball at 5+ypc.

There's no rhythm, no plan. It's the most out of sync unit I've seen. Maybe he should go back to what they used all preseason and the first 3 games.

 

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1 hour ago, AKRNA said:

Actually Shurmers' abandoned completely a balanced attack. In all 4 of our losses now we've been averaging about 70/30 to 75/25  pass to run all while running the ball at 5+ypc.

There's no rhythm, no plan. It's the most out of sync unit I've seen. Maybe he should go back to what they used all preseason and the first 3 games.

 

I'd be curious to see those ratios if you remove the 4th quarter. We've been down 3 scores vs the Raiders, Steelers by the start of the 4th quarter, and down 2 scores by the start of the 4th quarter vs the Ravens and Browns. That is naturally going to skew those overall ratios. 

My sense from Shurmer is that individually, the plays are designed well, but he has no feel for the game and doesnt string plays together to create confusion, or set up other plays in the future. That is something good OCs do. 

Edited by grizmo78
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18 hours ago, The Helicopter said:

I don't see the Broncos winning another game because this team has given up. Plus we have too many injuries to overcome at this point. Put a fork in the season. This will be to our benefit in the draft.

20-16 WFT is my prediction (Broncos score some late points)

This is really going to be a big factor moving forward. If they lose this game, that coaching staff will have completely lost the locker room, and that’ll be all she wrote for this season. 

Edited by 1234567
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30 minutes ago, 1234567 said:

This is really going to be a big factor moving forward. If they lose this game, that coaching staff will have completely lost the locker room, and that’ll be all she wrote for this season. 

I think that's definitely worth noting and it actually determines a lot too. I mean if we are playing to the best of our ability and win this game and against other weak teams, we probably end up around 7-10 (WFT, Lions, Eagles, +1 division win). If we don't, our only other win this season might come against the Lions. 4-13 definitely would mean we have a top pick with a new owner coming in and likely new coaching staff. Things could look much different here in March

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38 minutes ago, Dbrog24 said:

I think that's definitely worth noting and it actually determines a lot too. I mean if we are playing to the best of our ability and win this game and against other weak teams, we probably end up around 7-10 (WFT, Lions, Eagles, +1 division win). If we don't, our only other win this season might come against the Lions. 4-13 definitely would mean we have a top pick with a new owner coming in and likely new coaching staff. Things could look much different here in March

I was thinking about this very point - how many guys currently w/ the org are absolute locks to be here beyond next season?  I would think Paton is very likely to be here + Javonte Williams, Jeudy, Hamler, Albert O, Fant, Bolles, Cush, Meinerz, Simmons, Surtain, Stearns.  Everyone else is either a TBD, expiring, underwhelming, or is a Elway-legacy guy.  This team could have a VERY different look and personality next year but especially the year after. 

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1 hour ago, bMiller031 said:

I was thinking about this very point - how many guys currently w/ the org are absolute locks to be here beyond next season?  I would think Paton is very likely to be here + Javonte Williams, Jeudy, Hamler, Albert O, Fant, Bolles, Cush, Meinerz, Simmons, Surtain, Stearns.  Everyone else is either a TBD, expiring, underwhelming, or is a Elway-legacy guy.  This team could have a VERY different look and personality next year but especially the year after. 

McManus and Rypien? 

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