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2020 Broncos vs 2019 Broncos....Better Team But Similar Results

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  • 2020 Broncos vs 2019 Broncos....Better Team But Similar Results

    On paper this is the better edition of The Broncos, '20 vs '19. I had pretty high hopes for a number of reasons:
    - Lock would progress, and coming off a nice rookie season of 4 and 1
    - Some good signings including Gordon, Casey, Bouye
    - More weapons in the draft, with a top 3 WR, and a variety of pretty solid picks
    - An Oline that had potential to improve
    - Another year of coaching chemistry

    But the season started off very harshly due to injuries. It's hard to sustain momentum when you do not have Miller, Sutton, Casey and so many others hurt, even if for a few games.

    All along, covid was going to rear its ugly head, probably for some teams more than others. But as we saw yesterday, even one game well into the season can look pretty messy minus some key players, and what appeared to be a certain "non readiness", possibly leading to some injury. It's a level playing field, but it's not.

    As for The Broncs, clearly Drew did not progress as I had hoped, but he's got some time. The injuries were brutal, but with many players returning, it's hard to say how much better we really are. I know, can't put much stock in this last contest. But I think we will get more answers this Sunday, and dare I say, I would not bet on The Broncs in KC.

    So here we are, 4 and 7, maybe 4 and 8 this Sunday. One can speculate, and get into what ifs and so forth, but if we are 4 and 8, we are still not a good team. The injuries at some point have to be reckoned with. Other teams have injuries as well, and to some top tier players. I will say however, that there comes a point when even good teams can only be competitive for so long, depending on how many quality players they lose.

    There are some encouraging elements in all of this....Bolles is a better player, our D has done well considering, and we are establishing some depth. And no doubt, there are other positives that we can elaborate on.

    But all in all, in some ways we're looking a bit like the team from last year, at least on record.....and in one fundamentally important aspect as well, at QB. With 5 games left in '19, in came Lock. Here we are, 5 games left, and we are essentially in the same QB situation in my opinion, with a very critical assessment ahead pre draft, and yes, pre free agency (and do not rule out trades). We must determine if we have our long term QB on the roster, and if not sure, we must gauge what level of investment we are willing to spend to acquire the one that best fits our needs. Some might want to aggressively pursue one or more of the top draftees, some will say wait til round 2 at least, some will want us to pursue acquisition of a seasoned NFL QB. The latter two have been exercised with some regularity over the last number of years, and not with a great deal of success.

    And I won't go into depth re: our Leadership, but I do hope things improve overall, whether it be in terms of ownership or otherwise. Lets just say we have some work left.
    Last edited by CanDB; 12-03-2020, 10:21 AM.

  • #2
    Elway said on the radio this morning that this team is better than the 2017 5 &11 2017 team because they try hard. He's sounds so proud of himself, no shame at all.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MrMax View Post
      Elway said on the radio this morning that this team is better than the 2017 5 &11 2017 team because they try hard. He's sounds so proud of himself, no shame at all.
      I would hope that "try hard' is a staple of any team, any season.

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      • #4
        I mean at the end of the day this is a very young team that had a lot of moving parts with a limited offseason and a bunch of injuries. Most players have stepped up to the challenge and that’s what has kept us from bottoming out.

        Jeudy had high expectations that elevated when Sutton went down but drops and press techniques have limited him. Hopefully an offseason to refine his releases will help in that aspect because right now there’s a lot of wasted movement which makes it hard for the QB to get on the same page with him. Hamler has mainly been a gadget/decoy guy but Lock seems to be gaining chemistry with him quicker than Jeudy. Jeudy has better stats but very few quick plays where you need to be on the same page with the QB. I just question where Hamler’s ceiling especially in this offense where he’s not able to get a lot of short passes and create YAC. Patrick has been great and has really stepped up, it’ll be interesting to see where he falls on the depth chart next season.

        I go back and forth on whether Fant has really improved. He looked great pre injury but ever since he seems more like he was last season. The mental progression hasn’t been there though, he hasn’t learned to adjust his routes depth when it’s needed which hurts him especially when we see a lot of blitzes. Really every receiving option needs to work on that aspect. Sometimes that 5 yard out needs to turn into a 3 yard out or an immediate release to the flat, because you create more separation for YAC that way. You got to give ground to take ground occasionally. Other times you may have to go a little deeper to find space or just to get a first down especially in those 3rd and short/medium situations.

        And all that goes double for Lock. He has to recognize what the defense is doing pre snap and get everyone on the same page. For the most part he seems to know what he’s looking at pre snap but he doesn’t always relay what he’s seeing to everyone else. And his post snap reads seem almost nonexistent. He relies on his presnap read and any deviation from that really bothers him and it’s been the result of quite a few of his INTs. A lot of those would have been the right throw if the defense had played what he identified pre snap the exact way it’s drawn up. But defenses do scout and draw up game plans and they’ll give him what he wants only to leverage it against the route concept to force him into a bad decision. This happened a lot against the Raiders. It also has to do with him trying to anticipate guys coming open. Anticipatory throwing is great but if you’re not seeing out in front of your throw it can really bite you. Combine that with a poor performance from your oline and the mistakes add up because he has yet to learn that it’s ok to take a sack, throw it away, or just check it down.

        Basically a lot of words to say that Lock’s body is playing faster than his eyes. And having an inexperienced group of targets only amplifies those issues. It’s a learning process, I think he’ll be closer to where we thought he’d be this year next season. Unfortunately he might not get that opportunity.

        The other thing that bothers me is how our TEs chip block. They chip like WRs, even Vannett who is supposed to be a blocking TE. Put a shoulder into them and give the line actual help, don’t play patty cake so you can get into your route quicker. Usually that linemen is expecting an actual blow to the rusher and changes his set accordingly so if they don’t get a good chip it puts them out of position. And getting into your route quicker doesn’t actually help in getting open because the defenders will key in quicker. Get an actual chip in and the defense is more likely to assume your blocking and lose sight of you and you give Lock more time to make a good decision.


        Defensively I don’t have too much to say. Fangio got out of the soft zone no blitzing philosophy after a 2 or 3 games. Johnson and Jewell aren’t great in coverage but both are terrific at blitzing and when they’re both out there it’s harder for offenses to key in on who’s dropping and who’s blitzing. Losing Purcell has hurt the run defense and we don’t really have a replacement for him but the guys have stepped up admirably. The CBs have played better than I thought they would overall. Bassey looked rough early in the year but he seems better after coming back from his benching. Oj has been great in coverage but got benched for poor tackling, we’ll see how he rebounds now that Callahan is out. Bouye has been pretty good when he’s been in but is generally a half second off. Jackson has been solid, Simmons started out slowly but picked it up quickly. He still gets overzealous on some passes and jumps too early, he’d have 6 or 7 INTs on the season if not for that, still a soft tackler that’s more content to drag you down than to bring the fight to the ball carrier.

        Special teams is terrible. McManus and Martin are good but whatever McMahon is coaching the other guys is horrendous.

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        • #5
          good stuff Beast!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CanDB View Post
            good stuff Beast!
            To which I’m sure some will label as excuses

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            • #7
              I think the pieces are there, it's a just a year early. I'd bring Fangio and the coordinators back (minus Tom McMahon, who has had 3 years and it's been bad), and I believe that a combination of continuity in schemes and coaching, continuity in offensive line personnel (only the RT will change and he's been with Munchak already), the return to health of several weapons and an offseason program (might not be a full one, but it'll be a lot more than 2020) will help Lock and the offense take a big step forward in 2021. If the offense takes the step forward, the entire team will.

              If it doesn't work out, there's likely a new GM in place in 2022 (next year is Elway's last year under contract), there will likely be a new coaching staff in place picked by the new GM, it would make sense for them to then pick their new QB.

              People get caught up in the week to week emotions and with every win think they've turned the corner, and with every loss proclaim them to be the worst team in the NFL. The truth is they're neither, they're a young team that's still trying to figure out how to win. But they're not that far away. And there's no comparison between this team and 2017, that team was an older team still on it's way down, this team might be bottoming out (I actually think they already did and this is just a minor hiccup on the way back up), but there are a lot of good young pieces in place to help on that way up.

              One more thing, unless I can get Zach Wilson (doubtful) I would go with a heavily defensive oriented draft this year. There's already a lot of good young pieces in place on the offense, it's time to start loading up with good young defensive players. That will also improve the Special Teams. With the first round pick (again outside of Zach Wilson) I'm taking the best defensive player available, I wouldn't even think about an offensive player with that pick...outside of Wilson.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MrMax View Post
                Elway said on the radio this morning that this team is better than the 2017 5 &11 2017 team because they try hard. He's sounds so proud of himself, no shame at all.
                Like trying to pick which turd smells better....

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                • #9
                  I wrote this not to open the door for criticism of all kinds, rather to see where we all stand. I will not minimize the injury effect, as I will not make a bunch of excuses for our record. But I see one correlation with last season that makes me a bit concerned, in that we still do not know if Lock is the guy. I was quite convinced he was by the end of last season, so I am thick into this debate. I have given up on playoffs this year, because I just don't see us with more than 8 wins, assuming 9 wins even gets you there. So I am hoping that we again move forward with progress in mind, and see what Drew has. Same goes for a few other players. Not saying it's a time to experiment, but a good time to build on the knowledge base, while strengthening in the way of more cohesion and good attitude from each player out there. Build the winning attitude, and if not winning, at least develop a solid approach to getting there. Win quarters, win battles, win by learning and growing.
                  Last edited by CanDB; 12-03-2020, 02:27 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I feel like Losing Sutton really hurt our offense more then people are saying. Also I think we have a super young core that is still developing at wr. Which has hurt lock alot. Yes there talent is better. But alot of that is young kids who need an off season to really develop. Cushenberry is lacking nfl strength atm. He obviously can grow into it. He is just young and still developing. Jeudy and Hamler have been okay but you can tell that both of them still have alot to learn. They can be easily be starting wr but they have to refine there tasks. I do feel Fant has been horribly used this season. I would like to see him more involved in the offense. The thing that has been annoying me most with this team is our usage of rbs. We are more effective running it with Lindsey. But Elway over paid Gordon who in my opinion has been below average. So they tend to use him more. I can get Lindsey is small and a little injury prone but we need to see more of him and less of Gordon. He is more effective and Gordon is a fumbling machine.
                    sigpic
                    oakland raders gm
                    latavis murray trade bait

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kyousukeneko View Post
                      I feel like Losing Sutton really hurt our offense more then people are saying. Also I think we have a super young core that is still developing at wr. Which has hurt lock alot. Yes there talent is better. But alot of that is young kids who need an off season to really develop. Cushenberry is lacking nfl strength atm. He obviously can grow into it. He is just young and still developing. Jeudy and Hamler have been okay but you can tell that both of them still have alot to learn. They can be easily be starting wr but they have to refine there tasks. I do feel Fant has been horribly used this season. I would like to see him more involved in the offense. The thing that has been annoying me most with this team is our usage of rbs. We are more effective running it with Lindsey. But Elway over paid Gordon who in my opinion has been below average. So they tend to use him more. I can get Lindsey is small and a little injury prone but we need to see more of him and less of Gordon. He is more effective and Gordon is a fumbling machine.
                      I agree, Sutton is destined to be one of the best receivers in the league. If he and Lock build on their chemistry, like Brees/Thomas or Rodgers/Adams, there's no stopping this guy.

                      And one more comment, regarding our RBs....I tend to agree with you, Gordon is a good back, but somehow he and Lindsay may be less valuable as a tandem. Lindsay has been the force of the backfield at a young age, and something feels a little off when they are healthy but sharing duties. Gordon was exceptional a few years back, but there came a point that I thought The Chargers were stronger with Ekeler becoming the main man.

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                      • #12
                        JMO, but I think the 2020 season is very unique and might as well be seen as not comparable to any other season. Some teams are/were in a better position to handle it than others. Some teams did handle it better than others, I don't think conclusions should be made from this season. The teams that have fired coaches were there for longer terms than the Broncos currently have. I will look forward to seeing next season's Broncos, if the Broncos don't have at least a winning season+ next season, I hope they will make major changes.

                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Just to expound a bit more on the TEs chip blocking, this doesn’t necessarily always show up in the OT play as they’re usually athletic or long enough to recover and get in good enough position. Where it really shows up is with your interior line. The OGs are expecting the OT to set a certain way and they may not realize the OT had to recover because their action happens quicker so as a result there’s more space for the interior pass rushers to take advantage of. And with that extra space it makes it easier for the defense to isolate our rookie C who doesn’t always know what he’s looking at. It’s one of those little things that snowball into a bigger issue.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MrMax View Post
                            Elway said on the radio this morning that this team is better than the 2017 5 &11 2017 team because they try hard. He's sounds so proud of himself, no shame at all.
                            Projection much? He's simply proud of the team for still showing some grit and fighting. They mailed it in in 2017 and VJ clearly lost them, but they're still playing hard for Fangio.

                            Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

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                            • #15
                              I did a little study, which I believe is accurate and in the last 4 full seasons (including the last 5 games of 2016), The Broncs are 23 Ws / 41 Ls, or 35.9%. We are tied for 5th worst along with The Jags and Washington. Worse have been:
                              1) The Jets 2) NYG 3) Cinci 4) Cleveland (by a win vs a tie). That's all. Even Detroit, The Raiders and Miami have better records.

                              Sure, 4 seasons is not a severe drought. But in 4 seasons you do acquire a lot of draft capital. And of course, you either are often in rebuild mode or some sort of transition, which hopefully does not last too long.

                              Having said that, even though Lock is under closer observation by many of us, he is not the reason we have that record. I believe he is 7 and 6 as a starter, although the Pittsburgh loss is questionable given when he got injured. But if that's how losses are defined, we'll say 7 and 6 at worst.

                              I am concerned that we have a bigger problem, and we have spoken about it....ownership/management.

                              This is not a Cleveland or Detroit situation, whereby fans have been starved for any real semblance of post season play for decades. We are in a different class. Among the best. But as we sometimes say, lets see how next year goes....which can be a bit frustrating, because there are no assurances, and in Lock's case, no clear franchise QB yet.

                              I will give them another year, because it looked so promising this year, and then injuries really stung us. One more year, which will also include the fact we have our long term QB on the roster.
                              Last edited by CanDB; 12-04-2020, 11:09 AM.

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