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  1. #1
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    Bucky Brooks Broncos article. Contenders?

    Bucky makes his positive case that the Broncos might have got their puzzle in order. Granted his contentions are the same ones we've seen in these forums here and there, and to me -- he makes a good case. If you agree with him you kind of have to give Elway some credit getting us at least where it looks like the team could do something. You never know how a team will come together. On paper though, the Broncos 'puzzle' pieces are starting to look like they fit right rather than jammed into place despite their shapes. If the team intangible ends up equaling more than the sum of it's parts, with what's on paper could mean the Broncos will be better than anyone thinks they will be.

    As Bucky mentioned in the article "hope springs eternal during this time of year". Things could be worse for the Broncos (cough Jokeland cough) -- Look only 6-8 months ago. Broncos have dug themselves a hole -- but it does look like they're trying to get back in the black.


    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...must-ace-draft

    By Bucky Brooks
    NFL.com Analyst
    Published: Sept. 6, 2019 at 02:58 p.m.
    Updated: Sept. 6, 2019 at 03:54 p.m.


    Raise your hand if you really believe Joe Flacco is a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback.

    For the majority of the 12th-year pro's career, I would've kept my hand in my pocket when asked that question, but there's something brewing in Denver that has swayed my opinion in recent months. The former Super Bowl MVP has not only joined a team with a defense that should emerge as a dominant unit, but he is also playing in an offensive system that suits his skills as a passer better than the one in Baltimore did. Plus, he's surrounded by a more talented collection of pass catchers on the perimeter.

    Now, I know hope springs eternal during this time of year, but I believe the Broncos have the pieces in place to make a legitimate run in the AFC in 2019. The defense has a pair of disruptive pass rushers (Von Miller and Bradley Chubb) and a premier cover corner (Chris Harris Jr.) playing in a system that's designed to routinely create negative plays (sacks, tackles for loss and turnovers). Although the rest of the unit is comprised mostly of unheralded playmakers, we've seen the combination of first-year head coach Vic Fangio's system and productive role players produce spectacular results in the past.

    Offensively, the Broncos have returned to a zone-based rushing attack and complementary play-action passing game with roots in the Mike Shanahan scheme that helped pave the way for back-to-back Super Bowl wins in the late 1990s. I believe this offense is a perfect match for Flacco. The veteran passer enjoyed the best statistical season of his career working with Gary Kubiak in a similar scheme in 2014, and new Broncos OC Rich Scangarello's system should enhance the strengths of Flacco's game.

    Just to refresh your memory, Flacco completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 3,986 yards with a 27:12 touchdown-to-interception ratio in '14. The 27 TDs were a career-high, and he posted a passer rating of 91.0 (second-highest of his career). He looked like a high-end starter directing an offense that featured an assortment of stretch-bootleg concepts prominently in the game plan, and the Ravens won 10 games, advancing to the playoffs as a wild-card team.

    The memory of that season might have played a key role in prompting Broncos president of football operations John Elway to acquire the veteran from Baltimore for a fourth-round pick in February. The Hall of Fame quarterback-turned-executive suggested in March that Flacco was still in his prime, and he has continued to pump up his new QB1 throughout the offseason.

    "I think there's more value that he brings and for what we need than people think," Elway told The Athletic in July. "Everyone wants to sit there and look at his numbers and what's done the last few years. To me, he hasn't had a great system and he hasn't had great people around him. So he can have success when you have people around him and he's in the right system, which I think he is because this is the system he's had success in. But he's also had kind of a calming (effect) at that position because guys respect that he's been there, he's won a Super Bowl, he knows what it takes. Whether they think he's great or good, he's solid."

    The thought of just solid quarterback play leading to wins might draw some raised eyebrows, but it falls in line with the style of play embraced by Fangio. The grizzled, defensive-minded coach wants to lean on the running game and play complementary football, with the three phases (offense, defense, special teams) tying together.

    Offensively, the offseason arrival of O-line coach Mike Munchak should fortify things up front and enable the running game to thrive, with Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman sharing the load. Munchak, a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, transformed the Pittsburgh Steelers' O-line into arguably the best front five in football during his five seasons (2014-18) with the squad.

    Given Munchak's impeccable resume (it's worth noting that the Steelers gave up the second-fewest sacks in the NFL during his tenure), I believe it's only a matter of time before the Broncos' running game and aerial attack find rhythm under Flacco's direction.

    With Scangarello putting Flacco in his comfort zone as a play-action passer throwing a handful of bootlegs, the Broncos' new QB1 should put up solid numbers while throwing to wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton. This approach is similar to how Scangarello -- who previously served as the 49ers' QB coach -- and San Francisco coaxed impressive production from undrafted QB Nick Mullens last season when injuries created an opportunity for the third-stringer. The formula should help No. 5 find his stride as the leader of the offense.

    Most importantly, the recipe should help the Broncos emerge as dark-horse contenders in the AFC.
    ~The O Line can never be strong enough can it. If our receivers do well this year I'd like to see a significant investment on the OL during the next big effort to bring guys in whenever/however that is (draft or trades).

    ~I still think we need one big piece at MLB .... and that probably wont happen this season.

    Even then it's not that simple because year to year guys leave for reasons beyond the club's control. Cost of contract, injuries, CBA stuff etc. Elway needs to keep a finger on the pulse of how things could come together 2-3 years out every year.
    Red 98

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  2. #2
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    I don't think it's unreasonable to think Denver can get to the playoffs as a wild card. The defense is solid and Flacco is a significant upgrade at QB. No doubt, it'll be tough, and, yes, Denver has questions at some positions, but I believe the Broncos have a legitimate shot.

  3. #3
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    It's possible. Tonight we finally learn what this team's personality is. We didn't see nearly enough from preseason to get any kind of sniff of how this group of Broncos will play. I have a good feeling we're on the right path with Fangio. Can't wait ..... and we're the last game on the docket. Not only that but it's about as late a game as you'll see at 10:35 PM EST.
    Red 98

    The early bird may get the worm, but the 2nd mouse gets the cheese

  4. #4
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    Every loss last year was close except for the second quarter of the Jets game (21 points)

    With that said.....I think we're greatly improved from last year.

  5. #5
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    Bucky Brooks might very possibly be right that we have the tools to contend, but it boils down to a lot of things.
    The games so far shows that Chiefs are dangerous, but also to me that if our secondary can cover tight like they did in 2015 and 2016, then those huge gains will not come. Mahomes seemed to throw to receivers that had at least 5 feet. Chargers seem to be back to great play and many mistakes.
    There is no doubt for me that a lot of our O-Line and offensive production issues have had to do with the QB and Flacco should be a massive upgrade in just plain game management, and when you need to find an extra gear at the end of the game.
    It seems like AFC could be hard to win, but all the teams with high scores this week did not seem to see much pressure. If our defense is just close to 2015 standards, then we should be in a very good situation.

  6. #6
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    Watching NE and Dallas move the ball down the field is a thing of beauty.

    How will our Red Zone offense look tonight?
    [

  7. #7
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    I think our offense will struggle mightily... will our defense be good enough to keep all these high powered offenses from scoring? We'll see. If they can, we may sneak into the playoffs.

  8. #8
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    It was just like watching a game from last year. Now we see that it wasn’t the coaching.
    Last edited by DavisMVP; 09-10-2019 at 02:40 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavisMVP View Post
    It was just like watching a game from last year. Now we see that it wasn’t the coaching.
    Actually...it was, that it continues to be is the greater concern.

    Difference is, there is some hope that this bunch gets better. There were glimmers of hope last night, little ones. Garrett Boles didn't get 3 holding calls!
    [

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