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Week 6 Prediction Article: L.A. Rams @ Denver Broncos

That’s right, no need to get scared.  We have been here before, in fact, just last season.  Will this be the turning point of the season for the Broncos or are they headed down the road for another 5-11 season, at best?  The 5-0 Rams come into Denver boasting the leagues #1 offense.  QB Jared Goff leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,727.  He has completed 72.3% of his passes, only trailing Drew Brees.  He has thrown 12 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions and they are firing on all cylinders.

The Broncos have not looked good over their 3 game losing streak and are hoping that the season turns around today.  Vance Joseph is certainly on the hot-seat and a blow out today at home by the Rams could spell the end of Joseph in Denver.

The play calling on both sides of the ball has been way too conservative.  We have to be mean and aggressive and we have to play smash mouth football on in all phases.  I want to see players like Josey Jewell and Royce Freeman uncaged.  I want to see Case Keenum stretch the field with Sutton, DT and Sanders.  I want the Broncos to go back to the winning culture that all know and love.  I want to cheer again.

Ok, enough of the negativity…

Everyone on the Broncos roster and staff knows what is at stake.  Its time to right the ship, and it happens today, at home, against the unbeaten Rams.  Convinced?

Bold Predictions

Von Miller records 2 sacks, 1 FF and 1 TD.

Royce Freeman rushes for over 100 yards.

Keenum throws 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.  One to Sanders, one to Sutton and one to DT.

Final Score Prediction

L.A. Rams – 17

Denver Broncos – 31

Week 5: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Week 5
Denver Broncos @ New York Jets

 

The Good…

I am having a difficult time finding any real positives from the game yesterday.  There were a few bright spots among the trash that the Broncos fielded yesterday on all three phases of the game.  Courtland Sutton got his first NFL receiving touchdown.  Case Keenum only threw one interception.  Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman continue to shine when given the opportunity, but again, Denver abandoned the run game.  I guess I can give the defense props for holding RB Bilal Powell to a mere five yards per carry.  Shoutout to Demaryius Thomas for actually catching the ball on 5 of his 6 targets and eclipsing the century mark in receiving yards for the first time this season, oh, and congrats to Derek Wolfe for getting his first career interception.

The Bad…

This one is glaringly obvious.  You cannot give up 332 rushing yards in any game, let alone against a team like the Jets.  The scarier part was the 14.6 average yards per run attempt by Isaiah Crowell.  Getting gashed for 2 70+ yard plays in the same game is crazy, but you found a way to allow them to do it in the same damn quarter.  Von Miller has been missing since Week 1.  Denver’s secondary may as well sit on the bench.  Vance Joseph has no clue what he is doing and Joe Woods wouldn’t know how to put a defense game plan together if it smacked him in the face.

The Ugly…

All of it.  Inept offense.  Porous run defense.  Frequent flier mile promotions for all travellers.  A road loss to a 1-3 Jets team that lost to the Cleveland Browns.  A coaching staff that is in over their heads and a GM that is apparently too proud to admit mistakes.  It is time to rebuild this thing.  Do it now.  Don’t wait for the Rams to embarrass the Broncos at home on Sunday.  Cut bait with Joseph.  Show Joe Woods the door.  Hand the clipboard to Case Keenum and hand the green dot to Chad Kelly.  Do it now, do it today, and save the fan base.

Week 5 Prediction Article: Denver Broncos @ New York Jets

Case Keenum, this one’s for you.  You were brought here to change the culture.  You were brought here to not throw picks.  You were brought here to get us back to a winning franchise where we score points and the defense dominates.  It starts and ends with you.  No touchdowns since week 1 is unacceptable.  6 picks to 3 TDs is unacceptable.  Chad Kelly is waiting in the wings and if you keep it up, you will be holding the clipboard.

How do you miss D.T. wide open?  How do you throw costly interceptions in the redzone?  Who do you think you are?  Stay within yourself and get the ball to your play makers.  Snap back to reality, Case.  You are barely completing 60% of your passes.  Your quarterback rating is dismal.  You have the worst completion percentage in the NFL when receivers are WIDE OPEN!  Think about that.

Case, this one’s for you.  Show me something.  Do something to wow me.  Its the Jets.  Its the God-Damn Jets!

Final Score Prediction

Denver Broncos – 35

New York Jets – 17

 

Broncos and Chiefs Deliver a Huge Monday Night Football Rating for ESPN

Pro Football Talk reports that the Chiefs and Broncos had a huge Monday night in terms of people watching the game, as it was the highest Monday Night Football rating since Week Three of 2017.

Via SportsBusiness Daily, Monday night’s Chiefs-Broncos game on ESPN generated a 9.1 rating. It was the best Monday night number since Week Three of the 2017 season (Cowboys-Cardinals) and an eight-percent increase over last year’s 8.4 rating for a Week Four Monday night game between Washington and the Chiefs.

The rating for Monday night’s game matches the 9.1 rating generated by the Week Four game in Week Four of the 2016 season. Which essentially gets the NFL back to where it was in the year that the ratings slide began to become noticeable.

The Monday night measurement continues a 2018 trend (for the most part) of ratings going up. And that’s a good thing for the NFL and the networks, especially at a time when the TV viewership continues to decline.

Week 4: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

 

Week 4 – Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

 

The Good…

Denver’s running game, before they decided to abandon it, was on point all night long.  Phillip Lindsay averaged 5.8 yards per carry, collecting 69 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.  Royce Freeman averaged 8.4 yards per carry, while picking up 67 yards on 8 carries and a touchdown.

Check out this run by Royce Freeman, courtesy of Twitter.

And the run from Phillip Lindsay, also via Twitter.

Lindsay and Freeman also made history last night as they became the first rookie tandem in Broncos history to each have more than 60 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown in the same game.  Why we abandoned the run, with the lead, is beyond me.

 

The Bad…

When Kansas City got the ball back late in the 4th quarter, they were trailing the Broncos by 10 with 12:47 left to play in the game.  QB Pat Mahomes took matters into his own hands, carving up the Broncos defense like he was preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner.  In the ensuing drive, the Chiefs shaved 6:17 off the clock, capping off a 12 play, 75 yard drive with a 2 yard touchdown pass to TE Travis Kelce.

When Denver got the ball back after the K.C. kickoff, there was still 6:27 left on the clock.  With a three point lead, Denver ran all three plays of the drive from the shotgun.  The first down run by Lindsay was sniffed out as he was stopped dead in his tracks at the line of scrimmage.  37 seconds later, Keenum couldn’t connect with Emmanuel Sanders on what appeared to be a screen play, only to be sacked on the very next play.  Punter Marquette King poured salt on the open wound with a piss-poor punt of 35 yards, setting the Chiefs up with a short field and down by 3.

The Chiefs regained possession after the punt with 4:35 left to play.  Again, Mahomes was not finished carving up the Denver defense.  After an 8 play, 60 yard drive that saw another 2:56 come off of the clock, the Chiefs were sitting pretty with a 4 point lead with just 1:39 left to play.

Denver got the ball back on their own 25 with 1:39 left.  Two first downs later, it looked like the Broncos were in the driver seat to put the game away.  On 3rd and 10 with 22 seconds left, Demaryius Thomas found an opening in the Kansas City secondary which for a second looked like it was going to be the game winning touchdown.  Instead, Thomas started his route slower than Case Keenum expected him to and Keenum overthrew Thomas just before the pylon.  The next play was just as absurd, as Keenum connected with rookie receiver Cortland Sutton on the 4th down play for what appeared to be a first down, but he attempted a hook-and-ladder play and fumbled the ball, giving Mahomes and the Chiefs the win.

The Ugly…

Not going to beat around the bush with this one.  The ugly, as it has been since his 3 touchdown performance in Week 1, is QB Case Keenum.  Keenum was brought in to change the culture and success at the quarterback position.  Instead, its an exact mirror image of last years QB carousel in the likes of Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler.  Keenum now has 3 straight games with 0 passing touchdowns and 1 interception.  After 4 games, Keenum has thrown for 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.  Project those glorious numbers across the season; Keenum is projected, if he keeps up the way he has been going, to throw 12 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.  In 11 games (10 starts) in 2017, Trevor Siemian threw for 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Case Keenum is not the answer to the Broncos problems at quarterback.  Vance Joseph is in over his head, and this Bronco team now trails the potent Chiefs by 2 games for the AFC West lead.  If he doesn’t find a way to light up the Jets on Sunday, then it would be time to start Chad Kelly at the Rams and let it rip.

Honorable Mention

The referees.  2 horrible no-calls on the final drive of the game.  Delay of game should have been called as the play clock was clearly on for about 2 seconds before the Chiefs got the snap off.  Then, there was the play where Pat Mahomes stepped over the line of scrimmage before making a throw, and a completion.

Here is the no-call on the should-have-been delay of game:

 

 

Week 4 Prediction Article: Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos

As the Broncos continue to hand out frequent flier miles to all opposing offenses, it may be time for them to consider a new promotion with the hottest offense in football coming to town for a primetime, Monday night showdown in the Mile High.  The loss of Aqib Talib and the decline of play by Bradley Roby has caused quite a bit of dysfunction in the Broncos secondary.  Currently, the Broncos are allowing opposing quarterbacks to post a whopping 102.2 quarterback rating.  That’s good for the 9th worse in the league.  Opposing quarterbacks have also completed 69.5 percent of their pass attempts, and Denver has only been able to intercept opposing quarterbacks twice.  Last week in Baltimore, the Ravens had their way with the Broncos pass defense as well, as QB Joe Flacco  completed more than 62% of his pass attempts.  The week before, Derek Carr carved them to the tune of a 90% completion percentage and 288 yards.  Amazingly, the Broncos, for the most part, have played bend but don’t break defense.  Opponents have only score 5 touchdowns against the Denver defense in the first 3 contests of the year.  The run defense has been a bright spot for Denver, as they are currently ranked 3rd in the NFL, holding opposing ball carriers to 77.7 yards per game.

On offense, it hasn’t looked much different than it did a year ago.  Slow starts and costly turnovers have made the Broncos play from behind for the majority of the 2018 campaign.  It took 4th quarter comebacks in Weeks 1 and 2 at home, but the Broncos could not overcome the early deficit that they faced last week in a soggy, penalty riddled game against Baltimore.  Case Keenum was hoped to bring a spark back to the Denver offense that we haven’t seen since Peyton Manning.  Instead, his productivity has looked much more like Brock Oswelier and Trevor Siemian from last year.  Keenum’s 743 passing yards is good for 25th in the league.  His average of 247.7 yards per game puts him at #21.  He owns a 3-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and has been afraid to stretch the field, averaging just 6.9 yards per attempt.  His quarterback rating of 71.6 is 27 points lower than it was last year and he is only 2 interceptions shy of meeting the mark he set all of last season.  If Denver is going to get back to its winning ways, it starts with the offense.  The Broncos must find a way to take the lead quick and force opponents into a one-dimensional pass attack.  This is where the Denver defense will excel.

The visiting Chiefs are no joke.  Andy Reid knows how to run an offense and Patrick Mahomes looks like he is in his 10th year in the league.  He is setting records every week, and will come into Denver with the opportunity to take an early 2 game lead in the division.  Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce round out this super potent offense.  The Kansas City defense is horrible at best, so the Broncos should be able to keep up with Mahomes and turn this into a shootout.  Containing Mahomes and making sure he stays in the pocket will be very important in Denver having success on the defensive side of the ball.  If Denver can get some pressure on Mahomes and disrupt his timing and ability to extend plays, the Broncos should be able to force the youngster to make some ill-advised throws.  It will be up to Denver to capitalize on those mistakes.

In order for the Broncos to even things up with the Chiefs atop the AFC West division, the Broncos will have to play flawless football in all three phases of the game.  Turnovers and penalties will cause this game to get out of hand quick.  We must control the tempo of the game, control the line of scrimmage by running the football, and control field position by capitalizing on 3rd down.  Keenum needs to show Broncos Country why Elway hand picked him to lead us back to the promise land.  After tonight, we will either be a legitimate contender for the AFC West crown, or we will be right back to where we were last year, wondering if Chad Kelly is the saviour that this team needs.

Final Score Prediction

This one is going to be a nailbiter.  This could be back and forth all night long, and the team that comes out on top will be the team that makes a huge play late in the 4th quarter.  If Denver is going to win, I think they will have to do it in the same manner that they got their first two wins at home.  From behind.  Denver wins.

Kansas City Chiefs – 26

Denver Broncos – 27

Video: Broncos Hot Start Falls Flat in 27-14 Loss to Ravens

Week 3 Prediction Article: Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens

Good morning, Bronco fans.  Its a very wet week 3 here in Baltimore.  The rain is coming down and doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime today, so this is going to be a soggy game for sure.  The elements are going to play a major factor on today’s game and should slow down the pace of play.  I expect a lot of ground attack by both teams and that should favor our Broncos.

The Baltimore Ravens (1-1) return home after a road loss in Cincinnati last week.  The Ravens have been the tail of two identities.  In week 1, they dismantled the dysfunctional Bills at home and then got trounced on early by the Bengals and were never able to recover.  C.J. Mosely will be a game time decision and that will be a huge factor in the middle of the Ravens defense if Mosely is unable to go.  Baltimore faced issues with defensive communication last week after Mosely went out, but I would expect Safety Eric Weddle to lead the defensive charge for the Ravens.

I believe that the elements are going to change the Baltimore game plan drastically, and I think that plays into the Broncos favor.  The Ravens have not been able to establish the running game, and it won’t be easy getting them going today against a very stout front 7 by Denver, especially with the rain.  Von Miller should have a huge game getting after Joe Flacco today.  Last week, Denver saw a very good, efficient, and quick release quarterback in Derek Carr.  Flacco doesn’t have that type of release and is typically a check down or home run type of quarterback.  I expect the tight ends to get involved early, so the linebackers and safeties will need to be ready to go.

The Denver Broncos (2-0) come into week 3 with two back to back 4th quarter comebacks against  Seattle and Oakland.  Last week, Derek Carr shredded the Broncos secondary, but the Broncos wouldn’t break.  The Denver defense allow Derek Carr to complete 90% of his passes for 288 yards, but only allowed one passing touchdown.  They held their own on the rushing defense as well only allowing 3.5 yards per attempt on the ground last week.  The Broncos cannot afford to start slow on the road and expect to be able to claw their way back into the game.  This Ravens defense will not allow a comeback in the same fashion that the Raiders did last week.  Start fast and don’t commit any turnovers.

Week 3 Statistical Breakdown

Denver Offense vs. Baltimore Defense

Denver’s Total Offense (YPG) 4th in the NFL – 427.5 Yards Per Game
Baltimore’s Total Defense (YPG) 2nd in the NFL – 263 Yards Per Game

Denver’s Passing Offense (YPG) 13th in the NFL – 270.5 Yards Per Game
Baltimore’s Passing Defense (YPG) 3rd in the NFL – 167.5 Yards Per Game

Denver’s Rushing Offense – 2nd in the NFL – 157 Yards Per Game
Baltimore’s Rushing Defense – 14th in the NFL – 95.5 Yards Per Game

______________________________________________________

Baltimore Offense vs. Denver Defense

Baltimore’s Total Offense (YPG) – 8th in the NFL – 397 Yards Per Game
Denver’s Total Defense (YPG) – 16th in the NFL – 339.5 Yards Per Game

Baltimore’s Passing Offense (YPG) – 7th in the NFL – 305.5 Yards Per Game
Denver’s Passing Defense (YPG) – 13th in the NFL – 270.5 Yards Per Game

Baltimore’s Rushing Offense (YPG) – 23rd in the NFL – 91.5 Yards Per Game
Denver’s Rushing Defense (YPG) – 6th in the NFL – 78 Yards Per Game

****Something’s gotta give!

______________________________________________________

5 Keys to Victory

  1. Run the ball.  Establish the run with the two rookies and don’t look back.  The Broncos have averaged 157 yards per game on the ground and the Ravens allow 95.5 yards per game.  Crack the 100 yard mark on the ground, and Denver wins.
  2. Get pressure on Joe Flacco.  This isn’t the same type of offense or quarterback that Denver saw last week.  His release is nowhere near as fast as Carr’s and his offense line is suspect.  Chubb and Miller need to be make Flacco’s worst nightmare come true.
  3. Win the turnover battle.  I know it is cliche, but Denver must win in turnover ratio.  If we can force Joe to make untimely throws, we will make him pay.  Watch Safety Justin Simmons today.  He is going to have a big game.
  4. Protect the ball Case.  Keenum has 4 interceptions through the first 2 games, so he needs to protect the football.  I want to see Case have a clean game.  Don’t throw any picks, don’t lose on the road.  Simple.
  5. Hold the Ravens on 3rd down.  Denver is by far the best 3rd down defense in the NFL.  Let’s keep that going, and get our defense off of the field.  Control the clock and control field position.

Final Score Prediction

My son and I will be attending the game in Baltimore today.  I’ll give my prediction and then his.  Let’s Go Broncos!  My 11 year old daughter is a Ravens fan, so I’ll let her take a stab at it as well.

Baltimore Ravens – 17

Denver Broncos -20

Sean’s Final Score Prediction

Baltimore Ravens – 17

Denver Broncos – 31

Hailey’s Final Score Prediction

Baltimore Ravens – 23

Denver Broncos – 20

My Dad’s Final Score Prediction

Baltimore Ravens – 24

Denver Broncos – 22

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