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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

Are The Broncos Good?

After two weeks of NFL action, the Denver Broncos sit tied with the Kansas City Chiefs at 2-0.  While the games haven’t been pretty at all times, the Broncos have shown heart and grit and mustered out two fourth quarter comebacks to get them to where they are sitting today.  Defensive miscues, poor ball management, and untimely turnovers have plagued the Broncos early in the 2018 campaign, however, they have found a way to win, no matter what.

The opponents that the Broncos faced in weeks 1 and 2 are both sitting at 0-2.  Denver could very easily be sitting at 0-2.  After a 3 interception effort by QB Case Keenum against the Seahawks and then the lethargic start against the Raiders, Denver is fortunate to be 2-0.

The next two weeks will show us exactly where the Broncos are, offensively and defensively.  This week, Denver will have its first road test against a very good defense in the Baltimore Ravens.  The Broncos are 1-5 alltime against the Ravens in Baltimore which shows that it is a very difficult place to play.  The Ravens fans are loud and the team feeds off of the energy unlike anywhere else I have personally been.  Getting off to a fast start against the Ravens will be an important factor to winning this game.  If the Broncos get off to a slow start against the Ravens like they did against the Raiders, I don’t see the Ravens defense allowing the Broncos to get back into the ballgame.  The other huge factor in this game will be containing the two tight end sets that the Ravens are going to show Denver.  Denver hasn’t been able to stop teams running 1 TE formations, so stopping 2 of them could be a tough task.  The Broncos will need to take advantage of the Ravens porous O-Line and make Joe Flacco miserable.

Following this very difficult road game with the Ravens, the Broncos will return home for a primetime game against the super potent Kansas City Chiefs.  The Chiefs (2-0) are the hottest offense in football right now.  Pat Mahomes is playing out of his mind, setting NFL records all while taking names and kicking butt.  The defense will have to fix the sloppiness that plagued them throughout the entire first half of the Raiders game last week.  If Mahomes has time, he will put a lot of points on the board.

These next two weeks are going to be a lot of fun.  If Denver escapes both games with victories, then Denver will be talked about as the favorite to win the AFC West.

Week 2 Prediction Article: Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos

Good morning, Bronco fans!  It is week 2 in the NFL as the Oakland Raiders come into town to take on our Denver Broncos.  Oakland (0-1) is coming off an embarrassing week 1 loss at the hands of the L.A. Rams by a score of 33-10.  The Raiders went into halftime with a 13-10 lead, then allowed 23 unanswered points in the second half.  Oakland QB Derek Carr completed 72% of his passes, however, he did not throw a touchdown and threw 3 interceptions.  The star of the game was TE Jared Cook, who raked in 9 catches for 180 yards.

Denver (1-0) comes into week 2 with their 2nd consecutive home game and will look to remain undefeated in this young season.  QB Case Keenum’s Bronco debut was a bit of a roller coaster ride.  The interceptions reminded us all of last year, but precision strikes in other times in the game gave us a glimpse of what our offense is capable of doing.  Keenum, who threw 3 interceptions, also connected on 3 touchdown passes and threw for over 300 yards.  Rookie RBs Phillip Lindsay and Royce  Freeman both saw success in their NFL debuts as both runners gained 71 yards on 15 rushing attempts.  Lindsay was also involved in the passing game as he reeled in 2 catches for 31 yards including an impressive 29 yard touchdown as he simply blew by everyone down the sideline.  WR Emmanuel Sanders found pay dirt for the first time in a long time, having a very impressive game with 135 receiving yards on 10 receptions.

The Denver defense gave fans a lot of reasons to be excited and optimistic about this season, as they were the biggest impact on the outcome of the game last week against Seattle.  LB Von Miller is already making his case for Defensive Player of The Year as he annihilated the Seattle offensive line all game long.  Miller’s stat line was simply ridiculous; 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovered.  The Broncos defense got to QB Russell Wilson early and often as they racked up 6 sacks against the elusive Wilson.  Newly acquired CB Adam “Pac-Man” Jones proved that he can still help teams win on defense and special teams.

Keys to Victory

  1. Contain the Tight End.  Seattle TE Will Dissly only caught three passes, but he did damage when he had the ball in his hands.  He gained 105 receiving yards including 66 yard touchdown reception where he made the Broncos defense look bush league, and it was his first NFL game.  Oakland’s TE is more dangerous and I would expect Derek Carr to look for Jared Cook all game long.  The middle linebackers will need to contain Cook and make him pay anytime the ball touches his hands.
  2. I said it last week and until we clean it up, it needs to be a point of emphasis.  Keenum has to protect the football.  It is very hard to win games when you throw 3 interceptions.  Case must avoid throwing interceptions at all costs.
  3. QB Derek Carr has a very quick release.  It will be difficult to sack Carr, so the secondary needs to be on their A game.  Denver DBs need to press the receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupt the timing of the receiver’s routes.  Linebackers will need to be ready to protect the middle of the field on quick inside slant routes.
  4. Keep feeding the rookie running backs.  Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay need to get involved in the game quickly to establish the running game.  With the various weapons at Keenum’s disposal, the Oakland secondary will need to respect the passing game of the Broncos.  This should open up some holes for the running backs to get through.
  5. Denver must be more efficient on third down than they were a week ago against Seattle.  Denver only converted 4 of 12 3rd down opportunities in Week 1.  If Denver can capitalize on 3rd down and keep Oakland’s defense on the field, it is going to be a long day at Mile High for the Raiders.

The Broncos are off to a decent start and I expect them to continue strong this week.  Being at home is a huge advantage against any opponent and the Raiders look to be in meltdown mode already.  Let’s make a statement this week and carry that momentum into next week’s road match-up  with the Baltimore Ravens.

Final Score Prediction

Oakland Raiders – 17

Denver Broncos – 27

Week 1 Prediction Article: Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos

Good morning, Bronco fans!  It is time for real NFL football.  After a dismal 5-11 season last year, the revamped Broncos look to get back to their winning culture with a new leader at the helm.  With the addition of QB, Case Keenum and several play-making rookies, I can see these Broncos returning to the playoffs, but the road ahead won’t be very easy.  Although Denver has the “5th easiest schedule”, one simple injury can change the complexity of everything.

Let’s take a look at the visiting Seattle Seahawks:

Veteran QB Russell Wilson is a very dangerous quarterback both inside and outside of the pocket.  He has the ability to extend plays and keep defenses off balance.  Containing Wilson will be the #1 key to victory for Denver today.

The Legion of Boom is no where near what it used to be.  A starting CB was just placed on IR.  Marshawn Lynch is a Raider.

Russell still has weapons at his disposal, but this team is nothing like the team who laid the smack-down on us in the SuperBowl a few years back.

Now, the Broncos have done a lot of work on the off season to attempt to make this a winning team.  The addition of Bradley Chubb on the defense should reap immediate rewards.  RB Royce Freeman will make a statement today and Case Keenum to Cortland Sutton, Emmanuel Sanders, and Demaryius Thomas should be a lot of fun to watch all season long.

5 Keys to Victory

  • As stated earlier, the Broncos must contain Russell Wilson and stay with their assignment.  Miller and Chubb will have to get to him in a hurry and ensure they have containment all game long.  If Wilson has time inside and outside of the pocket, this will be a long day for Denver.
  • Establish the run and don’t quit.  It may look ugly at times, but we cannot abandon the run.  Trust in the rookie running back, and continue to feed him the rock.  A big, game changing run is going to come when they least expect it.
  • Protect the football.  After the carousel of quarterbacks last year who seemed to like to throw it to the wrong guys, we now need Keenum to play smart and throw to the guys wearing the same logo.  If we can play turnover free football, the defense will make sure we are in a place to win ballgames.  Protect the ball, Kase.
  • Get the wide receivers involved early.  All of them.  Early.  Literally.  Early.  LOL.  Thomas, Sanders and Sutton are going to be very difficult to cover.  They won’t be able to cheat and double all three of them.  Get those three boys going early and keep going to them often.  I see a mega bomb to Sutton early to set the tone and open up the running game.
  • Play-action football.  If we can run the ball well, and can hit with a few deep balls, keep the Seahawks at bay with running play-action plays.  Getting into a rhythm early will be key to this, so we have to get a fast start.  If we do, its going to be a long day for Seattle in the Mile High.

Final Score Prediction

Seattle Seahawks: 17

Denver Broncos: 31

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