The Denver Broncos had a nice start to the season, beginning 4-0 before falling these past two weeks to the Falcons and Chargers. Ahead of this Monday night’s game, we reached out to the good folks over at the Mile High Report and quizzed them about some issues facing the Broncos heading into Monday night’s clash with the Texans:
BRB: Let's talk about the QB position. You lost Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. You traded for Mark Sanchez, drafted Paxton Lynch, and then started neither of those QBs in favour of Trevor Siemian.
With this much change, how do you think the transition has gone? How good can this offense be under Trevor Siemian? What is the fate of Paxton Lynch?
The transition has gone as well as you can expect after a legend retires. I've personally seen a worse situation (Bubby Brister getting cast aside for rookie Brian Griese). I think the biggest thing for any NFL fan to understand with a situation like the Broncos’ is that there is no seamless answer. If Brock had stayed, things likely would have looked very similar to what we have now.
That being said, my honest feeling based off what my eyes tell me (and this isn't necessarily the opinion of everyone in Broncos Country) is that Trevor Siemian is about at his ceiling as it stands. He's a fringe starter/solid backup NFL QB. The Broncos can win with him as long as the running game works and the defense keeps playing well.
Paxton Lynch is the future. He's got a big time arm, quick release, and a lot of athletic ability. He's coming from a very simplistic offensive system in college and is learning as fast as he can. I feel like he'll take over at some point this season and likely won't be letting go of the reigns barring injury.
BRB: The Broncos lost a few defensive pieces in the offseason with Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan. Despite these losses, the Broncos’ defense still seems to be as beastly as it was last season. How have the Broncos maintained this form despite losing two starters?
Malik's loss was definitely big. He deserved every penny he got from that contract and he added a lot to our defense. We're in the process of replacing him and I think by the season's end we won't be missing him much. I've already seen progress in 5 weeks with the run defense on that side of the front seven and some of our backup players are getting more in the groove.
Danny Trevathan was not as big of a loss as many outside of Broncos Country would think. He is a good linebacker, but not great, and last year was only taking about 1/3 of the snaps because he was off the field for sub packages.
That being said, his replacement Todd Davis has not looked good when having to cover and teams have gone after him to exploit that weakness. Look for him to be on the field less with either T.J. Ward coming down as a linebacker or the team using more nickel looks when we aren't in run situations.
BRB: The Broncos’ offensive line has had its issues over the past few weeks which has certainly influenced the run game and the health of Siemian. What exactly is the problem and how much of a concern is it going forward?
The initial problem had to do with both our main tight end Virgil Green and tackle Donald Stephenson getting injured in the same week. That forced us to try and use a gimpy and short-armed Ty Sambrailo at RT. He made one of the poorest excuses for a pass rusher in the NFL look like an All-Pro.
Stephenson is back and almost instantly the line looked better last week. Virgil Green is healthy again too. If he is able to get back into playing form this week, you should see a lot of success from Denver running the ball and hopefully a more dynamic passing attack.
BRB: If the Broncos are to win Monday, what do they need to do on both sides of the ball?
On offense, they absolutely, positively have to get the run game working on 1st and 2nd down in the first half. A lot of their yards have been coming on draw plays and such in garbage time. The run blocking is the biggest key in Kubiak's offense. It makes everything else work and for the past few weeks it has been poor.
On defense, they just need to come out of the blocks swinging. The defense has played superb football outside of the 1st quarter. It almost seems like they are spotting teams big long TD drives to start every game as if they need the challenge. They need to stop the run out of the gate and stop giving up 3rd down conversions early and often. If they can do that, I think the team stands a much better chance of winning the game.
BRB: Finally, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall was quoted this week as follows:
We know Brock. He came from here and we just want to kill him. That’s what we want to do.’’
My question to you is this: Why do you support a team that is clearly PRO-MURDER?!?!?!?
Surely he was being figurative, but nevertheless, I back his talk 100%. Brock didn't leave Denver on any kind of terms with the locker room from what I heard. It was like we won the Super Bowl and he was a ghost. Even for meeting the president, he didn't join the team. That to the players seems like a slap in the face and a bit classless. I don't think the players give two craps about him taking the money and running, but acting too cool for school as a scrub four-year backup left a bad taste in their mouth.
Dem be fightin words! Thanks again to sadaraine and the rest of MHR for being such good sports and taking the time to answer some questions. Be sure to head on over to Mile High Report if you’re ever in the mood for some good John Elway fan fiction.
As for us Texans fans, what do you think of the responses? Do you think that their assessment is good news for the Texans, or is their more to worry about after reading this? Do you fear the potential on-field killing of our starting QB on Monday? Voice your concerns and quips in the comments below.