Once again, we have valid concerns about these Broncos. The most concerning part are that the problems aren’t one’s that we were expecting. The theme throughout the first two games has been penalties, poor clock management, not finishing drives, and injuries. We could have seen some of these problems coming, but not to the level that we have seen without any improvement.
Coach Hackett Should Already Be On The Hot Seat
I absolutely hope and am actively rooting for Nathaniel Hackett to be a successful head coach. Quite frankly, two games into Hackett’s rookie season as a head coach have been straight-up embarrassing. Not only local but national media has been ripping into his game management after the disaster on Monday Night Football. For those who might have missed Sunday’s game; it wasn’t any better at home against the Texans.
It’s worrisome, to say the least. Being at home came with the expectation that clock management would be cleaned up. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, the Broncos used all their timeouts with over seven minutes left in the game. There was multiple delay of game penalties as well, and one even moved the Broncos out of field goal range. It’s unacceptable, especially being in front of the home crowd.
Making light of the embarrassment, Broncos Country started counting down the play clock to make sure the ball was snapped. While it was comical, it shed light on how disastrous it has been. It leads back to the staff. The play calls could be coming in late, and even if they are on time the apparent lack of knowledge of what to do from the offense as a whole could have been worked out in the preseason. It doesn’t matter if the problems aren’t with coach Hackett directly, it is HIS staff and ultimately HIS final call goes. The lack of preparation in the offseason is showing in ways we couldn’t have imagined.
Offense Struggles But Makes Plays When Desperately Needed
I truly don’t understand why the Broncos don’t give the ball in the running game to Javonte Williams 70% of the time and then let Russell Wilson cook off the play-action and from the gun the other 30%. Williams has averaged 5.4 yards per carrying in the first two games, and even Melvin Gordon III is getting 4.8 yards per carrying.
Which brings up another point, why wouldn’t you give Williams and or Gordon III for that matter the ball almost every time within the five-yard line? The passing game isn’t connecting for whatever reason in the red zone. I understand both running backs fumbled last week on the goal-line but that was their first game playing in almost eight months, you have to keep faith in the guys you have on your team.
Wilson didn’t have a particularly good first home game in orange. While coaching didn’t help, he didn’t look like himself. The passing game was definitely on against Seattle and eventually picked up Sunday. However, in both games, he has not looked anywhere close to how mobile he has looked in the past.
Wilson knows he needs to be a passing QB to prolong his career. While that is true, Wilson needs to stick to what he knows once in a while. The question is if he still has mobility in him at 33 years old. In the victory against the Texans, it honestly looked like he has slowed down tremendously. While the Broncos don’t necessarily need rushing production from Wilson, he has only had five rushing yards two games into the year.
Wilson threw for 219 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, completing 14 out of his 31 attempts. The go-ahead touchdown was a nice throw to TE Eric Saubert #82 on a seam route. As boring as this game was the offense made plays when they needed to.
Jerry Jeudy also suffered an injury during the second drive of the game. He landed awkwardly after trying to haul in a flea-flicker pass from Wilson and was out for the rest of the game after that. We have since then gotten good news on that front, that he is day to day with a slight rib injury. Hopefully, he will be back to play the 49ers, they will need him after Courtland Sutton seemed like Wilson’s only reliable target after Jeudy was injured.
Broncos Defense Holds Strong
Let’s make it clear; the Texans are not a good football team. We still need to credit the Broncos defense for holding them to three field goals and no touchdowns. They held Davis Mills to 177 yards passing. Once again, that isn’t much of an accomplishment, but it was impressive, especially without Justin Simmons and losing Pat Surtain II halfway through the second quarter.
Randy Gregory is looking like a solid signing for the Broncos. He had a sack on Mills and blew up a couple of Houston plays. If he keeps that production up along with Bradley Chubb this defense could be scary. Just have to put it all together.
Denver has San Francisco coming to town to face off on the biggest stage in regular season football; Sunday Night Football. We will get into official game predictions and keys to the game later this week. I think this is a big game for the Broncos, they need as many wins as they can get before the back half of the schedule. I have a feeling every game will be a big game for the Broncos the rest of the year, as this team has lofty expectations for a new head coach and quarterback.
Game Ball Goes To Possible Star
My game ball goes to WR Courtland Sutton. He stepped up big time when Jeudy went down with a rib injury. Wilson targeted him a ton (maybe too much) and Sutton delivered totaling 7 catches for 122 yards. More importantly, the chemistry between him and Wilson looks to be clicking. We saw it last week with Jeudy and now we are seeing Sutton making big catches as well. If the relationship between Sutton and Wilson can continue to flourish, Sutton could become a big-time star at the WR position league-wide.