Ian St. Clair from the Mile High Report joins us for his fourth weekly article on DenverBroncosUK.com.
The main reason John Elway and the Denver Broncos signed Case Keenum was because he didn’t turn the ball over … at least last season with the Minnesota Vikings. It was a little easier to brush off the mistakes the first two weeks given how he responded and the team won. Against the Baltimore Ravens it was like watching Trevor Siemian. Until Keenum doesn’t throw an interception and plays a consistent game from start to finish, he’s a liability for this offense and team.
Frequent Flyer Zone
The Frequent Flyer Zone has no excuses for how it’s been torched the first three weeks. And now it faces an offense that has lit teams up. Joe Woods, his coaches and the players better figure it out come Monday or the calls for his job will only grow louder. As will the ones for Vance Joseph.
The lone bright spot on defense from the loss to the Ravens was the play of Josey Jewell, and he showed he needs to be on the field more for the Broncos defense. Reward Jewell for his play, and give him more playing time.
Same old, same old?
On the one hand, the loss to the Baltimore Ravens is only one game. Let’s see how Keenum, Joseph and the Broncos respond to adversity. On the other, it doesn’t feel like one game given the last two seasons and they have the same issues. As I’ve said, this feels like a terrible redux; especially when you see what lies ahead in the schedule for Denver.
Ground and pound
If the Broncos want any shot to pull the upset, they have to run the football. Fortunately for them it’s what they do well on offense and Kansas City doesn’t do anything well on defense. If Denver runs the ball, it opens up the offense and takes the pressure off Keenum, but also keeps the Chiefs offense on the sideline. That also means Von Miller and the Broncos defense remains fresh. Run the ball, control the tempo of the game, keep Patrick Mahomes on the sideline, and finish drives with touchdowns.
The Orange Rush is where Denver can make a difference on defense. The Frequent Flyer Zone doesn’t match up well at all versus the receivers, tight ends and running backs for Kansas City. So blitz and blitz the entire game as to make Mahomes uncomfortable and jittery. Hit, pressure and sack him every chance the Broncos can. If they don’t, it will be a long night.
Bounce back needed
More than anything, Keenum needs to show why Elway and Denver signed him. Don’t turn the ball over. Make smart decisions with the ball. Don’t look or play like Siemian. Do that and the Broncos are in a better position to win, and that’s all the fans or team care about.
When it comes to rivalry games, always expect the unexpected. This is the 116th time these two rivals will play. Even if Denver does all of the things mentioned above, it’s not enough. The Broncos also will have to create turnovers, which is something this defense struggles to do. I think the game is closer than most expect, but Denver still loses 31-24.