Ian St. Clair from The Mile High Report joins us to write his latest weekly article for DenverBroncosUK.com.
The progression we’re seeing from Case Keenum is headed in the wrong direction. Or is it the right direction for the type of quarterback he really is? I mentioned prior to the game against the Kansas City Chiefs, until Keenum plays a complete game, he’s a liability to this team. And why Bill Musgrave insists on throwing 37 times (as he did on Monday), makes no sense — at least right now.
The same issues that have marked the Broncos since Vance Joseph became coach are still present and unaccounted for. Denver is putrid at situational football. After a scoring drive by Kansas City cut the Broncos lead to three points, they proceeded to go three-and-out on offense. Bill Musgrave decided to use Phillip Lindsay in that situation and then throw it twice. Royce Freeman had one carry in the second half and wasn’t even on the field for that huge drive, and only eight for the game. Joe Woods called for press coverage on second-and-30. Until Joseph and this staff learn situational football and don’t overthink what unfolds in games, it’s a matter of “when,” not “if,” the tide turns for Denver.
There are some positives Denver can take away from the loss to the Chiefs, but it still lost a game it should have won. The same issues plaguing the Broncos, as I mentioned earlier, are still here. And until the Broncos coaching staff learns how to function capability in situational football, that’s a major concern.
It’s always noticeable when a team’s best player is absent. It’s a little more alarming when it happens in back-to-back weeks. On the list of issues for the Broncos, Von Miller remaining quiet isn’t one of them. However, seeing him on the injury report this week might explain why that’s occurred the last two games. Against a rookie quarterback in Sam Darnold and a bad New York Jets team, Miller needs to wreck this game on Sunday.
No room for error
Sunday is a must-win game for the Broncos. Yes, you can say that about every game in the NFL, but this really is that for this team. After the Jets on Sunday, two of the next three games are at home against the Los Angeles Rams and on the road vs the Chiefs. If Denver loses to the Jets on Sunday, the best case scenario is the Broncos are 3-5 and will have one win in six games. Needless to say, if Denver wants a winning record this season, it must win on Sunday.
If the Broncos lose on Sunday, the clock on Joseph’s tenure is milliseconds from zero.
Ground and pound
Run the football until the Jets prove they can stop it. That also means Freeman gets more than eight carries. That needs to double on Sunday, at the least. Limit the amount of times Keenum throws, do what your offense is good at — running the football. On defense, Woods needs to get out of his way and not overthink it. He’s facing a bad offense with a rookie quarterback. Let your pass rush do its thing and allow your secondary to play as it did through 3 ½ quarters on Monday.
There is no doubt the Broncos should win this game. They should win this game rather easily. But then you look at how Denver has fared on the road. In the last six games played on the East Coast, the Broncos are 1-5. Overall, in the last nine road games, they’re 1-8 and 4-13 in the last 17. Jets win 23-20.