Denver Defense Plays Like It’s 2015 Again

“Little too close for comfort there at the end.”

My buddy Ryan’s synopsis of the Broncos’ win over the Raiders hit the nail right on the head. That was more or less my first thought after the game concluded, as it was just an ugly win overall and much closer at the end than it needed to be. But after reflecting on it for a bit, I remembered that the 2015 season was littered with ugly wins and that turned out pretty well for the Broncos.

Not to say that the Broncos can make it that far this year without improving in some crucial areas. They can’t. All I’m saying is that it’s a reminder that the defense is and has been the backbone of this team, and that the offense doesn’t have to be the best in the league for the Broncos to win most Sundays. For instance, if McManus makes that field goal he missed yesterday and Siemian and co. come away with just one more touchdown, the outcome of the game isn’t even close to being in doubt. And I don’t think it’s too much to ask of this offense to score 20+ points per game and give their defense a cushion to work with, especially when it’s already happened twice this season.

We’ll see if they are improved or not after the bye, but for one week at least, we were all back in the glorious year of 2015, watching the dominant Denver defense close the door for another hard fought win. Almost brings a tear to my eye.

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Broncos Lose Their Way in Buffalo

Welp, that was about as frustrating a loss as there is in the NFL. On a day when the Broncos needed to dig deep to overcome a resilient foe, they came up empty. And for a team that has made so much progress from the mediocrity that defined their 2016 season, Sunday was a step backward.

Games like this will happen. Buffalo has never been a kind venue for Denver, as the Broncos haven’t won there since 2007, and one glance at the scoreboard will show that there were upsets and near upsets aplenty for week 3, so it could’ve just been one of those days. However, the fact remains that the Broncos had plenty of chances to reverse their fortunes and come away with a hard-fought win, and they just didn’t get it done. It’s really as simple as that.

Does this mean that the Broncos are no better than last year’s squad and are destined to miss the playoffs again? Of course not. It just means that they have a lot of things to improve on if they want to keep pace with Kansas City and Oakland, despite the latter getting routed last night by Washington. They’ll have a chance to do the same thing to the Raiders next week, and so long as they get back to what made them successful in the first two games, there’s no reason why that can’t happen.

Hopefully it does. On the bright side, the Raiders lost on Sunday too. It wasn’t all bad!

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Hopefully, the Broncos Aren’t Who We Thought They Were

A good rule of thumb is to not overreact to week 1 of the NFL season. You don’t wanna get too high or too low, unless you’re a Bengals fan and you just watched your quarterback toss four picks and your team get shutout. Then you can overreact with impunity. For the rest of us, it’s important to stay on an even keel. Case in point? The Bills, Jaguars and Rams are all currently in first place in their respective divisions.

That’s why I’m trying not to read too much into the Broncos’ nail-biting win last night over the Chargers. On the one hand, it was encouraging to see the team eek out a close game over a division rival in Vance Joseph’s first game as head coach. On the other, it was eerily similar to last year’s opener against the Panthers. The Broncos almost blow a fourth quarter lead, only to be bailed out when they ice the other team’s kicker and then he misses his second attempt.

One game a season does not make, and there were enough promising signs to suggest that the Broncos are improved from last year’s squad that missed the playoffs. That’s why, for now, I’m not going to get too concerned that they may not have improved enough on the flaws that hindered them in 2016, and will happily take the win. More thoughts and analysis (mostly happy) after the jump.

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Another Crack at the Broncos’ Final 53

Back in June, I got bored one day and attempted to predict what the makeup of the Broncos’ final 53-man roster would look like. For the most part, my opinions haven’t changed that much since then, but considering tomorrow is the last preseason game and I found myself kind of bored again, I figured it would be a good time to take one more shot at predicting those 53.

This will mainly consist of me offering up my insight with a couple of self-deprecating jokes mixed in, but now we also know that the Broncos are rumored to move on from T.J. Ward. And we have to talk about that too, right?

Hit the jump and we’ll get to it.

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Broncos vs Bears Recap: Heroes and Zeros

Hello everyone. It’s been a long time since we had some actual Broncos news to dissect. It’s also been a long time since we’ve posted a new article around here. Both of those end today.

In lieu of doing a straight up game recap, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some players who I thought did well against the Bears last night, and some who well… you know.

Maybe this will be a regular column at Pegboards. I don’t know. I don’t like to promise anything with this blog, but if I can make it happen, I will.

I don’t care that it’s preseason. Damn it feels good to have Broncos football back. Let’s get to it.

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Trevor Siemian: As Cool as the Other Side of the Pillow

Stuart Scott would marvel over how calm and collected Trevor Siemian has been. You can call him T-Money if you’d like, or say that he’s benefited from a number of dropped interceptions and lucky breaks. Just make sure that you mention the following: he’s 3-0 as a starter for the reigning Super Bowl champions, holds a 95.9 passer rating and when the Bengals looked him dead in the eye and dared him to beat them with his arm, Trevor looked right back and said, “Hodor.”

Actually, he said, “Okay.” Then he did just that. And to think, there were all these haters out there who didn’t think Siemian could step up and win a game when he had to, including this idiot: “Trevor Siemian is the best bad option at quarterback. The least defective of a group of misfit toys.”

Oh yeah. That was me. Nothing like a nice helping of crow for breakfast on a Monday morning.

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Trevor Siemian is the Best Bad Option

Bryan Cranston will forever be known as Hal and Heisenberg to his fans, but I always enjoyed his role in Argo and mostly for that one scene. I envisioned meetings that John Elway and Gary Kubiak had about the quarterbacks this summer playing out very similarly to the ones our government had on how to deal with the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Elway: “You’re really going to start Trevor Siemian?”

Kubiak: “You gave me Sanchez and two guys who have never started a game. There are only bad options, it’s just about finding the best one.”

Elway: “And you don’t have a better bad idea than this?”

Kubiak: “This is the best bad idea I have, sir. By far.”

I’m sure I’m paraphrasing a tad, but yeah, I bet those meetings were pretty similar. That’s because the Broncos don’t currently have any good options at quarterback. Mark Sanchez continues to be haunted by the mistakes that have doomed his career, which may even cost him a spot on the roster. Paxton Lynch looked very much like a rookie against the Rams, missing open receivers and letting the defense rattle him. That leaves Trevor Siemian, the lesser of three evils. The least defective of a group of misfit toys.

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