Providing a home for those wishing to read and write insightful commentary on the Denver Broncos and more
Strength of Schedule for 2018
Broncos at 25th
Home: Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Browns, Steelers, Texans, Rams, Seahawks
Away: Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Ravens, Bengals, Jets, Cardinals, 49ers
Nice to have the Steelers, Rams and Seahawks at home. Good overall schedule to break in our new QB.
Road schedule looks relatively easy.
I definitely foresee the Broncos opening on the road this season, especially if they do not sign Kirk Cousins. The last time the Broncos opened on the road was in 2010 at Jacksonville.
I could certainly see the Broncos scheduled to play Week 1 at Oakland in the Return of Chucky. In Week 1 of the 2008 season, the Broncos beat down the Raiders 41 to 14 in Oakland in the second Monday Night game. The Broncos opened the following season at Cincinnati. In the 1993 season, the Broncos’ Week 1 game was against the Jets at Meadowlands Stadium. The last time the Broncos had a Week 1 road game against the Chargers was in 1965.
The Broncos opened at home against the Ravens in both 2013 and 2015, which included Peyton Manning throwing for seven touchdowns in the 2013 49 to 24 victory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pLhFJE8MEM I attended that game in person. The Broncos have never opened on the road against the Cardinals, Chiefs, 49ers, or Ravens.
After that Jet game in 93, I was sure the Broncos had the NFL’s next star.
The following season, the Broncos traveled to the Meadowlands again, but in Week 2 as opposed to Week 1. They wore orange jerseys this time around. Milburn had a much more pedestrian game that day in the 22 to 25 loss. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199409110nyj.htm. The Broncos should have learned their lesson about wearing orange in New Jersey prior to Super Bowl XLVIII.
It just killed me that he looked like Terry Metcalf in his first ever pro game and like a tired wet calf in most of the others.
Milburn was definitely hot and cold.
That game was beautiful because it was one of his last games with the Broncos and it tricked the stupid Lions into thinking he was good during the off season. Shanahan managed to recoup the second rounder that was wasted on him in one of his more underrated trades.
He was my neighbor his rookie year. Either that, or his doppelganger was. 10th and Logan, Capitol Hill.
I just remember Elway coming off the field saying , “Wow!” after Milburn broke half a dozen Jets ankles on a 50 yard catch and run.
I will always maintain that projecting precise strength of schedule based on the prior season is a fool’s errand.
Oh, totally agree. Something to look at in the off season though.
2012 everyone was talking about how we had a brutal schedule and we’d be lucky to go 10-6.
Turns out we had one of the easiest schedules (especially the second half of the season) and went 13-3
Even last year. I’m not sure what the final rankings ended up as, but the Broncos were projected to have the toughest schedule in the league and ended up with one of the easiest (hence our draft position amongst other 11-loss teams).
It only takes one team in your division to crater for those numbers to shift in a pretty big way. The Raiders were 12-4 in 2016 and 6-10 last year. If they even went 10-6 last year, that would have added eight wins and subtracted eight losses (remember you have to count them twice) from the Broncos SOS.
I finally crunched some aggregate results from the QB survey. Sorry this took longer to do than I planned.
Get everyone fired up for football by scheduling the two ugliest teams ever.
But we will all watch, because that’s what we do.
One noticable ommission from the Draft Tracker is Boise St.’s Leighton Vander Esch, which surprises me much less than his early buzz. I’m not seeing it with that kid.
Another ommission is Maryland’s JC Jackson, who is a little more mysterious. He looks like a guy that Seattle would love (or any team that likes the angry, salty, but limited boundary CB.)
Zeirlein snubbed a number of guys that should have writeups while devoting space to several future UDFA.
For its limitations, I’ve always appreciated the Draft Tracker. I think it is the best source of general info on the pool.
I really liked when they added Combine numbers, but I don’t necessarily agree with all their grades or evaluations.
The tracker was originally provided by one of the two league scouting services. I don’t know if they still contribute. Because of its orgins, I’ve always afforded it more credibility than the average source in a general sense.
As for specific evaluations, they are as hit and miss as anybody.
I’ll have it open throughout the duration of the draft.
I like Jackson’s on field play a lot. If the Broncos select him and he is willing to listen and learn from Chris Harris, Jr., I will like him even more.
He is interesting. He is much more interested in lighting dudes up than interceptions. Somebody will have to calm him down some or he’ll be a flag machine. IMO, of course.
Agree that Vander Esch looks like a physically limited one year wonder who might be overdrafted or might go late day three.
I think Josey Jewell is getting some white boy bump, too. I wanted to love his tape, but he is a catcher who struggles to disengage, even from notorious maulers like Mike Gesiki.
At least Jewell spent four years knocking heads with future NFL linemen in the Big Ten. LVE is a one year starter in the Mountain West.
He has an outstanding processor. Its just that blockers are like black holes: they suck him in and engulf him. He finds every path, but he is fucked if the route isn’t clear.
Sounds like Rick Dennison.
In looking how 2015’s free agency shaped 2016 comp picks, I praise the Broncos and criticize the Chargers and (especially) the Chiefs.
Fun read. Forgot about the Maclin saga.
I keep getting this weird feeling that, although CBS, Fox and NBC should be locks to re-up on the NFL in a few years, that there may be a real chance ESPN doesn’t follow suit. The problem for them is that the NFL could threaten to disallow them from showing any film from competing networks, a benefit networks get from purchasing a slate of games. And I’m guessing the likes of big NFL names like Schefter, Mort, Kolber and others have out clauses in their contracts if ESPN loses the NFL, hence giving the NFL more leverage.
Could ESPN find a cheaper package to buy to keep their skin in the game? TNF is the first thought, but the NFL would almost certainly require them to air it on ABC so as to protect NFLN from other cable competitors. If they’re serious about offering standalone streaming, could they try to pry Sunday Ticket or RedZone into their grasp?
And if ESPN does pass on MNF, who would get it? Turner seems like an obvious candidate if they’re interested. I doubt the NFL will be willing to jump full bore into online providers like Amazon/YouTube/Twitter as soon as the early 2020s for something like MNF.
I’ve tried looking for Vegas odds on which team will be selected for Hard Knocks, but haven’t been successful. If someone is making odds on it, I’m sure they’d have San Fran as the favorite, but I’d guess followed closely behind would be the Broncos, especially if they end up signing Kirk Cousins.
The 6 eligible teams are (and also my prediction for most to least likely):
Maybe the Broncos wouldn’t like it, but I’d love it if they were on Hard Knocks. I’d get HBO for a couple months just for that.
I’ve never made it past ten minutes of Hard Knocks, but I suppose I would watch the Broncos, too.
I would love it if we end up with a veteran starter at QB. Seems like unneeded extra pressure for a rookie QB.
I think it would be a fun watch and I figure the Broncos will probably be on the hook eventually, so we might as well get it over with. I’m not in love with the concept and I know the team wouldn’t love it; it’s unneeded pressure, etc., so it makes me more apprehensive than excited, but I would definitely watch.
I’ll bet a big determining factor that they don’t talk about is the charisma level of the head coach. Since Vance is a monotone cliche machine, he’s probably not high on their wish list. Characters like Von and Talib(?) would carry the weight, though.
Pressure be damned, it would be awesome to see inside DV.
Syd’Quan Thompson rises even further on Broncos I drastically overrated in the draft process.
That’s too bad. I was really bummed when he ruptured his Achilles’ heal in the 2011 preseason and was lost in a numbers game cut down in 2012. He iced a rare 2010 victory in Week 16 against the Texans that season.
I always kinda wished my first name was Syd’Quan.
I’ve always been partial to Mustafa.
Arrested not far from my office.
Stopping by to share with you this article from Mile High Huddle — it’s not one I wrote and, no, I don’t agree with the premise of the article.
But I figured it was worth sharing for everyone else to discuss… whether the Broncos are better off acquiring Nick Foles to be their QB.
Foles is intriguing. Assuming the stink of Fischer is now off of him and he can play at the playoff level he did with the eagles, I’d be willing to go after him but I wouldn’t give up more than a 2nd and I would make sure he was extended properly during the trade proceedings.
Personally if it was up to me and the price was the same, I might take Foles over Cousins. It would be fun to be the only team that has two QBs with SB rings from different teams.
Foles is definitely in the category of FAQBs I’d Be Very Happy To Root For – along with Cousins,Taylor and Keenum. But when it comes to football analysis, to paraphrase Mark Twain, I often do plenty of feeling and mistake it for thinking, so maybe Foles just got lucky (a 2nd time). But the fact that he didn’t go all goofy on the biggest stage, against Brady and Co., makes me think he would be a worthy captain of the Broncos’ ship.
Foles’ biggest advantage with the Eagles was a good O-Line and running game.
Yeah, and my assumption is that the O-line will be addressed/improved by the FO in this off-season, which will lead to an improved run game. Of course, if those things aren’t improved, then I guess we’d better spend whatever it takes to get a QB who can play well in their absence. Then hope he can make it through the season in one piece.
The intriguing side rumor is Denver’s interest in incorporating RPOs, a concept in which Foles excells. He might be a great mentor/hedge for Baker Mayfield or Josh Allen.
Hard to say with Foles – you could probably call every QB a system guy. From an RPO perspective (which more and more teams are mixing in now) – Maybe teams just don’t expect it from him. He had such a strong 2014 but then 2015 (same system) was far from solid. He was then traded to the Rams and not sure how flex/RPO their system was but probably not very. He had some ups and downs there – more downs but had his moments for sure. Went to KC the following year and played well for a game or two when Smith was out and then the Chefs declined his 2nd year option.
Back to my original point – your point – he looked great running RPO concepts for Philly but he really just looked great period. It certainly felt like Coaching played a big part of that but maybe I’m over thinking it and making Pederson and Co out to be better and smarter than they really are.
Bottom line for me is that I just don’t trust him. I like consistency out of a QB and his career so far is anything but. At the same time – you develop that and I wouldn’t be surprised/shocked if he was able to do so. I just don’t love him for us. As a bridge QB though – it certainly isn’t a bad idea if the price is right.
If you go after any veteran QB, FA or not, and are still required to spend #5 on a rookie QB, it would seem to have defeated the purpose of going the veteran route to me. Among the chief reasons I’d be interested in a veteran would be freeing up that #5 to go after Nelson.
I don’t think playing well in a handful of games makes you better than a guy who has been a top ten QB for the last three seasons. I think Nick Foles might be ready to start more than 11 games without spitting the bit again, but I think he’s got an equal chance of being 2011 Ryan Fitzpatrick.
I think I’d rather they spend the money on Cousins than the draft capital on Foles. There is more safety in Cousins, for sure.
That’s the big advantage Cousins has over pretty much every other QB on the market. His bust rate is negligible and I would say most of the rest of guys, except Taylor, have way more volatile projections moving forward.
I have to say I’m wishy-washy on Cousins. The money outlay has the potential to be astronomical, but it would allow them to address the glaring issue at OL.. I was one of the Taylor/Mayfield combination in the QB poll, but that would leave the OL issue unaddressed.
I guess a challenge like this is why Elway get paid the big bucks.
They could still sign an OG and draft a RT in the second round in the Taylor/Mayfield scenario.
I am, too. Part of me thinks the same logic that everybody applies to the Giants applies to Denver: If you are drafting this early, you gotta shoot for tnat next great QB. The other part of me is drawn to the safety of Cousins, and the work he’d free them up to do in other areas.
I’m niether passionately for or against Cousins , but I’m leaning more and more in his favor as this process plays out.
And you can bet that Philly will want to sell high. I frankly can’t see Philly being overly anxious to let him go — they have a cheap and reliable backup in the unlikely event that Wentz’s ACL/LCL injury suffers a setback.
As an aside, I think the authors of the piece are suffering from a recency bias, just like Baltimore did with Flacco. While Foles didn’t crash and burn the Eagles when he came in as relief, I just don’t see that as off-setting the previous performances (even if it was the Fisher effect).
Philly was his fourth team in four years. I would die inside if we traded 40 for him. If we went QB @ five on top of that, I would go on hiatus for a few weeks.
If they ignored the needs on the OL plus do this – Yeah – I would seriously take a hiatus for a while.
If the Broncos part ways with CJ Anderson, and DeMarco Murray does not get offers to his liking elsewhere, I would be on board with signing Murray to a team-friendly deal.
It’s funny that he mentions Watson dead last, even though he’s the most likely Bronco to be cut.
I’d be intruiged if Denver landed Tyrod, then came back into late round 1 for Jackson. That would look like a thoughful plan to me.
Miller said his opinion of Jackson as a passer improved after deeper film study. Not the first person to make to make that admission. I think Jackson’s highlight reel exploits as a runner just kind of overshadowed his achievements as a passer.
I thought this article on Taylor using next gen stats was interesting. TLDR: Taylor didn’t throw into tight windows very frequently, but he had shitty receivers who failed to gain separation.
Without watching him every week, the biggest knock on him seems to be that he’s too risk averse. That does have the side benefit of limiting turnovers, but I guess he does leave some points on the field. He did have arguably the worst WR in the league this year.
Yeah I didn’t realize how bad his receiviers were before I did a little research today. Warms me up to him a little.
They forced Zay Jones onto the field and he was among the worst starting players in the league last year.
Watching the playoff game, it seemed like when he did throw into tight spaces it was on short low upside passes. Look at his pick in the game. It was a 6 yard pass over the middle into traffic. If everything goes right it’s a six yard gain on 2nd and 10 or whatever. If one thing goes wrong it’s potential disaster. This was one of the things that was often frustrating about Siemian. I think field vision is his biggest limiter.
Tyrod Taylor turned the ball over 6 times total last season (4 INT, 2 FL). The Broncos QB’s combined to turn it over 26 times (22 INT, 4 FL). I’d be OK with some risk aversion right about now.
Right now we have the risk aversion plus leaving points on the field offense.
I said that wrong. They’re so shitty, they screw with my ability to even whine about them coherently.
I am waiting for the time you incoherently say the Lynch is a HoF QB.
Lamar Jackson fans, say we go BPA @ 5 and Lamar is available @ 14. Would you be willing to part with 40 and the 2019 first rounder to leapfrog AZ, BAL, LAC and BUF to get him?
If I were Elway, I would take him at 5. I love the way he plays.
I’ll stand by my statement that he’s gonna be this year’s Deshaun Watson. People are going to be asking “how did Mason Rudolph and Josh Allen go before this guy??”
And to answer your question, if they don’t get their guy in free agency, I’d be on board with that plan. I think this kid is going to be something special.
Hes gonna ball
I’d rather take him at 5 than trade 40 and next year’s 1 for him.
If you’re of the belief that the Broncos will be better in 2018 (as you should be!) then one could make the argument (I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with it for sure) that Jackson and a top five talent could be better than Jackson, a low first and high second talent.
I see it like using next year’s number one on him and 40 is the very reasonable price of landing two franchise cornerstones in one draft.
2017 #40 and 2018 #32, sure
No. Love this kid but not sure he has the build for the NFL. I would wait til the 2nd and take my chances. No way I give up next year’s #1 which, if we don’t have Cousins, will likely be in the top 10 again.
Oh fuck yeah
Nice toss .
I can’t say I have seen this dude play much, but he looks like a QBing SOB .
What is going on with #2 & #11 on defense?
Does anyone else feel slightly jealous that the Colts got Frank Reich, and we still have Senior Bowl Guru, and the defending 5 and 11, Leader of Men, Vance Joesph?
Yet he survived.
Not really. Reich is no slam dunk hire. If Joseph was to be replaced, it certainly needed to be with an experienced head coach, not another first timer.
Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller on NFLR now saying Al Smith is an upgrade to Cousins for Washington.
Shaun White a mofuckin badass..Go USA!
FWIW. Hard to believe the OT scuttlebut. https://twitter.com/draftanalyst1/status/963587043342323712
Man, I hope people talk this guy all the way down to 40.