MILE HIGH MONDAY

The Broncos lost to a bad football team, which is a major concern

Sep 11, 2023, 4:14 AM | Updated: 2:18 pm

The Denver Broncos lost to a bad football team. They couldn’t beat the Las Vegas Raiders for the seventh-straight time, and many Broncos fans are left wondering “why even bother?”

I like that at least the CU Buffaloes are keeping my spirits up. Thank God for Deion Sanders and the Buffs because beating the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday saved my weekend – even if the Broncos lost on Sunday.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep Wrangler TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

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The Real Deal

I hate the Cornhuskers, so seeing the Buffs beat them was a joy I could barely contain. The offense had to work a bit harder in the first half, but the Buffs defense kept them going strong. When the offense did hit their stride, the Buffs quickly moved past their long-time rival. A lot of the jump-starting of the offense can be credited to QB Shedeur Sanders.

After the season opening win against TCU, I suggested with proper development that Sanders could be a first-round pick in the 2025 NFL Draft and perhaps even the No. 1 overall pick. Some on Twitter took offense with that and told me to hold my horses because it was just one game. I wonder what those doubters are saying now after yet another monster performance from Sanders against Nebraska.

Sanders does have all the tools you need in a pro quarterback. Against the Cornhuskers he showed deft touch as a passer. It’s not just about having a high completion percentage – any college system can get inflated numbers in this category. To be a great passer it takes pass placement – hyper-accuracy if you will – to make it at the next level. After watching Sanders through his Jackson State and CU career so far, I have to say that ability is within his skill set. He’s the real deal everyone, so enjoy watching this young man with incredible upside and a bright future ahead of him – not only in Boulder but in the NFL.

Next up, the Rocky Mountain Showdown against the Colorado State Rams. Sanders has been fantastic this year as a passer, and I do not expect him to overlook the Rams. In fact, everyone should continue expecting to see Sanders do things few can do on the football field – just like his dad.

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It’s on Sean Payton

The Broncos loss is all on Sean Payton. It was his decision to open the game with an onside kick that allowed the Raiders to begin their drive inside Broncos’ territory. It was his decision to trade for a kicker, Wil Lutz, instead of keeping Brett Maher. It was his decision not to run the ball inside the red zone as much as they should have, which led to points left off the board.

I didn’t mind the decision to onside the kick at the beginning, but you must not get penalized on that play. You can’t touch the ball within 10 yards of the kicking line but that’s what happened when CB Tremon Smith tried to grab the ball before it reached that distance. A flag was thrown, and it was determined that Smith did touch the ball before he should have. When you’re not built to run away from teams, you must be cautious about any decision that can swing a game.

That’s why Lutz needs to be released. The Broncos kicker spent plenty of time with Payton in New Orleans, but last year it seemed Lutz had lost his mojo. He said that was something he was over this year, but Lutz missed the first extra point attempt of the year. Lutz also went on to miss a 55-yard field goal. Add in that extra point, and this game is tied. Add in that field goal as well, and the Broncos win a close one. That’s the way they’re likely to win most games this year anyway, but they won’t do that if they can’t trust their kicker.

I think their offense stalled at times in the red zone because they didn’t emphasize the run enough. Things get cramped near pay dirt, but the Broncos have the O-line and running backs to beat teams up and wear them down. When space is tight, it’s time to do the work in the trenches and move the ball past the goal line. Instead, the Broncos tried passes that sometimes didn’t hit their mark. These pass attempts not only did not work as effectively as runs would have, but it also opened up QB Russell Wilson to take more punishment.

I believe in Payton, but the results have to be there. Payton wanted this responsibility, and that’s why I have no problem saying this loss is on his shoulders. Let’s hope he gets things right against the Washington Commanders in Week 2.

***

I’M NOT OVERREACTING!!!!

After the game, I hosted Postgame Live on our YouTube channel. I get emotional over this game, and it’s why I’m so passionate about football. I care about this game, and I know this Broncos team can be better than they were against the Raiders.

It’s a long season, so I’m not overreacting, but the Broncos just lost to a bad team – so, what does that say about them? Is this going to work? The short answer is; not as well as I’d hoped. I wanted them to win 10 games and push for the postseason, and I know things are going to be tight on a weekly basis. Payton is a great coach, and he should be able to coach you into close wins – not close losses like he did against the Raiders.

I believe in him, but I think they need more of “his guys” on the roster. That’s what Sanders did at CU, and the results are there. Sanders got ‘his guys’ and got rid of the players that didn’t fit what he wanted to do. Things are different in the NFL, and there is no transfer portal but a salary cap that must be managed. The Broncos have not drafted well enough over the last few years, and not taking guys like RB Isiah Pacheco (seventh round, 2022) and CB Tariq Woolen (fifth round, 2022) are coming back to haunt them.

Simply put, they do not have enough talent. They have some solid players. They have some star players. The Broncos even have some superstar players, but they need better depth, and they need more players who fit what Payton wants to do on both sides of the ball. One game does not determine the season, but in a year where things are going to be tight, losing a game like this to an inferior opponent is frustrating.

It’s been too long since the Broncos were a good football team. I’m sick of what this fan base has gone through, and it’s heartbreaking to think of what this team used to be compared to what they have become after Super Bowl 50. You may think I’m overreacting, but it’s not paranoia – it’s just a keen observation of the surroundings.

***

Happy Birthday, Dreamcast

I’m a gamer. I never thought I would still be playing video games into my 40s, but here we are. I started playing video games during the 8-bit Nintendo days, and things ramped up for me in college playing the Sega Genesis, N64, and Playstation 1.

However, I really fell in love back on September 9, 1999. It was that famous day (9.9.99) that Sega launched the Dreamcast. It was before the Playstation 2, and the Dreamcast was ahead of the times with online gaming – something I now participate in almost every day (I try to play PUBG to wind down each day). The Dreamcast had great games at launch, and even though it only lasted a few years, the experiences made the console my favorite of all time.

The Dreamcast is now 24 years old, and there are still games made for it each year even though Sega stopped making games for it back in 2003. For 20-plus years, independent companies have kept the Dreamcast alive with ports of other games, or brand-new IPs just for the system. Retro gaming is bigger than ever, and the Dreamcast community still enjoys several new games each year. Even though I have an XBox Series S and a Playstation 5, I still enjoy playing the Dreamcast more than those state-of-the-art systems.

What is your favorite video game console? Hit me up on social media and let me know!

***

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