MILE HIGH MONDAY

It’s time for youth to be served when it comes to the Broncos

Sep 18, 2023, 5:45 AM | Updated: Sep 19, 2023, 1:09 pm

The Denver Broncos lost again, and many fans are already apathetic. With Deion Sanders and the CU Buffs staying on the winning track, many fans are turning their attention to the excitement of college football and away from the doldrums of the Broncos.

I like watching good football. That happens on Saturday around here, but it’s not happening on Sunday. We’re not seeing that in a complete game from the Broncos, and this season is off to the wrong start.

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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Close Doesn’t Count

The Broncos have been close too many times over the last couple of seasons. During the broadcast, they put a graphic on the screen that’s quite depressing. It simply and harshly describes what has been a major reason the Broncos have been bad over the last two years – they can’t win close games.

Since 2022, the Broncos have played in 15 one-score games – most in the NFL. During that short time, the Broncos were just 4-11 in those games. This is agonizing, especially in a league where the line between being good and beig bad is so razor thin.

These Broncos don’t know how to win. Teams that believe in themselves find a way to get it done. Broncos fans know this kind of football because for years and years there was such a thing called “Mile High Magic” during home games. No matter the odds, guys like QB John Elway or QB Peyton Manning found a way to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. These Broncos can’t do that.

Close doesn’t count when it comes to the NFL. It’s frustrating that the team is so close to having a much different record (see the Minnesota Vikings undefeated record in 2022 in one-score games), but this is a results-based business, and the Broncos are coming up short.

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Ring the Bell

The Broncos’ defense struggled against the Commanders. Broncos DC Vance Joseph has been taking a ton of heat over the last two weeks. Even though they held the Las Vegas Raiders to just 17 points in Week1, the Broncos defense did not generate any sacks. That changed against the Commanders, as they sacked QB Sam Howell four times, but the defense gave up 35 points.

I felt the defense would be challenged more this year than they were last season, and I thought Joseph would get called out by the fan base for that. Simply put, the Broncos offense was so inept in 2022 that opponents did not have to score many points to win. Because of that, teams did not try to push the ball down the field or continue to score when they got around 20 points.

I’m not making excuses for Joseph, but merely stating a matter of fact. The Broncos defense has talent, but they lack depth. This lack of depth creates problems when it comes to a team like Washington making second-half adjustments.

Ring the bell of shame for this team. Specifically, it’s time to ring the bell for this defense. The Broncos must lead the way on the ground – which they’re not doing – and that means the defense must hold up. When you try to air things out, you don’t play to the strength of the team – which should be the defense.

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Not Enough Trust… Yet

I like some of the young players on this roster more than the veterans above them on the depth chart. Again, they don’t have much depth. However, the team – and HC Sean Payton specifically – doesn’t yet seem ready to trust some of the younger players on the roster.

We did see first- and second-year players make a bunch of plays on Sunday against the Commanders. I was excited to see this, as the team needs to find guys who are playmakers. They don’t have enough playmakers, but I think some of these young Broncos could have star potential. That’s why it was great to see WR Marvin Mims, RB Jaleel McLaughlin, LB Drew Sanders, EDGE Nik Bonitto, and WR Brandon Johnson all making significant contributions in Week 2.

So, why did Payton go away from these guys? Does he not yet trust these young players? Payton has to know this team doesn’t have many players who can turn the tables on the opponent. While they are clearly unproven, I think turning to the rookies and second-year players is Payton’s best strategy when it comes to winning. It’s better for the Broncos to find what they can do – and what they can’t do – on a team that desperately needs big plays on both sides of the ball.

Hopefully, Payton gets the younger Broncos on the field more often. I get veteran loyalty, but football seasons are too short to stick with something that’s not working. Playing some of the older guys over the rookies and second-year players just doesn’t make sense. It’s time for a change.

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Deadpool Meets The Boys

I love a good casting rumor when it comes to superhero movies. I’m anxiously awaiting the now delayed (like every movie due to the writer’s strike) “Deadpool: 3” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU is not what it used to be, but Ryan Reynolds as everyone’s favorite “merc with the mouth” should help get the fan base energized.

One of the latest rumors has to do with variants of Wolverine – not played by Hugh Jackman – that will be featured in the film. I was thrilled when the news came out that Karl Urban (Billy Butcher from the Amazon series “The Boys”) would be one of those Wolverine variants. It’s weird to think of someone other than Jackman playing Wolverine, but he’s not going to play the character forever, and perhaps a new actor could take the role into the future – if he survives in the next Deadpool movie.

I love “The Boys” and think it’s the best superhero TV show or movie we’ve seen since “Avengers: End Games” from back in 2019. While the MCU is tame and predictable, The Boys are hyper violent with an anything-can-happen story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Urban, playing as Butcher, is one of the main characters in the series, and he does a fantastic job with the character. Seeing him as a Wolverine variant could be quite fun.

What would you think of multiple Wolverine variants in Deadpool 3? Hit me up on social media and let me know!

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