MILE HIGH MONDAY

Broncos win, but it might’ve done more harm than good in long run

Oct 23, 2023, 5:55 AM | Updated: 1:38 pm

The Denver Broncos actually won a game on Sunday. It feels like forever ago, but with a 2-5 record the wins have been rare this season.

I like it when the Broncos win. However, I wonder what the cost of this 2023 win will be for their future.

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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Conflicting Interest

The Broncos won, and I’m never going to root for them to lose, but in a lost season it feels kind of odd after a game like this. The Packers aren’t a good team, and entering the game (with the Chicago Bears winning on Sunday), the Broncos were in position to have the no.2 overall pick. With the win, the Broncos currently have the no.4 pick in the first round per Tankathon.com.

Just this one win puts the Broncos out of position to get one of the two “can’t miss” quarterbacks in this upcoming class. I know opinions may have changed about Caleb Williams (USC) over the last couple of weeks as he’s struggled in the last two games for the Trojans. I also know some are hesitant about Drake Maye (North Carolina) because no Tarheels quarterback, especially recently (Mitchell Trubisky, Sam Howell), have been good pros.

I believe this team needs to upgrade the quarterback position (more on that in a bit), so winning more just hurts you more when it comes to finding a true franchise quarterback. Yes, there are others coming into the league – although we’ll have to wait for players to declare – but none are on the level of Williams or Maye.

The incarnation of this team is going nowhere. It sounds harsh, but the truth hurts about this team. I believe they need to rebuild this roster, mainly through the draft with young players you can build around. Winning too many games will take you out of the running for premium players in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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Why Not Trust Russ?

They will both deny it, but I think Broncos HC Sean Payton does not trust QB Russell Wilson. The eye in the sky does not lie, and when you study the film of the Broncos a few strange things emerge. I’ve seen this for some time, but I was waiting for more of the playbook to be unveiled as the season went on. Well, after Week 7, I can firmly say we’ve not seen enough of Payton’s offense.

It’s like Payton doesn’t trust Wilson to run what he wants, so the offensive design becomes boring and vanilla. Payton is an offensive genius, and he can craft an offense to put up a ton of points in this league. He loves the passing game, but he wants his quarterbacks to make quick decisions on shorter throws to move the chains regularly. Before this season, I thought Payton would ask Wilson to do what Jameis Winston did for him with the Saints in 2021.

That hasn’t happened, and it may not happen because Wilson’s game isn’t best suited to that design. Wilson’s game is all about chaos and improvisation. When things are set up to get guys open, Wilson doesn’t see the targets. Instead, he tries to buy more time thus ruining the timing that was meticulously planned by Payton. If Wilson does see the receiver, he’ll go to throw and too often get a pass batted at the line of scrimmage.

This game was a win, but the coaches’ tape will reveal how much Payton is beginning to trust his quarterback. So far this season, Payton is limiting Wilson with his game plan. I believe Wilson can do more, but he may not be able to do exactly what Payton wants. Perhaps that’s why it seems like Payton does not trust Wilson.

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Showcase Showdown

The trade deadline is coming up on Halloween. That means we should see the Broncos have plenty of players on the move in the next eight days. I’m surprised the Broncos have not dealt some of the players so far, but deals get done at deadlines. The trade deadline could spur the team into action.

I thought the Broncos were showcasing WR Jerry Jeudy in Week 7. They seemed more intent on highlighting WR Courtland Sutton in the contest against the Packers. We could see one or both of these receivers traded at the deadline – or even before that time. Jeudy would make the most sense, and it seems like he doesn’t want to be there. I think Jeudy needs a fresh start, and the Broncos will get a boost from not having him on the roster. Sutton is a different story because of how large his contract is, and he’s not a problem in the locker room. Maybe adjusting the way Sutton is paid, with the Broncos perhaps paying some of his remaining salary, is the way to get him moved.

In addition to those two receivers, I think a player like S Justin Simmons could be on the move. Simmons is arguably the best safety in the game, and he has much more trade value than either Sutton or Jeudy. While those receivers could fetch the Broncos a fourth- or fifth-round pick each, Simmons might get you at least one second-round pick and perhaps a combination of picks. I’d hate to see him go, but I’d be happy if Simmons went to a contender.

This team could have a much different look in the near future. With this win over the Packers, perhaps any trades are done after the Chiefs game in Week 8 and before the bye week after that. Either way, I think a small handful of starters could be playing elsewhere in the next week or so.

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More Dreams Coming True

Todd McFarlane is my favorite comic book artist of all time. Ever since I saw him work on “Batman: Year Two” and “The Amazing Spider-man” back in the late 80s and early 90s, I have loved his art and his style as an artist. I wanted to be McFarlane when I grew up, but life had different plans for me.

Well, about 20 years since I moved on to a new career (I wanted to be a comic book artist) I’m pursuing my lifelong dream. As an owner of a small comic book company, Smokin Gun Comics, it’s a wild ride to run a business and produce content for readers. These comic book projects are something I’m also working on getting to Hollywood where they can be optioned as TV shows or movies. To get the word out about my company, and to sell comic books, I have been making the local convention circuit for a few years.

That schedule expands this year as I have a table at the very first “SpawnCon” coming up this weekend. McFarlane’s creation “Spawn” (which he first created when he was a teenager) has become the longest-running independent comic book in history with almost 350 issues. I am a huge Spawn fan, and I’ve been there since day one of the comic back in 1992. I’m thrilled to have a table at a convention dedicated to my favorite artist and one of my favorite comic books of all time.

Do you love Spawn, and are you going to SpawnCon? Hit me up on social networking and let me know!

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