Here we go again.
Like we do every week, we asked Joe Rowles of our Denver site, Mile High Report, to answer five more questions about the Broncos ahead of this week’s contest inside SoFi Stadium.
Will the Chargers not blow a 21-point lead this time around? Can they make it three wins in a row? Stay tuned to find out.
Enjoy this week’s five questions with the enemy!
1.) Man, that last game was a bummer for Chargers fans. How was it being on the other end of the result? What did you and other Broncos fans see during that game that led to Denver coming back from 21 points down to claim victory?
I can only speak for me, but I saw some “Charger #$@#” that went the Broncos way and loved it. DaeSean Hamilton’s catch wound up a touchdown because the defender fell down, Bryce Callahan makes the best play of his career against Mike Williams, etc. Drew Lock also kept slugging and I loved that. Credit has to go to Pat Shurmur for finding a way to help his quarterback settle in, and the running game didn’t fall off a cliff. Top to bottom, it was perhaps the Broncos’ best half of situational football all year. The way they stayed within themselves to cap it off on the final drive was something I’ll go back and watch for a pick-me-up later this offseason. K.J. Hamler’s first touchdown is one I’ll never forget.
2.) It’s Year 2 of Drew Lock in Denver. What is the overall impression of him from the fan base? In your opinion, should the Broncos wait another year with him, or should they consider drafting another passer in the upcoming draft?
For many in Broncos Country it seems to depend on the week. I’ve been trying to keep up and it has had my head spinning lately.
I personally think we need to see how he finishes the year. With Lock’s injury history, it seems obvious that Elway needs to at least bring in a real backup to take over for Jeff Driskel, unless the coaching staff likes what they’ve seen from Blake Bortles. Barring a drastic change, I hope to dig into every potential QB option this offseason because right now I do believe the Broncos need to enter 2021 with an alternative if Lock fails to improve.
3.) OLB Bradley Chubb was just named to the 2021 Pro Bowl. Do you believe he deserved to make the all-star game this season? What has he been able to do for the defense without his partner-in-crime Von Miller on the opposite side?
So I didn’t vote for Bradley Chubb this year and feel dumb about it. I do think he’s been the most important player on the defense not named Justin Simmons all year, however, and I’ve been very happy with his play and recovery from the ACL injury. He’s drastically improved his hand usage since last season, and he’s become a stout run defender and someone you have to respect off the backside. Without Von Miller he’s been the pass rusher to draw the most attention from opposing blocking schemes, and Fangio’s used that to help set up others. He’s also extremely versatile with his ability to drop into space, which has opened up simulated pressure looks that has helped mitigate the loss of Miller. Look for Fangio to try and give him some two-way-go’s against the left tackle on Sunday by dialing up pressure looks that’ll isolate 55.
4.) If you were the Chargers OC/DC, how would you attempt to game plan against the Broncos?
The Broncos come into this game without four of their top five corners. The lone survivor is Michael Ojemudia, and while he’s shown marked improvement over this season he’s also a rookie. Across from him is DeVante Bausby, who’s long with an underrated click and close, but can give up space to shiftier players. In the slot is a safety the Eagles cut, and while Will Parks knows the Fangio system from a year ago, he’s been on the roster for three weeks. If I’m running the Chargers offense this is a week we see how mad Justin Herbert is about getting snubbed from the Pro Bowl. Around the redzone I’d move Allen around to draw a ton of attention in hopes that a back or tight end can sneak into a void.
On defense it’s about stopping Lock’s roll outs and knocking the Broncos out of play action situations. Melvin Gordon will get his because we have to play him straight, but if Lindsay’s on the field we’re sending extra bodies. Make Lock play quarterback with bodies flying around him because he’s had a ton of issues with it. Odds are, one of our guys will have a chance at the ball going the other way.
5.) Lastly, top this all off with a short game summary and a final score prediction.
If the Broncos’ secondary was in a better place I’d feel more confident, but I think Fangio can out-coach Lynn. The defense survives in the red zone as Shurmur finds ways to help Jeudy, Hamler, and Patrick get open in a few critical moments. Denver 31 - LA - 30