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Thread: Optimistic take: No team under .500 has a higher ceiling than the 2-3 Denver Broncos

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    Default Optimistic take: No team under .500 has a higher ceiling than the 2-3 Denver Broncos

    This feels a little overly optimistic to me with all of our injuries, but the glass half full view is that Fangio builds a Top 10 defense and that becomes our identity, and that the offense continues to make strides as Lock gains experience and gets healthy...

    If you're looking for a surprise playoff team, look no further.

    Like every Vic Fangio squad, it starts with defense. The Broncos rank sixth in net passing yards allowed per attempt and sixth in points allowed per drive despite having seven defensive players on injured reserve, including Von Miller, A.J. Bouye and Jurrell Casey. Fangio helped shut down Cam Newton on Sunday by sending an endless array of looks that confused the patchwork Patriots offensive line. Denver was ready for Newton's read-option plays. The Broncos' secondary is coached up to prevent big plays, with slot cornerback Bryce Callahan, safety Justin Simmons and multihyphenate Kareem Jackson playing well. After a slow start, pass rusher Bradley Chubb again looks like a superstar in Year 3.

    My optimism around the Broncos starts with the baseline that they have a top-10 defense and builds with a return to health of their offense. It should be no surprise they looked better Sunday with quarterback Drew Lock (out with a shoulder injury since Week 2), running back Phillip Lindsay (out with a toe injury since Week 1) and dynamic rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (making his first appearance) on the field. Despite Lock's two late interceptions, he had time to make five to six dazzling throws, because left tackle Garett Bolles has Made The Leap in Year 4. (Drops didn't help Lock's box score Sunday.) When tight end Noah Fant (ankle), running back Melvin Gordon (illness) and wideout K.J. Hamler (hamstring) return, this offense will have as much speed as any team outside of Kansas City, even with Courtland Sutton lost for the year to injured reserve.

    The Broncos will need to beat those Chiefs in Week 7 to avoid falling to 2-4, but even that record wouldn't diminish my optimism. Denver is well-coached enough on defense and explosive enough on offense to be a lot better in December than it is now.
    https://www.nfl.com/news/debrief-tea...sons-in-week-6


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    I mentioned this in another thread, but the combined record of the 3 teams to beat us is 14-2. We've had a brutal schedule and a ton of injuries. The schedule definitely softens (other than 2 games against KC) going forward. I still think the playoffs are a longshot, but I certainly don't think we're the laughing stock everyone had us as at 0-3.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroncoWave View Post
    I mentioned this in another thread, but the combined record of the 3 teams to beat us is 14-2. We've had a brutal schedule and a ton of injuries. The schedule definitely softens (other than 2 games against KC) going forward. I still think the playoffs are a longshot, but I certainly don't think we're the laughing stock everyone had us as at 0-3.
    And, we played well against the Steelers and Titans, and those games could easily have been wins. Defense especially did a good job.

    The Chiefs game is pretty key both to get a real sense at how good/bad this Broncos team really is, but also in terms of seeing if there is a chance to rebound and have a playoff shot.

    It's a big "if" against the Chiefs, but if the Broncos can win, they would be right back in the playoff race in the AFC.

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    Rosenthal has been very high on the Broncos throughout the offseason and even during early struggles.
    *The statements above are my opinions, unless they are links, because then they are links, which wouldn't make them my opinions, and I suppose stats aren't necessarily opinion, but they are certainly presented to support an opinion. Proceed accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tned View Post
    And, we played well against the Steelers and Titans, and those games could easily have been wins. Defense especially did a good job.

    The Chiefs game is pretty key both to get a real sense at how good/bad this Broncos team really is, but also in terms of seeing if there is a chance to rebound and have a playoff shot.

    It's a big "if" against the Chiefs, but if the Broncos can win, they would be right back in the playoff race in the AFC.
    Yes this game will certainly be a good barometer of where we stand. Even a loss I don't think totally ends our season, but it would be highly encouraging for us to at least keep it competitive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tned View Post
    And, we played well against the Steelers and Titans, and those games could easily have been wins. Defense especially did a good job.

    The Chiefs game is pretty key both to get a real sense at how good/bad this Broncos team really is, but also in terms of seeing if there is a chance to rebound and have a playoff shot.

    It's a big "if" against the Chiefs, but if the Broncos can win, they would be right back in the playoff race in the AFC.
    If the broncos do beat the chiefs on Sunday we are definitely making the playoffs.

    I do not expect us to win.

    If we are competitive then we might have a shot at playoffs. If we get blown out, then we are not
     
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    I do think we have a shot to beat KC. We'll be underdogs for sure, but KC has looked beatable this year. They have been fairly pedestrian in 3 of their 6 games so far. I'm so intrigued to see how this game plays out.
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    I don't even want to see the Broncos make the playoffs. They would be in that deadly 9-7 10-6 window -- not good enough to have a deep run in the playoffs and have a realistic chance at a championship -- not bad enough to have a good draft pick to strengthen the team for the future.

    In short we can call it the "Shanahan Window." What doomed Mike Shanahan was that his teams were just good enough to make the playoffs in alternate years (pretty much), but not good enough to challenge the Manning Colts or the Brady Patriots.

    Everything depends on the development of Drew Lock. Right now, I'd say he's better than Derek Carr in the division and that's it. Of course, he showed both some good (three dropped passes wasn't his fault. Tell those idiots to close their hands when the ball flies through them!)

    I had a dream last night in which Fangio gave out game balls to all his receivers with crazy glue all over them, so that the damn balls would stick to their hands and they would have to walk around all day with footballs stuck to their hands -- just to learn what it feels like to have a ball stuck to their hands and not drop it or let it fly off their fingers.

    And some bad: the interceptions are a problem though, we can't ignore.

    The Broncos are about 10 new good starters away from challenging the Chiefs. And it's not going to happen this season.

    Regardless of what happens the rest of the season this is a development team and we can't forget that just because the team gets a badly needed win here or there.

    They don't need to draft a QB (hopefully) so the fact that they are not in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes doesn't matter. But, a top 10 draft pick would come in handy -- especially since they could trade back to some desperate team and stockpile more picks and more quickly stockpile talent at a bunch of positions that will need help next season.
    Last edited by Cugel; 10-20-2020 at 01:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cugel View Post
    I don't even want to see the Broncos make the playoffs.
    Stopped reading there. It must really suck to be so pessimistic all the time. I have pity for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cugel View Post
    I don't even want to see the Broncos make the playoffs. They would be in that deadly 9-7 10-6 window -- not good enough to have a deep run in the playoffs and have a realistic chance at a championship -- not bad enough to have a good draft pick to strengthen the team for the future.

    In short we can call it the "Shanahan Window." What doomed Mike Shanahan was that his teams were just good enough to make the playoffs in alternate years (pretty much), but not good enough to challenge the Manning Colts or the Brady Patriots.

    Everything depends on the development of Drew Lock. Right now, I'd say he's better than Derek Carr in the division and that's it. Of course, he showed both some good (three dropped passes wasn't his fault. Tell those idiots to close their hands when the ball flies through them!)

    I had a dream last night in which Fangio gave out game balls to all his receivers with crazy glue all over them, so that the damn balls would stick to their hands and they would have to walk around all day with footballs stuck to their hands -- just to learn what it feels like to have a ball stuck to their hands and not drop it or let it fly off their fingers.

    And some bad: the interceptions are a problem though, we can't ignore.

    The Broncos are about 10 new good starters away from challenging the Chiefs. And it's not going to happen this season.

    Regardless of what happens the rest of the season this is a development team and we can't forget that just because the team gets a badly needed win here or there.

    They don't need to draft a QB (hopefully) so the fact that they are not in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes doesn't matter. But, a top 10 draft pick would come in handy -- especially since they could trade back to some desperate team and stockpile more picks and more quickly stockpile talent at a bunch of positions that will need help next season.
    What a retarded post. Making the playoffs would be a massive step forward for this team. It's not like we've been 9-7 for 3 straight years and stuck in that purgatory. We've had 4 straight years of picking high in the draft, and have a ton of young talent now to show for it. We are now in the short window of a QB on a rookie deal. The time to tank for draft picks is over. It's time to start winning.
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    Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?! lol

    A postseason would be a herculean leap for this squad and cement Lock
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    I like the “Shanatan Window” reference, that’s what I’ve been talking about for a decade. 7-9, 8-8 and 9-7 is a whirlpool of bullshit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
    I like the “Shanatan Window” reference, that’s what I’ve been talking about for a decade. 7-9, 8-8 and 9-7 is a whirlpool of bullshit.
    Ok it's time for me to debunk this shit.

    Looking at every super bowl team in the last 15 years, so that gives you 30 teams to use as an example.

    Of those 30 teams, 23 had at least one season in the previous 5 years where they won between 7 and 9 games. Of the 7 that didn't, 5 were the Pats and 2 were the colts. So the only way to be an outlier is to have a top 5 all time QB.

    11 of the 30 had at least 2 seasons over the 5 previous years where they won between 7 and 9 games. And 3 teams had at least 3 such seasons. So those were less common, but it still happened.

    So I will say this flatly proves that one or two seasons with 7 to 9 wins isn't some purgatory death sentence for a franchise. If we win between 7 and 9 games this year, that's fine. If it were to happen again the next year is when you could start to worry a bit.
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    I would be much more optimistic if Von wasn't on IR.

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    Even though Von was a massive loss for the team, this is still a top 10 defensive unit. Vic’s system isn’t always super exciting, but it’s effective. Likewise, Sutton was a huge loss but we still have some playmakers on offense (Sutton would’ve came down with a few of those Lock TD throws yesterday). This team will still get better by getting Bouye, Jones, Walker, Fant, and Hamler back from injuries.

    I’m not necessarily expecting a playoff run here on out, but I think we’re a better team than the national media is giving us credit for. It’s a little nauseating how many excuses people have given the Pats for losing and not seeing what this team has gone through. Not many teams can stay competitive while losing this many key players.

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