Ian St. Clair from The Mile High Report joins us for his latest weekly feature on DenverBroncosUK.com, ahead of Sunday’s game in Kansas City.
We have to start with the big news of the week, and the move to release Chad Kelly simply had to happen. But the fact it did shouldn’t surprise fans given in his past the same happened to him in high school and college. So this really is par for the course for Kelly.
The bigger issue here is what better way to gear up for, as John Elway described it, a “must-win” game against the Kansas City Chiefs, than talking about a backup quarterback and a Halloween Party? The Broncos have trouble winning on the road as it is under Vance Joseph, at 2-10, and haven’t beaten the Chiefs since that miracle fumble recovery in Week Two of the Super Bowl season. The task is difficult enough, don’t add to it with unneeded distractions.
Confidence boosting win
There is no doubt Denver needed that win over the Arizona Cardinals and it does give them confidence for Kansas City. We’ll find out soon enough whether that was a desert mirage or real. At the very least, the Broncos head east with some much-needed confidence.
The catalyst for that boost in confidence is connected to the rise of the Orange Rush. This is what John Elway and the team hoped for and wanted when Bradley Chubb “fell” to them at the No. 5 pick in the NFL Draft. Over the last two weeks, Von Miller and Chubb have combined for 8.5 sacks, 13 quarterback hits, 7.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The goal now is to make this consistent and make the Orange Rush an unstoppable force.
Lindsay carrying the load?
Fans and media should know by now not to question Phillip Lindsay. Throughout the course of his football life, he’s proved doubters wrong. If Royce Freeman is unable to go because of his ankle, it’s another opportunity for Lindsay to do what he’s always done and shine when called upon.
Run the ball!
What should give Denver confidence for this game, is the strength of the offense is running the ball. Lindsay also brings the added element of being a playmaker and coverage problem as a receiver. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are not good on defense, so the Broncos can take advantage of that… if Bill Musgrave gets out of the way and calls a similar game to the one he did against the Cardinals.
Case Keenum has to play his first turnover-free game of the season. He doesn’t need to throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns — though that wouldn’t hurt — but he must avoid interceptions and fumbling the ball. Keenum does that and he does his job for the week.
The other aspect Denver has to improve upon in order to have a chance to win is box in, pressure and hit Patrick Mahomes every chance it gets. He cannot get out of the pocket and play schoolyard ball as he did in the first game a few weeks ago.
A Chance to shock the world?
In the last five games that the Broncos were nine-point or greater underdogs, the average score has been 42-16. All of them were losses for Denver. The Broncos enter the same boat on Sunday, and the trend continues — Chiefs 45, Broncos 17.