By: Keith Richards
Firstly, 2020 might be the worst year, collectively, that I can recall in my lifetime. I say that even before I think about the Broncos season thus far. Secondly, 2020 might be the worst year I can remember as a Denver fan and resident. In the Broncos Week 2 loss, bad turned to worse on the team injury list. It’s safe to say this season is not going as planned. Let us discuss it!
This Is What Happens When Bad Meets Evil
It was already bad losing Von Miller to start the season. Then, things went from bad to worse in Week 1 with Lindsay and Bouye getting injured. Finally, worse has transitioned to evil. How so? Let me tell you! In the Broncos Week 2 loss, Courtland Sutton was lost for the season, and Drew Lock will be out for a few weeks. To quote the song by Eminem, this is what happens when bad meets evil. The Broncos just cannot catch a break concerning injuries this season.
Despite all the adversity this season, the Broncos are still competing for wins. In the Broncos Week 2 loss, the team had an opportunity to win. I can look at it in one of two different ways. Either the team is not executing in close games, or the team is making do with that they have. I choose the latter for two reasons.
Firstly, in its two losses, Denver has only allowed 42 total points. 21 points per game is not ideal, but it’s not terrible either. Secondly, you can, and should, expect first-team effort from all players. At the end of the day, though, first-team effort does not equate to first-team talent. At some point, you will miss that first-team talent. The Broncos miss it so much right now.
More Noah Fant is Needed
After two games this season, Noah Fant is the leading receiver for Denver. In the Broncos Week 2 loss, Fant had four receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown. That brings his season total to nine receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Yes, there is a “but” coming. The problem is that Noah only has 11 targets for the season. For you fellow math heads, that’s 5.5 targets per game.
That will not do. Though Fant is only a second-year player, I would rather lean on him than the rookie receivers. Fangio and Shurmur need to open things up for him a bit more. He has the size and speed to be a matchup problem for most safeties and linebackers. With all the injuries the Broncos have, they need to use Noah Fant to their advantage.
Unleash the Beast
Another surprising positive for the Broncos has been the addition of Melvin Gordon. In the Broncos Week 2 loss, Gordon rushed the ball 19 times for 70 yards. Also, he had two receptions for 14 yards and a touchdown. Melvin has been a godsend with the injury of Phillip Lindsay.
With Lindsay excepted to come back later in the season, the Broncos should increase the touches for Gordon. When Phillip comes back, you can split the duties between the two once again. With 4.35 yards per carry so far, though, Melvin Gordon would immensely take the pressure off Jeff Driskel. Yes, I intentionally left out Blak Bortles. I don’t want to talk about it.
That wraps up Broncos Week 2 coverage. In Week 3, the Broncos face an old adversary in a new jersey. Come back later this week to find out who that is!