Any given Sunday.
That’s an adage thrown out about the NFL on a weekly basis. For those Denver Broncos fans with the thick orange and blue goggles, that’s what they’re saying in the lead up to Sunday’s game at home against the Los Angeles Rams.
We saw that play out once this season when the Buffalo Bills beat the Minnesota Vikings. So there is a chance Case Keenum and the Broncos (2-3) pull the unthinkable and give the Rams (5-0) their first loss of the season. There’s also a chance Vance Joseph turns into a legitimate head coach.
As Adam Malnati and I said on the latest MHR Radio Podcast, with how the Broncos have looked the last three weeks, and most recently against the New York Jets, the chances of that coming to fruition are behind slim and none.
Los Angeles Rams: First in overall offense (468.4 yards), seventh in rushing (131.2), second in passing (337.2) and third in points (34.6).
Denver: Twelfth in overall offense (393.3 yards), third in rushing (137.0), 18th in passing (256.8) and 27th in points (20.0).
Los Angeles Rams: Ninth in overall defense (341.4 yards), tied for 18th in rushing (106.8), tied for 10th in passing (234.6) and sixth in points (19.6).
Denver: Twenty-sixth in overall defense (395.8 yards), 30th in rushing (139.6), 16th in passing (256.2) and tied for 23rd in points (26.2).
Here are our keys to the game.
Switch coaching staffs
John Elway and the Broncos need to convince Wade Phillips to return to the Denver sideline. Heck, switch coaching staffs because that’s the only way this game is fair. — Ian St. Clair
Run the ball
Consistently. Especially in the red zone. It does us no good at all for our coaches to say “We need to run the ball more” only for them to turn around and run the ball even less. Yes, things did get to a point where running really wasn’t an option vs the Jets, but the coaches abandoned the running game well before we reached that point. Keenum has proven he can’t bear the full weight of the offense on his shoulders, so don’t ask him to. Keep it balanced. — Taylor Kothe
Choose an identity
It’s time for the Broncos to figure out who they are. At this point the players look like they have given up, and the Rams aren’t exactly the best remedy for bad play. The remedy game was supposed to be the Jets. So Denver needs to pick an identity this week. Are the Broncos the running, smash-mouth offense with a fast, quarterback-crushing defense? Or are they the team that never got off the plane in New York? The turnover happy, unmotivated, disinterested team that is tired of talking about the “same shit for two years?” Either way, Denver needs to find an identity. I’m not sure there is anything beyond that that matters. — Adam Malnati
The shoddy tackling and breakdowns in coverage that we saw against the Jets won’t fly against the best offense in the league, and against the best offensive coach in football. Sean McVay gets the defense in exactly the look he wants them and then exploits it. Denver is going to have to play disciplined football with its tackling and with its eyes in coverage, or else the Broncos will get blown out.
Oh ya, and maybe try to score more than 10 points in the first three quarters this week, too. — Jeff Essary