ENGLEWOOD — The Broncos are 1-0 for the first time since 2018, after beating the Giants 27-13 Sunday in New Jersey.
Each week, The Gazette's Broncos beat writer George Stoia will answer your questions regarding the latest game. Below are your questions and his answers following Week 1:
Is aggressiveness on fourth down here to stay in Denver?
It sure seems like it. Coach Vic Fangio said after the game it was “just gut feeling” on those calls and if that’s the case, I could see Fangio going for it often.
You definitely have to pick and choose your spots, but all three were in big situations and on all three the Broncos' offense executed, which probably means Fangio has even more trust and confidence in offense in those spots than he did before today.
What happened to WR Courtland Sutton? Who's picking up WR Jerry Jeudy’s production?
Sutton played 80% of the offensive snaps, so he was out there. He only had one catch, but it was a big one — a 14-yarder on the fourth down before the half. When you have as talented of a receiver as the Broncos have, there are going to be games where someone like Sutton doesn’t have as many targets or catches.
With that said, though, to answer the second question, Sutton has to help pick up Jeudy’s production. I expect Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler to do the same — especially Hamler. I also expect the Broncos to elevate either Tyrie Cleveland or rookie Seth Williams to the roster while Jeudy is out.
How well do you think our defense can play against the Jaguars and Jets? Do you think there's advantages and disadvantages?
The biggest advantage is that Fangio is 18-8 against rookie quarterbacks as a defensive coordinator and head coach. The Broncos are also a veteran group defensively, which should play to their favor in terms of forcing those two rookie quarterbacks — Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars) and Zach Wilson (Jets) — into bad decisions.
Disadvantages? Honestly, I don’t see many, other than maybe having little tape on both in the NFL.
Javonte Williams or Melvin Gordon?
Why not both?
I know everyone loves rookie Javonte Williams and his potential, myself in included. But Melvin Gordon is still one of the most consistent running backs in the league.
The two split snaps evenly Sunday and I suspect that will stay the same. Not too many teams have the ability to do that. And, when you have a 17-game schedule, allowing those guys to rotate is a huge benefit.
Is this the best offense since before Vance Joseph was here?
Definitely. I’d go as far to say it’s the best offense since 2016-17, maybe even 2015-16. That 2016-17 team had some good weapons on it — most notably C.J. Anderson, Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. But the difference is Teddy Bridgewater, who might be the Broncos’ best quarterback since Peyton Manning.
How would you grade the O-line?
Probably a B or B+. They gave up two sacks and while Bridgewater was awesome escaping pressure, I think the Broncos would rather not have their quarterback running for his life every other play. They appeared to be much better in the run game, especially as the game went on. It was clear they wore down that Giants defensive line by the fourth quarter, which is why Gordon was able to break that 70-yard touchdown run.
Can Teddy consistently perform the way he did Sunday?
That’s the big question, right? If he can replicate his performance Sunday, the Broncos are a legitimate playoff contender. And these next two weeks, against the Jaguars and Jets, he probably doesn’t need to be as good as he was Sunday.
But can he do it against playoff teams like the Ravens, Steelers and Browns? Or in the division against the Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers? That’s where we’ll find our answer.