The Broncos are meh.
And “Sound The Alarm’’ may be the famous last words uttered in Denver by the Broncos’ most famous player.
Good thing the Broncos are playing Sunday at home against the Washington Slimeball Franchise.
The Broncos will win and possess a .500 record after eight games, as any logical soothsayer, or even an irrational columnist, would have prophesized before the season.
The Broncos are middling, mediocre, mundane.
Which is one of the primary reasons thousands of tickets for the game are available on secondary markets from as low as $30 apiece in the upper deck to $1,000 for a pair on the front row of the 50-yard line.
Another reason is Halloween, and Broncos Universe doesn’t intend to be tricked instead of treated, and frightened, like Ichabod Crane, that the Broncos are Headless Horsemen.
Von Miller, who is the last of the Super Bowl 50ers with Brandon McManus, addressed the Broncos’ dire straits Thursday, saying “it’s time to sound the alarm. The sense of urgency has to be at an all-time high. We can’t go out here and lose . . . The time is now to win.’’
With or without Miller, questionable with an ankle sprain, the Broncos need not to fret over the football team from the nation’s capital. WFT has been lit for 43, 33, 31, 29, 24 and 20 points – an average of 30 per game.
I was one of several people attending the last Washington-Denver team Christmas Eve 2017 at FedEx Field when the Broncos scored only 11 points. If Pat Shurmur and Teddy Bridgewater et al. can’t produce 24 Sunday afternoon, the offensive coordinator must be fired and the quarterback demoted, and Von deserves to play the rest of the season for a contender.
Miller, in the last year of his contract with $18 million in salary plus bonus, was on five consecutive playoff teams (and named Super Bowl MVP in the last) and has played on four straight non-postseason teams (before missing all of 2020 with injury). He knows of winning and losing. “Nobody is going to silence me on trying to increase the sense of urgency when we're out here.’’
It’s possible the Broncos’ two premier edge rushers – Miller and Bradley Chubb -- both will miss starting a game for the third time. When Chubb was drafted fifth overall in 2018, Bradley and Von played all 16 games that season and had a total of 26.5 sacks. Since, they have started five games including one this year) together. From 2019-2021, the pair accumulated 21 sacks.
If Miller is not traded, he could be reunited with Chubb in Dallas next Sunday.
After the Cowboys, the Broncos confront three other possible playoff teams on the road – the Chiefs, the Raiders and the Chargers. Home games against the Chargers, the Chiefs and the Bengals aren’t bargains.
With cinch victories over WFT, the Eagles and the Lions at home, an 8-8-1 prediction in September still stands.
As ambiguous as the Broncos remain in regard to ownership, executive leadership, coaching and quarterbacking next season, the Football Franchise in D.C. is way worse – on and off the field.
Anyone who believes the Broncos have been in complete chaos mode at quarterback since 2016 – 11 starters in six years after Peyton Manning retired – consider that WFT has trotted out nine different starters in four seasons since Kirk Cousins bolted. Dwayne Haskins was their version of Paxton Lynch. Case Keenum was the Broncos’ starter in ’18, the Washington starter the next year for eight games. Mark Sanchez, who couldn’t survive Broncos camp in ’16, started one Washington game in ’18.
Taylor Heinicke, who took over for the injured Ryan Fitzpatrick in the opening game, will be the starter Sunday. His backup is Kyle Allen, the Panthers’ starter the year before Teddy Bridgewater.
After a year-long investigation of the WFT for serious past transgressions involving sexual harassment accusations by former staffers, owner Daniel Snyder was suspended from day-to-day operations, replaced by his wife Tanya Snyder, and the franchise was fined $10 million. Washington was front and center at the NFL owners’ meeting the past week because ex-employees are demanding the release of hundreds of thousands of emails, including many leading to the firing of Raiders’ Jon Gruden. The crisis continues.
The WFT is more meh than the Broncos.