Broncos should feed Phillip Lindsay

The Denver Broncos claimed back-to-back wins for the first time since week two with a 24-17 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday.

At 5-6, the season isn’t as lost as it was three weeks ago, and with a favorable schedule down the stretch, the Broncos have a chance to get into the postseason conversation.

Broncos Europe TV’s Michael McQuaid and Colum Cronin, as well as columnist Kade Rucker, give their thoughts on where the Broncos are and where they’re headed after a stunning upset win over the AFC North-leading Steelers.

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What pleased you most from the Steelers win?

Colum: Resilience. A team that would have folded last season showed guts in a come from behind victory. 

Kade: The offense is taking care of the ball and not putting the defense in difficult situations.

Case Keenum hasn’t thrown an interception in three weeks and is making good reads.

The offensive line is holding up for being a patchwork of linemen. OC Bill Musgrave is finally properly utilizing the talent he has with Phillip Lindsay getting more opportunities and calling more roll outside for Keenum.

The Broncos seem to finding an identity and it couldn’t happen at a better time.

Michael: The fight and determination from this team keep me going through work this week. Phillip Lindsay was a joy to watch, and his trash talking to other players was amazing.

It was also brilliant to see the offense click and Case Keenum play with confidence. Hopefully, this should continue to improve going forward.

How much does it matter that the Broncos D has given up 400 yards passing in consecutive games?

Michael: It matters, but it’s probably going to be more telling if they do it in the next game against Cincinnati. Not everything is perfect with this team and, hopefully, something can be worked on going forward from Joe Woods.

Kade: As Derek Wolfe said, at the end of the day the Broncos won both of those games. The 400+ yards came against two elite quarterbacks with talented offenses.

Earlier in the season the Broncos weren’t giving up many passing yards but were still losing, so this is a bit of a tradeoff that anyone in Broncos Country would be happy to take.

If they give up 400 yards to the likes of Jeff Driskel and Nick Mullens then it will be a bigger problem.

The Broncos obviously need to address their secondary in the offseason, but they’re getting the wins right now and that’s what matters most.

Colum: As Derek Wolfe said, people care about stats and yards because of fantasy football. The real test of a team is points and victories. The New England Patriots rarely set stats records but they do set victory ones.

Could Vance Joseph stick around in Denver for a third season?

How much has Vance Joseph been vindicated with this win?

Kade: Vance Joseph will probably be able to save his job if the Broncos finish with an 8-8 record or better. But the season isn’t over and VJ should still be on the hot seat.

The Broncos have proven they have the talent to win against good football teams, so if they don’t finish by winning at least three of their last five games it should be time for the Broncos to find a coach that can get the team over the hump.

Colum: The Broncos haven’t had back to back losing seasons since 1972, so Joseph will only be vindicated and redeemed if the team makes the playoffs.

Michael: Zero. The team has shown fight but it is not the coaching. It’s the players’ determination. Joseph made many mistakes on Sunday, never mind the penalty from not having Lindsay in formation close to the end of the game.  

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How can this team get even better in 2018?

Colum: Find additional ways to utilize Phillip Lindsay. Christian McCaffrey is an incredible dual threat for the Panthers, could Lindsay become that for the Broncos?

Kade: It’s going to come down to putting players in position to make plays. This is on the players and the coaching staff.

This coaching staff has shown over the last two weeks that they are capable of adjusting the scheme to fit the personnel and they’ll need to do this on a consistent basis from here on out.

Then the players need to make the plays they have the ability to make. Forcing fumbles and creating pressure on defense, and utilizing the run game to create more options in the pass on offense will be necessary.

The Broncos will only get better as they learn to play to their strengths.

Michael: The team needs to utilize the backup options the have. Royce Freeman needs to be used more, but my god if Phillip Lindsay is balling, GIVE HIM THE BALL. 

Where do the Broncos stand heading into December?

Colum: A team that’s 5-6 could quite easily be 7-4. Poor play calling and game management, against the Houston Texans in particular, cost the team. 

There was plenty of optimism amongst the majority of the fanbase before the season started with a roster that looked superior to last year.

Unfortunately, turnovers, penalties, and terrible play calls hindered the team but the last few weeks have seen the team turn the corner and eradicate those basic errors.

A playoff place is attainable again, all the remaining games are winnable and that should be the aim.

Michael: While many are now viewing the Broncos as outsiders to make the playoffs as the wildcard option, there is no reason they cannot win the remaining games available.

December for this team is a defining moment and one which fans and players will relish.

Kade: The Broncos are probably in the best spot they could be considering how the season started. They just defeated two of the AFC’s best teams and are about to hit their easiest stretch on their schedule.

If they can take care of business on the road against poor teams and win one of their two home games they will finish the season with a winning record.

They may still miss the playoffs but they’ll be heading in the right direction and will have momentum going into the 2019 season.

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