Broncos offensive line leads way to three successive wins

Case Keenum leads the Denver Broncos offense at training camp. Credit: Ryan Koenigsberg/BSN Denver

The Broncos kept their winning streak going with a convincing 24-10 win over the Bengals in Cincinnati in week 13.

Now at 6-6, the Broncos are edging closer to playoff contention with a favorable schedule remaining in December, but they need other results to go their way.

Broncos Europe TV’s Colum Cronin and columnist Kade Rucker, give their thoughts on where the Broncos are ahead of the final quarter of the 2018 season.

What pleased you most from the Bengals win?

Kade: The Broncos were able to overcome a slow start and a slew of injuries on the road. They fought back in the face of adversity to win a game they should win. This showed that they have not given up on the season. They will be a better team for all of the adversity they’re going through as long as they keep fighting. Could be a scary team if they make the playoffs. Paul Brown Stadium wasn’t exactly a hostile environment to play in like say Gilette Stadium or Arrowhead usually are, but the Broncos have struggled of late with early road games so this is still a positive.

Colum: Finding a way to win rather than a way to lose. The team didn’t play particularly well in the first quarter, struggled through the air all day and a few weeks back may well have folded, but instead, they kept at it, overcame huge injuries and prevailed.

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What stood out to you other than Big Phil’s monster day?

ColumThe offensive line was again impressive.

Von Miller and Bradley Chubb demonstrated once again that they’re the league’s premier pass rush duo, and Justin Simmons had a heck of a game.

Kade: Way to take away the obvious. Courtland Sutton would definitely fall under “stand-out” and it was good to see him make a few really good — and difficult — catches, but the Broncos need to get him the ball more.

The offensive line stands out because no one has been talking about them lately and usually that’s a good thing. You don’t hear as many holding calls or false starts as there were at the beginning of the season.

They are a patchwork of guys but they have held their own in making holes for Phillip “Pitbull” Lindsay and keeping Case Keenum clean.

What do the Broncos still need to do better?

Kade: They need to shut down receivers better. The Bengals offense is not very good but, for the majority of the game, they were able to move up and down the field through the air.

The Broncos were able to keep them out of the end zone, so that’s good but with Chris Harris Jr. injured the Broncos are probably going to face more attacks through the air.

They can only bend so much before they’re going to break. Joe Woods is most likely going to go back to more zone coverage since his best 1-on-1 cover guy is hurt, but that might come back to bite them if they can’t improve.

Communication breakdowns seem to have troubled the secondary in zone coverage so that will need to get fixed.

Colum: Case Keenum needs to play for all four quarters and he’s got to get the ball out quicker. Brandon McManus’s struggle from 50+ yards are also a concern down the stretch. 

And Bradley Roby needs to actually make an effort now that he’s CB1.

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What should the Broncos do to cover loss of CHJ?

ColumPlay Justin Simmons there and utilize Su’a Cravens at safety.

Kade: They have already signed CB Jamar Taylor which is good because even if CHJ comes back for the playoffs they are still a thin group.

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How do you feel about this team now at 6-6?

Kade: Much more optimistic. The Broncos’ remaining schedule is not a difficult one until the final game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Cleveland seemed like it could have been a threat but they have been declining recently. The San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders are just not good teams for very different reasons.

Injuries have depleted San Francisco, but Oakland is a dumpster fire. Those games should be wins for the Broncos.

If the Chargers have their playoff spot locked up by the final game of the season they could sit their starters which would mean a most likely win for the Broncos or they could try to play spoiler to keep the Broncos out of the playoffs, which seems more likely.

The second reason is the Broncos are just playing better football. When was the last time you heard “Holding Offense number 72”? It’s been a few weeks.

The offense is clicking behind one of the best backs in the league and Case Keenum is taking care of the ball.

The defense is beaten up but it should be good enough to hold mediocre opponents to low enough scores for them to win.

Colum: 6-6 but could so easily be 8-4. The Broncos should have beaten the Chiefs at home and the Texans. Only the Jets game has been an abject disaster in terms of performance.

With a newfound ability to win on the road, if the Broncos make the playoffs they could do real damage.

About Paul Thomas 198 Articles
Paul is one of Broncos Europe's main contributors, based in London, England. When not providing us with the latest Denver Broncos news, he can be found in a sports bar watching any sport. A long-time Broncos fan, he tries to forget many of the bad pre-Manning years.

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