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Mile High Monday: Broncos take care of business ahead of tough stretch

Sep 20, 2021, 7:12 AM | Updated: 10:00 am
JACKSONVILLE , FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Teddy Bridgewater (5) of the Denver Broncos huddles his troop on ...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Broncos have started the 2021 season with a 2-0 record. On Sunday, they were in Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars and won by a score of 23-13 in a game that wasn’t as close as the points indicated.

I like when the Broncos are rolling. Their schedule has one more easy game, at home in Week 3 against the New York Jets, before things get tough. At that time, we’ll know more about the mettle of this Broncos team.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep TJ. The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts:

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Steady Teddy

Stop me if you’ve heard this before; Teddy Bridgewater is steady. We’ve seen two games of Bridgewater as the starter, and they’ve looked pretty good.

Against the Jaguars on Sunday, Bridgewater had his first 300-yard passing day with the Broncos, and he made it look easy. Once again, Bridgewater distributed the ball to nine different receivers and did a good job of quickly and cleanly finding the open man.

As evidenced by the big plays to Courtland Sutton, Bridgewater was also making throws down the field – something those who doubted him didn’t think he could do.

Bridgewater has been everything the Broncos had hoped for and more. Many forget Bridgewater was a Pro Bowl quarterback and on his way to stardom when his leg basically collapsed on itself. That ended his time with the Vikings, and then he bounced around to a few more teams before landing in Denver.

It was always foolish to merely look at what Bridgewater did with the Carolina Panthers and declare him a journeyman passer. This was his last stop and final opportunity to prove himself as a starter, and Bridgewater has never had talent around him like he has in Denver. It’s good to see the Broncos off to a hot start, and there’s a lot of thanks (or apologies from haters) that is owed to Bridgewater.

***

Back Home Again

As expected by most, the Broncos are returning to Denver for their first home game with a 2-0 record. Their early-season schedule was easy, and that continues on with the Week 3 matchup against the New York Jets.

Like the Jaguars, the Jets feature a rookie quarterback with great upside but still a young player who will take time to develop. Zach Wilson has the capability to keep plays alive with his feet while keeping his eyes downfield, and he never backs down from a challenge.

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio should be able to draw things up for Wilson that he’s never seen. The rookie from BYU struggled with pressure in college, and in two pro games so far Wilson looks like a different player when under duress.

Now, it’s time to put on a show for the home crowd. The Broncos have momentum on their side, and they should be able to beat the Jets.

That means the Broncos will sit atop the AFC West early in the season as they match up against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4. That’s the first contest where Denver should really be tested. They may be able to surprise people if they ride this wave of momentum that has continued to grow.

***

Bell/Anderson Redux

The Broncos have implemented a near 50-50 split in their running back by committee (RBBC) featuring veteran Melvin Gordon and rookie Javonte Williams. After two games, Gordon has more touches, but barely. Gordon has 29 touches to Williams’ 28 as the Broncos split time.

This is something they’ve planned to do, and it’s working out well for the team. Gordon can work well with speed in space. Williams can soften up defenses with his trademark toughness. This leads to great things for the Broncos rushing attack.

It’s one of the reasons why projected both backs for nearly 1,000 yards on the ground in 2021. The Broncos had two backs split time and produce similarly back in 2005 when Mike Anderson had 1,014 yards and Tatum Bell had 921 yards. I could see the 2021 Broncos produce like this.

The formula the Broncos have will continue to work, but there’s a chance it could start producing better numbers. Teams are challenging the Broncos to pass the ball to win. Everyone knows they want to run the ball to win, so defenses are stacking the box to stuff the run.

This means the rushing lanes enjoyed by others are not there for the Broncos backs. With Bridgewater ripping up defenses with efficient passing, we could see a defensive change in philosophy. Teams may back off to deal with the passing attack, and that will open up rushing lanes for the Broncos.

***

Proud Papa

I don’t post much about my personal life on social networking. There’s such a thing as oversharing that happens on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., by some out there, and I don’t want to participate in that.

Raising my kids as a public figure has been interesting to say the least. I always have their safety in mind, and don’t need them to be exposed to some of the hate I get on social networking (Twitter mainly) because I have strong opinions about the Broncos and the NFL.

I am super proud of all three of my children, and this weekend I traveled to Oregon with my family to drop my daughter off at Oregon State. She’s set to pursue her medical career, and I can’t wait to see what her future holds as a doctor (surgeon specifically). Couple that with my son’s accomplishments in his military and law enforcement career and my youngest daughter’s musical ability and desire to teach and I’m bursting at the seams with pride.

It’s great to see them journey through life. However, it’s painful when you have to let them go. Dropping my daughter off at college (my son is a senior in college) came with a whole lot of emotions and tears.

How did it feel when your child went off to college? Hit me up on social networking and let me know!

***

Follow Cecil Lammey on Twitter and Instagram: @cecillammey

 

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