MILE HIGH MONDAY

Mile High Monday: Broncos Country is fed up with bad football

Sep 19, 2022, 6:32 AM
nathaniel hackett and russell wilson...
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos didn’t start the regular season the right way, but they had a chance to get things on the right track on Sunday against the Houston Texans. They did win, but the Broncos might have just had the ugliest win in team history.

I like when the Broncos win, but I really like when the Broncos look good. They have not done that outside of a few flashes here and there in 2022. Hopefully, the Broncos improve and get things on track as the season goes on.
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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Booing and Counting Down

Broncos’ fans are fed up with bad football. The last six years have been awful for this fan base who is used to winning at a high level consistently. Things were supposed to be different this year, but there are signs that the Broncos are more of a work in progress than most wanted them to be.

I think Broncos Country loves quarterback Russell Wilson, but they are having issues with Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett. During the game against the Texans, it didn’t take long for fans to start booing the product. Again, I don’t believe the fans were booing Wilson. Instead, it was the play calling, bad clock management, and overall lack of discipline coming from Hackett and the coaching staff. They were booing Hackett’s trick plays as well, which made the Broncos look desperate as they tried to move the ball against a bad Texans team.

The crowd let them know how upset they were during the progress of the game, but late in the game – after multiple delay of game penalties (again) – the fans in attendance ramped it up a notch. With the play clock winding down, fans started chanting the numbers during the countdown. This is something you’ll hear with a shot clock in basketball from time to time, but it was a shock to hear that during a football game. The fans did it to aid the team, but they also chanted the countdown to mock Hackett’s lack of awareness when it comes to getting plays in on time.

I hope we don’t see a trick play for some time. I hope Hackett designs a better game plan. I hope these penalties get cleaned up quickly. There’s a lot of hope with this team, but there needs to be better results coming from the Broncos coaching staff or they’ll continue to draw the ire of the fan base. Broncos Country is tired of bad football, and they had no problem letting Hackett know things must be different going forward.

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No Jeudy, No Problem

After a 100-yard performance in Week 1, Broncos fans were excited about Jerry Jeudy’s potential for the upcoming season. Jeudy didn’t score a touchdown in 2021, but in the season opener he was able to break off a 67-yard touchdown. Fans were excited about what more he could do as the season rolled on this year. That excitement all came crashing to a halt on one of the Broncos’ failed trick plays against the Texans.

Jeudy was driven into the ground hard by Texans’ hard-hitting cornerback Steven Nelson and dropped the ball. He did walk off the field to the blue medical tent under his own power, but he left the field shortly after the examination. He had one reception for 11 yards and one rush for one yard before leaving. Jeudy did not return to the field, and now his health status is unknown for Week 3 and beyond.

After the Jeudy injury, the Broncos began trying to spread the ball around to other targets with Courtland Sutton being the primary weapon in the passing game. Sutton was able to dominate with his targets, and he continued to show why he’s Wilson’s favorite. He caught seven of his 11 targets for 122 yards against the Texans. Sutton used his size to dominate rookie cornerback Derek Stingley (a top-five pick), and Sutton was making it look easy out there on Sunday.

During the week, we’ll learn more about the nature of Jeudy’s injury. This shoulder problem could linger if not given enough time to properly heal. That means the Broncos are going to be wisely cautious with the young receiver. It’s a disappointing development for a player with an unknown future with the Broncos. I hope Jeudy can get healthy, stay healthy, and start playing up to his potential consistently for this team. In the meantime, running the passing game through Sutton is not a bad plan.

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Here Comes Jimmy G

Up next for the Broncos are the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football in Week 3. They suffered a huge injury that will change the trajectory of their franchise in Week 2. On Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers’ starting quarterback Trey Lance was injured on a rushing attempt. Lance tried to get up after the play was over, but his leg buckled underneath him.

It was revealed not long after Lance was carted off the field that he suffered a broken ankle. Lance will undergo season-ending surgery early this week, and he will miss the rest of the 2022 season. In his place, veteran Jimmy Garappolo took over against the Seahawks and led the 49ers to an easy win. Garoppolo has been the 49ers’ starter for years, but they wanted to move onto Lance this year. He stayed away from the facility during the offseason as the team tried to trade him, but Garoppolo ended up reworking his contract to stay with the 49ers.
Now, Garoppolo gives the team a proven starter with limited upside they know how to work around rather than the unknown upside and potential that Lance brought to the field. The locker room likes Garoppolo, and the team responds to his leadership. Garoppolo has a quick release, and he knows the Kyle Shanahan offense like the back of his hand. One could easily make the argument that the 49ers are better now that Garoppolo is back in the starting lineup.

I felt better about the Broncos chances when Lance was the starter. The 49ers are a good team, and they are well coached with Shanahan calling the shots. Garoppolo will make a boneheaded throw here and there, but he can work the entire range of the field with short-to-intermediate passes. He won’t take many deep shots, but the nature of the offense will give him the opportunity to do that a few times a game. Even though the Broncos won in Week 2, getting a win next Sunday night is going to be more difficult because Garoppolo is back in the starting lineup.

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Deadpool Easter Egg

Comic book fans are waiting for the character Deadpool to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’s known as the “merc with a mouth” and Deadpool was made famous in two movies starring Ryan Reynolds as the lead character Wade Wilson. Reynolds is a fan of the character, and he brought Deadpool to life in what was almost a passion project for the talented actor. Since the merger of Fox to Disney, fans have been waiting for Deadpool to be introduced into the world of The Avengers.

During the fifth episode of the Disney+ show “She Hulk: Attorney at Law” we saw an Easter egg about Deadpool and the Fantastic Four. During the end credit scene, we see Pug showing off his Iron Man shoes to Nikki. In the background of his shoe closet, we see several other pairs of sneakers – including a Deadpool pair and Fantastic Four pair. It’s a small nod to the rest of the MCU, but it’s enough to get the internet buzzing.

This show has failed to capture the magic of the comic books, but “She Hulk: Attorney at Law” is a fun ride each week. Just like Deadpool, She Hulk is known to often break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience. In fact, She Hulk was the first character to do that in the comic books. When Deadpool was first introduced in New Mutants 98 (1991), he was more of a dangerous assassin than he was a wisecracking anti-hero. The character evolved in the comics and, like She Hulk, started talking directly to the reader.

How excited are you to see Deadpool in the MCU? Hit me up on social media and let me know!

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