Oct 30, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos fans in the fourth quarter of the game against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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This week on the Predominantly Orange Fanzone, I chat with Predominantly Orange writer Steven Kriz and get his takes on the Broncos and this week’s game.
The Denver Broncos have had quite the roller coaster season. After starting the season 4-0, the team has lost three of their last five games.
In my eyes, there are places that I truly believe the Denver Broncos need to work on if they are going to be playing well into January.
But first, the Broncos must travel to the Big Easy that is New Orleans, Louisiana to take on Drew Brees and the Saints.
How will the No Fly Zone handle the firepower that Drew Brees will bring? Hopefully they will have firepower of their own to fire right back with.
It is the last game the Broncos have before their bye and this could be a critical game down the stretch.
For this case, I wanted to bring in a writer from our site to interview. Enter Steven Kriz.
He has been writing for us since April. You normally see him setting up the Pick Em and the weekly Power Rankings articles here at Predominantly Orange. He has sure been a pleasure to work with.
So, let’s see what Steven has to say about this game and the state of the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos suffered their third loss at the hands of the Raiders. Do you believe that the rivalry has been restored between the two teams?
Great question; I think before the game I would have said no—I’m a true believer that both teams need to be legit contenders and I think Oakland showed us that they are here to compete for a division championship. It should make the game in Denver that much better to end the year as there could actually be a division title on the line.
Oct 30, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) prepares to pass in the first half against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
What do the Broncos need to work on this week in order to get back on the right track?
Let’s start on the defensive side of the ball: Run defense has obviously been a big problem, and losing Derek Wolfe to a fractured elbow won’t help matters one bit.
When teams are able to run the ball on the Broncos, it neutralizes two strengths of this team, the pass rush and No Fly Zone. They have got to find a way to stop Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower this week or it could be a long afternoon for them.
On offense, these guys need to execute better around the board. Running the ball has to be a priority, because without it, I think Trevor Siemian will struggle. Trevor seems to be regressing some with teams squatting on the short routes that he was so efficient in hitting early in the year.
It has shown as his completion percentage has dropped significantly in the past four games. Instead of coming out of the gate trying to throw the ball all over the field, run the ball on 5 of the first 6 plays. Be sure to throw some variety in the run game. Zone left and zone right are fine, but run some pitch/toss, run some counter, and if Janovich’s hand is feeling alright, put the ball in his hands some.
The Broncos have a bye week coming up after this game. If a switch to the rookie is going to be made, this would appear to be the ideal time to do it. Let’s be honest, the Broncos have played some bad defenses in recent weeks.
The Broncos offense has made these defenses look very good with their inability to generate first downs. The Saints defense they will be facing this week may take the cake for the worst they’ve seen. If the offense comes out and struggles the way they did in the first half against the Oakland Raiders, it may be Paxton Lynch leading them on to the field in the second half—not Trevor Siemian.
Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Denver Broncos general manager John Elway holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 at Levi
What is your favorite Denver Broncos moment of all time?
Ty that’s another great question. I am 28 years old, so I was nine during Super Bowl XXXII and 10 during Super Bowl XXXIII. While I remember both of those Super Bowl victories very clearly, I have little memory of those seasons, or anything really before that.
With that said, since then I have waited and waited for them to get back to the top. Super Bowl 50 this past February has to take the cake. It was a culmination of everything I have been rooting for since 1999. It was such an incredible night for Broncos fans, for Peyton Manning, the GOAT of my generation, but most importantly for the Bowlen family. I have such immense respect for Mr. B. and everything he has done for the city of Denver.
I just hope that in his weakened state, he understood exactly what these guys accomplished and how much he means to everyone in Broncos Country.
Oct 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos fullback Andy Janovich (32) enters the field before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Broncos take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. What do you believe is the key to a win?
Ty, as I alluded to before, there will be multiple keys to victory. However, if I have to narrow it down to just one, I think it will come down to run defense. Let’s face it, the offense has been bad for this season and last. Yet, the Broncos are 21-7 over the past two years in spite of the terrible offensive production.
It’s going to be on the defenses shoulders as it has been, and they need to deliver, something they couldn’t do a week ago against Oakland. It won’t be easy with a Hall of Fame quarterback on the other side, but if they can make the Saints one dimensional, limiting Drew Brees will be manageable. If the Saints get the run game going, the Broncos pass rushers will not be able to pin their ears back and pressure Brees—this will likely spell disaster for the Broncos.
Which player on the Broncos roster will be the X-Factor?
The X-Factor for this game will be Andy Janovich. Against the Texans, the Broncos run game was as good as it’s been all year in no large part due to Janovich.
However, Janovich suffered a broken hand in the game and has been limited the past two weeks due to playing with a club on his hand. His blocking technique hasn’t been nearly as sound, and he has appeared to be pulling up on blocks.
It has been reported that the club is coming off this week, meaning Janovich should be back to his helmet wrecking ways. This run game needs a healthy Janovich to clear the way for whoever is running the ball.
On a side-note, look for Kapri Bibbs to get the opportunity to carry the ball a lot more after a strong showing in the running/passing game a week ago—one of the lone bright spots coming out of the Raiders game.
Thank You Steven for taking the time out to chat with me. Follow him on Twitter to see what he is up to.