We talked to Sadaraine from Mile High Report about the Denver Broncos, and Sunday’s game between the Broncos and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here are our questions and their answers.
1) Has the Broncos 3-0 start been a surprise, or is this basically what most Broncos fans expected to happen?
I do think it has been somewhat of a pleasant surprise. The first 3 weeks of our schedule were arguably the toughest from a competition standpoint. I absolutely expected the Broncos to lose last week from a personal level.
I really get a sense of relief mostly from our fanbase at milehighreport.com even though there weren't many voices in the preseason that seemed terribly negative. But there's no way you take a team who just came off a Super Bowl win (as big underdogs) with your starting legendary QB retiring from the game and expect that your team is going to just keep winning week after week in their next season.
Denver lost some good players this offseason and their record is a testament to the will and commitment behind each of the players and coaches to win.
2) How good is Trevor Siemian? Is he just a game manager or is he more than that, and does he have the potential to be a long-term starter?
Siemian can absolutely be a potential long-term starter in the league. He has one trait that is so hard to find, but that you see in all the really great QBs: calm confidence. He does not wilt under pressure regardless of the situation. He doesn't seem to dwell on mistakes in his play. He just shakes it off and gets back out there with his focus on the next play.
There's definitely aspects to what he is doing that is "safe". The Broncos are not playing risky offensive football. They have the best defensive talent in the league and don't need to score tons of points in order to win. That being said, the kid has been getting better each week and has really made some good plays under the bright lights when the pressure is on.
3) The Broncos pass rush hasn't skipped a beat, despite losing Malik Jackson. How good is this pass rush, and can anyone stop Von Miller?
We have some of the best outside pass rushing depth I've ever seen as a fan of the NFL. Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Shane Ray, and Shaquil Barrett are all legit starting talent OLBs / DEs. The interior pass rush isn't quite as strong with Malik being gone, but even Jared Crick has shown some pass rushing chops from that unit.
The only thing that can stop Von Miller with any consistency is dedicated chip blocking done with proper technique. Even when that is done, he's talented enough to beat it at times if your QB doesn't get rid of the ball, but I've seen it work a few times so far this season. Unfortunately for our opponents, he's by far not the only threat on the team and when you dedicate a chip blocker, it makes someone else's job across the line easier.
4) If you're the Bucs, how do you attack the Broncos defense? Is there any consistently successful way of attacking them?
The interior of the front-7 this year has not been consistently sound against the run. We do miss Malik and running between Crick and Sylvester Williams has produced some success for our opponents so far. If your offense can get consistent success there, it could open up some opportunities in play action.
So far this weakness hasn't been exploited at a high level throughout a whole game as our defense has been able to adjust to what teams do, but it is the only one I'm seeing show up in each game the Broncos play.
5) What are your predictions for the game? And what about the rest of the Broncos season?
I think Denver is going to be best served by jumping out to an early lead in this game and hopefully the defense will be able to be in a lot of pass defense situations for most of the game. If that happens, watch out as that's when our defense gets very nasty. I kind of expect an aggressive gameplan early with some power running paired with some shots downfield to force this scenario. We'll see if that actually works or not as the Bucs are absolutely no pushover team. Their record does not reflect the amount of talent that I see from them by any means. I'll take Denver 27 - Bucs 17.
As far as the season goes, the sky is the limit in my mind. This team is one of the deepest that I have seen on the Broncos in my decades of watching them. If the team stays a little lucky and keeps playing the way they have, there's no reason they can't sweep the table. I definitely think 14 wins is realistic with another deep run in the playoffs.