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I thought Denver would bounce back from their humiliating loss on MNF to the Giants and punish the Chargers here. The Computer, 71%+ in Blazing Five YTD, saw the Chargers winning a close game. Neither of us would believe Denver getting shutout by the Chargers. Back-to-back humiliations produced by Denver.
Every time I turn around, the Broncos management team…more specifically, Vance Joseph…does something I do not understand. From the way they handled the Siemian-Lynch ordeal to Joseph announcing the Kyle Sloter cut 2+ weeks ahead of a decision even needing to be made, to the total disrespect he’s shown Jamaal Charles…I don’t see anything Vance Joseph is doing that would get me excited about his future. This defense is too talented…and is now fading away and erratic. The offense was humming for two weeks and then got figured out quick by the league and it is getting worse every week. Nothing ‘feels right or ‘good’ here. Sorry, Rabbitt (Denver fan, and up and coming football coach that would take the Broncos to the playoffs if he were ascended to the position today).
Denver is basically toast for 2017…unless they miraculously turn everything in the next week or two…the schedule is going to take them out on top of their play. At KC, at Philly, hosting New England the next three weeks. They could lose all three, and no one would be surprised…and then this 3-6 team would be on a five-game losing streak, and mentally done. There’s a silver lining, however. The schedule after that…
Let’s be generous and say they go 1-2 in their next three games…making the Broncos 4-5. They could be a favorite in their next five games CIN-OAK-MIA-NYJ-IND after that. If they go 4-1 with that group to jump to 8-6…a win over WAS or KC at the end gets them to nine wins and an outside shot at the playoffs. Denver is on the ropes and needs to pull an upset in one of their next three games or this season is effectively over. It may be anyway.
The Chargers, however, have sudden, new life. Anthony Lynn will cough that up ahead…but it feels good right now. At NE, BYE, at JAX, BUF, at DAL – this 3-4 team is going to 3-8 in short order – so, put away the powder blue pompoms. Get them back out if they knock if the Patriots this week.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I have no idea what Demaryius Thomas (2-9-0/6) is doing. He’s going through the motions, a la Julio Jones, on most plays…but then I see him get targets and he looks like a proverbial ‘beast’. He makes tough catches and is physical after the catch. However, three games ago he had 1 catch on 5 targets versus sad Oakland. This week 2 catches on 6 targets for 9 yards. This is a #1 WR for this team?
I’d say to hold and pray with DT right now. In the next three weeks Denver faces three of the worst passes defense in the NFL this season, by yards per game allowed, so let’s see what happens with KC-PHI-NE.
No TDs in Thomas’s last 12 games. 2 TDs in his last 16 games. He’s too good for this. He’s getting decent looks. He looks like he still ‘has it’. Either he’s going to bounce back to some degree or you’re going to go down with the ship here…no real trade value out there. Explore it/take it if it’s there but as opposed to giving him away…I hold and pray.
-- Despite the scraps for Jamaal Charles (4-2-0, 4-20-0/4), I think we took a step closer to his takeover as the starting/co-starting RB. Eventually, even Vance Joseph will figure this out…even if by mistake. C.J. Anderson (10-44-0, 1-17-0/2) is a nice guy to have in the backfield but a dying offense needs a true spark.
Any chance the spark is Jamaal Charles facing the team that didn’t want him anymore…in a Week 8 game for what might be ‘the season’ for the Broncos vs. KC?
If Jamaal Charles does not have more carries than CJA in this game or if Jamaal gets like 3-7 carries and doesn’t play all that much, then dump Jamaal into the waiver wire, do not pass Samaje Perine/go, and do not look back. If Joseph does not leverage Jamaal v. KC in an offensive crisis…then there is zero hope for Vance Joseph in the NFL…and for Jamaal with him.
Since I think there is zero hope for Vance Joseph in the NFL…this is a very ‘Hail Mary’ type of flex start for Jamaal this week.
-- Is Austin Ekeler (7-38-0, 4-6-1/4) becoming ‘a thing’? He certainly looks more electric than Melvin Gordon; that’s for sure.
If Andy Reid doesn’t get it with Tyreek Hill…nor Jack Del Rio/Mike Zimmer with Cordarrelle Patterson…nor John Fox with Tarik Cohen…how is Austin Ekeler going to usurp Melvin Gordon…the guy Vance Joseph wakes up and prays to in the morning?
I would never pray to a god that only ran for 3.4 yards per carry this season.
Ekeler provides a spark but is likely bound to nothing one week, and a few more touches the next, and you chase the wind week-to-week. You could sit on him and see if a Chris Thompson story erupts. I just don’t think Anthony Lynn has it in him.
-- I’d like to push the Chargers-DST a little more but the schedule is going to hold them back, I fear.
The Chargers have the #5 pass defense, #6 PPG allowed, #4 most sacks this season…but they’re also #31 in rushing yards per game allowed.
The schedule for the next five weeks…
At New England…not good.
Weeks 10-11-12 against JAX-BUF-DAL… the #1, #13, #3 rushing teams in the league.
You get past that mess, if they’re still in the playoff hunt…then you have CLE Week 13, NYJ Week 16 as useful options.
-- Jatavis Brown (2 tackles) played 20 snaps two weeks ago, and 18 snaps in this game. Either Brown is secretly hurt, which he was banged up a few weeks ago and almost missed a game – or Anthony Lynn is the single stupidest coach in the NFL thinking Brown is a problem with the defense.
It wouldn’t shock me if Lynn pushed guys like Hayes Pullard over Brown. Wouldn’t shock me at all. Jatavis wasn’t supposed to be this good and he’s been ignored by the entire football community…so nothing would shock me here. Brace yourselves for Jatavis as a backup after being one of the best defensive players in football the past year+.
Two words = Anthony Lynn, ladies and gentleman.
-- More proof of Anthony Lynn's 'genius'...
Tyrell Williams = 1 catch for 11 yards on 1 target.
Snap Counts of Interest…
47 = Henry (81%)
18 = Gates
48 = Pullard
18 = Jatavis
17 = Kyle Emmanuel
15 = Korey Toomer
38 = C.J. Anderson
15 = Jamaal Charles
53 = Fowler
50 = Demaryius
44 = Jordan Taylor