The Denver Broncos’ season is sliding toward an end before it has even got into stride. After four straight losses, holding a record of 3-4, they are inches from falling off the cliff of relevancy.
Two first downs during the opening two quarters at Cleveland last Thursday Night simply wasn’t good enough for a team fighting for a playoff berth. Once more there was a spirited comeback before ultimately losing 17-14 to the backup-filled Browns. Slow starts have contributed to the Broncos’ terrible past month — losses to Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Las Vegas have spearheaded Denver’s spiral toward toward ignominy.
Admittedly, the Broncos have a realistic, mathematical chance of playing in the postseason, sitting just one game outside a wildcard spot. Irrespective of where this season goes alternation is needed and it’s needed quick smart.
Minshew-Mania at Mile High?
We’ve seen it once before. How about for the remaining 10 games this season, Broncos Country?
Former Jacksonville Jaguars starter turned Eagles backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, has been named as Denver’s ideal trade target ahead of the November 2 deadline.
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report, stopped short of anointing the 25-year-old cult figure as the Broncos’ savior but suggested he could be an upgrade on current signal-callers, Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock.
“Everyone can be realistic and admit the quarterback position is probably holding the team back to some degree,” Sobleski said prior to Denver’s defeat at Cleveland. “Teddy Bridgewater is mostly efficient and tends to play mistake-free football, but his approach also limits the offense. He’s pretty much middle of the league in passing yardage, yards per attempt, QBR and quarterback rating. He’s an average quarterback, and there’s nothing wrong with who he is.
“However, the Broncos can be more with the number of weapons in their offense. Gardner Minshew tends to be accurate too, and he also has a creative side, particularly when things break down around him. At worst, the Broncos would have another starting option to consider. The solution still wouldn’t be on the roster. Even so, a team shouldn’t stop looking for potential upgrades, particularly at the game’s most important position.”
Minshew eviscerated Denver at their house during his rookie campaign, throwing for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns completed 19-of-33 passes in a 26-24 road win for the Jags. Minshew showed plenty of character too, amassing a 97.2 passer rating despite being sacked five times.
It’s not just Mile High where Minshew has showed promise throughout his career. The former Washington State product threw 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions during his stint in Jacksonville, only to be replaced by Trevor Lawrence before the season began. There’s no doubt Minshew has some magic left in him and could be the fire-starter Denver needs to get their season back on track.
CB Kyle Fuller Named As Trade Target
The Broncos have been loaded at corner even before taking Patrick Surtain II with the ninth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s often thought of as a positive problem, having ‘too many’ quality players in the same position. It creates heightened competitiveness and ability, but it also can manifest trade rumors and hysteria, such as the case currently in Denver.
Former All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl corner Kyle Fuller is on the outer and clearly isn’t at the forefront of head coach Vic Fangio’s plans. Despite starting in all of Chicago’s 16 games last season, Fuller has become a peripheral figure under defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. He didn’t play a snap against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night and only managed two during the loss to Las Vegas at home.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport named Fuller as an obvious trade target for teams, revealing Denver had fielded interest in the Virginia Tech product before the Broncos’ campaign began.
“The Broncos received trade calls prior to the season, choosing instead to hang onto Fuller as added depth,” Rapoport said, October 24. But now, Ronald Darby is healthy, and Fuller has been the odd man out. With so many cornerback-needy teams, could Fuller be a trade target this time? For the right price, perhaps.”
ESPN’s Jermey Fowler also chimed in on the Fuller trade talk, reiterating the need for a player of Fuller’s stature across the league.
“The Denver Broncos, armed with four good cornerbacks, received calls on Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan in the preseason,” Fowler remarked, October 12. “What they wanted in return wasn’t cheap — roughly a third- or fourth-rounder, multiple teams told me. Ronald Darby’s early-season injury put any trade talks on hold, but now that Darby is back, teams could try again.
“Several teams have actively monitored the cornerback market in recent months, including the Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, Houston Texans and New York Giants. The position has only grown in importance because of injuries across the league.”
Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic