Thanks to the folks at Mile High Report for answering my questions about Thursday's Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos game. Read my answers to their questions here.
1. Did Peyton Manning just have an off game last week or is there something more here?
MHR: I'm not one to knee-jerk a ton. I like discussing bad games and good games, but I think we all know one bad game does not make a player washed up. That being said, Manning's throws just plain looked bad to me. They looked eerily similar to the Manning throwing acumen we saw at the back half of last season here in Broncos Country. I do think he has lost some touch on his throws...they aren't as accurate as they used to be. He's not hitting outside routes well and constantly overthrows his deep passes. Most of us at MHR are really hoping that we'll see improvement this Thursday.
2. Think back to a time where a team has slowed down your two pass rushers. What did they do to stop them?
MHR: They double teamed Von Miller and tired out DeMarcus Ware. If you want to stop the edge rushers, that is your game plan. Run it Ware's way a bunch early so he gets tired. If the Broncos fail to spell him, he will be blockable man to man in short order.
3. I think many fans in our area are familiar with Chris Harris because of his ties to KU football. Ha, just kidding! No one watches KU football. So who is Chris Harris and why isn't he a household name yet?
MHR: Chris Harris Jr. is my hero. He's my modern age Rod Smith. This kid gets it. When football season starts, he lives, breathes, and eats football for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He doesn't have the size to play starting corner in the NFL...he's a bit short for it. But he has perfected his craft through hard work, solid technique, and football intelligence. He's the best cornerback in the NFL and it was good to see him start to get some recognition for it this off season. You can't find a better defensive back in the NFL who can play either side of the field, defend the slot, and play free safety (yeah...he did all of this last year).
4. What's your confidence level in winning the AFC West now compared to the last three seasons? Do you feel the gap is closing?
MHR: I'm still at the same confidence level. KC has good talent but not dynamic on offense outside of dink, dunk, and run (kinda like us!). Their defense is good, but doesn't have the secondary to really make me a believer. San Diego still has a mess of depth and is living off of Rivers' arm. The Raiders are still the Raiders. I'm more confident in our team's chances in playoff football now though. Fox was a terrible game day coach.
5. Do you feel a need for the Broncos to win the Super Bowl to justify Peyton Manning's return this year? Is he back next year?
MHR: Not even a little. Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. We're lucky he signed with us and I for one appreciate every game he plays in orange and blue. Super Bowl championships are VERY hard to come by. It takes a great team, great coaching, and a little dab of luck to make it happen. I've always been a fan who wants to see his team in the mix. As long as we we are fighting for a playoff spot at the end of the year, then it was a good season.
It is too early to say if he's back next year. I can really see us wanting to move on to Osweiler if Manning continues to play poorly. Father time is undefeated. At some point you have to tap out or your trainer will throw the towel in for you. But anything can happen and I trust our team's coaching and management with those decisions.