Every week, I’ll have the pleasure of grabbing words from somebody who covers the opponent of that week. This week Ty Walden, co-editor of FanSided’s Broncos page Predominantly Orange, was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Follow Ty on Twitter @tyflyguy15 for more updates on everything Broncos.
DD: Denver currently sits at 4-6, third in the AFC West. What’s been the story of the 2018 Denver Broncos?
TW: The biggest story has been the inability to close games out. Minus the Jets game, the Broncos have been in it for at least three quarters. The majority of their losses have been close too. We held the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams to 30 points or under. And both of them just scored 50-plus on each other. Four of Denver’s six losses have been by seven points or less.
If the team would finish the game, Denver could very well be around the same record as the Steelers are at right now. And the reason behind the losses have been poor coaching decisions. However, the win against the Chargers could be a huge confidence boost. Even when things were not going well, this team can find ways to win. It is all about executing in key situations.
DD: The Broncos have an interesting situation at the quarterback spot. Some are fans of Case Keenum, while others don’t think highly of him. What’s your honest assessment of Keenum thus far? Is he a guy Denver would like to start in 2019?
TW: I honestly have a love hate relationship with Case Keenum when it comes to his play at quarterback. But he is a great guy. I just hope that the Denver Broncos have not made a bad decision regarding him. As far as starting beyond this season, it will really depend on how the remainder of this season goes. If he can bring that magic that he had when in Minnesota, then I can see him sticking around.
Denver does have a potential out in his deal for this upcoming off-season, but with the Broncos having to eat $10 million, I doubt they move on from him. But the way I see it, if he struggles, the Broncos could draft a quarterback and have him learn under Keenum and be ready in case. But Keenum does have a great opportunity if he can succeed from here on out.
DD: Von Miller is one of the best defensive players in all of the NFL, but Bradley Chubb is quickly becoming one of the best defensive rookies in the league. What about Chubb makes him so special?
TW: It certainly helps having Von Miller on the other side of the line. But what makes Bradley Chubb so special is his ability to get to the quarterback. He reminds me a bit of a younger Von Miller. Having both of these guys on the field will make it difficult for any quarterback and offensive line.
DD: From a Denver perspective, what match-ups stick out as the most important ones to win on Sunday?
TW: The biggest matchup will be Chris Harris Jr. vs. Antonio Brown. Back in 2015, CHJ went two plus years without allowing a single touchdown to a wide out. Antonio Brown snapped that streak when he scored two touchdowns in their last regular season matchup. I attended that game and I knew that Denver would need to stop Antonio if they were going to close the door, but were unable to.
If Chris Harris Jr. can limit Antonio Brown, it could help to an extent. But there are more weapons for the Steelers that will need to be contained. Another match-up is Freeman and Lindsay against the Steelers front seven. If they can get some solid runs against the top ten run defense of the Steelers, then it will make things a bit easier for the Broncos.
DD: If Denver is able to do (fill in the blank), they will emerge victorious at home against Pittsburgh.
TW: If Denver is able to limit the turnovers, mistakes, and make good coaching decisions, the Broncos will come out victorious at home against the Steelers. Those will be the three key areas that the Broncos need to execute on. If they are able to play a clean game, the Broncos will come away victorious.
Pittsburgh rolls into Denver as three-point favorites, and carry expectations of emerging out of Denver victorious. Will Big Ben be able to keep upright? Can Case Keenum step up and give the Broncos the balanced offense to pull off an upset? Pittsburgh appears to be a better team, but Mile High Stadium has been home to many upsets.