At 0-2, all is not lost for the Denver Broncos
They can win this week vs. Brady
Broncos wide-receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) is done for the year and quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) is out for a few weeks.
Not only for Denver, but Week 2 was a massacre of injuries across the NFL — Nick Bosa and Saquon Barkley are just the tip of the iceberg of luminaries headed to the training room.
We’re sure you all knew that Jeff Driskel was Denver’s backup quarterback and you’re doubtless encouraged that the team has signed Blake Bortles. (I did hear Colin Kaepernick was available.)
After a 26-21 loss at Pittsburgh with Driskel under center, the Broncos fell to 0-2 and the Centennial State is doubtless getting ready to write off football season.
Don’t. (Although rooting obsessively for the Nuggets in their series against the Lakers is a most worthy cause.)
Sure, it would be better to be 2-0, but the Broncos almost won in Pittsburgh with Driskel, who wasn’t half bad (18-for-34 for 256 yards, two touchdowns and a pick).
Ideally, the Broncos would have beaten the Titans in Week 1, but even with Lock healthy, winning in Pittsburgh was going to be a stretch. Yes, this feels like a repeat of last season with the Broncos starting 0-4, losing a lot of close games.
I still think this team is better than last year, even with the injuries. For crying out loud, the Bears and the Raiders are 2-0. It’s early, people.
Denver beats Tampa Bay — yes, it’s Tom Brady — this week and the Broncos are right back in it. Beat Tampa Tom and Denver has the Jets on Thursday night to start Week 4. Bam, 2-2. Further, aren’t Denver sports fans used to coming from behind these days?
Yes, the injuries are crushing, but the Broncos have depth. No Sutton? OK, Jerry Jeudy time. No Phillip Lindsay? That’s why John Elway got Melvin Gordon.
What’s more Tom Brady is 43. This ain’t Brady, and Rob Gronkowski (oh, wait a minute) and the big, bad Patriots (nope) and, most importantly, Bill Belichick (definitely no longer with Brady) coming to town.
Have a little faith, people. This isn’t climbing Everest. This is beating the Tampa Bay Bucs in Denver and 43-year-old quarterback. Tampa is 1-4 all-time in Denver. Brady, with the Patriots, is 2-7 against the Broncos at altitude.
Congratulations to the Giants and Jets for their wonderful turf at MetLife Stadium. Bosa, Jimmy Garappolo and Solomon Thomas were all injured on said surface in Week 2 against the Jets. Lest you think that this is just the 49ers fan complaining, Steelers offenisve-tackle Zach Banner went down in a heap (ACL) during Week 1 against the Giants.
The NFL mints money. The least it can do is use grass or put down safe turf to protect its players.
Rising and falling
Rising: Reports of New England’s demise are premature. Even in their loss to Seattle, the Pats looked good. Speaking of that game, the Seahawks are now the team to beat in the NFC West.
Falling: The Vikings are 0-2 and they’ve been blown out of the building twice. I really never got Kirk Cousins as an elite quarterback.
Rising: The Arizona Cardinals. We called this one before the season. They’re 2-0 and play the Lions, Panthers and Jets the next three weeks.
Falling: The Cowboys pulled out a miracle comeback, thanks to Atlanta’s incompetence. But Dallas is overhyped every season. This is an 8-8 or 9-7 team and nothing more.
Still good: The Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers and Packers.
Games to watch in Week 3
• “Monday Night Football” has a pearl with Kansas City at Baltimore. That game has AFC home-field advantage implications.
• Raiders at Patriots: Are the Raiders for real at 2-0? Probably not.
• Packers at Saints: Older quarterbacks like Brady and Drew Brees are showing their age. Aaron Rodgers is not.
The Bears legend died at 77 on Wednesday. I grew up watching NFL Films and he was something to behold. The Kansas Comet was indeed a brief comet for the NFL; we only wish he could have been healthy for more of his career.
And, if you’re featured in a movie with Billy Dee Williams and James Caen, well, so much the better.
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