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PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 20: Noah Fant #87 celebrates his touchdown with DaeSean Hamilton #17 of the Denver Broncos during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 20, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
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Mile High Monday: The Broncos are progressing, just not in the win column

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Broncos are off to an 0-2 start. This means the postseason will be unlikely for the team, and in fact they could have another losing season with would be their fourth in a row. Things look bad for the Broncos right now with injuries mounting quickly for this young team and there doesn’t seem to be much of a relief in sight.

I like the heart the Broncos showed in defeat to the Steelers on Sunday. They didn’t win, but there were signs that they’re putting things together – slowly – and certainly slower than fans in Broncos Country want them to get going.
I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

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Matters of the Heart

The Broncos tried their best to win on Sunday, and I like the heart they showed on both sides of the ball. The team kept attacking as much as they could with their offense, even though backup quarterback Jeff Driskel had to play most of the game.

The team had an energy around them, especially with guys like running back Melvin Gordon leading the way on offense. They believed in themselves and that came through in their play. While fans are talking about tanking for Trevor Lawrence (Clemson quarterback and potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft), the players on the field are fighting to win.

After the game, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio commented on the heart his team showed in defeat.

“Our whole team — not just our defense — had great fight. Our defense, outside of three or four plays, played an admirable game. We gave up the long pass, but we shut them down a few times in the second half to allow us to come back and give us some time to do that. We didn’t take advantage of our kick opportunity in the end zone, and they converted a third-and-long on their first drive that we could’ve stopped. I believe we should’ve stopped it, but we didn’t. It was three, four or five plays on defense that cost us from having a really good game. I thought, like you said, the fight was great,” Fangio said.

The old saying goes that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. That’s true, but there is no quit in this team. They could have easily given up, especially after Driskel came into the game. They did not, and that’s a good sign.

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Blitz-Burgh

The Steelers love to blitz. They get after the quarterback better than any team in the league, and they have multiple pass-rushers who can harass opponents early and often. The Broncos offensive line had their work cut out for them on Sunday, and they did not do a good job. On Sunday, Pittsburgh snared 7.0 sacks against the Broncos quarterbacks.

The Steelers lead the NFL with a record 59-straight games with at least 1.0 sack. It was pass-rusher Bud Dupree who used an inside stunt against left tackle Garett Bolles to sack Drew Lock on a play that knocked him out of the game with a shoulder injury.

This could have been the toughest road game for the Broncos this year – yes, even tougher than the upcoming game against the Chiefs on the road later this season. The Steelers certainly get after the quarterback and today was a valuable lesson for the Broncos. Their offensive line performed poorly, and they’ll need to do a better job when Lock gets back in the lineup. Lock himself needs to play better under pressure as a book is being written on him by opposing defenses – but that’s for another article.

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Mama Said

The Broncos have a young secondary, and they were tested against veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday. One cornerback became the favorite target of Roethlisberger and that was Broncos rookie starter Michael Ojemudia. Mama said there would be days like this, and Ojemudia had an incredibly poor day against the Steelers.

Not only did Ojemudia drop an interception, but he also gave up the longest play of the year so far with an 84-yard touchdown surrendered to rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool.

After the game, Fangio talked about Ojemudia’s future in the league.

“If he’s going to play corner in this league for a long time, he’s got to be able to come back from plays like that. He can’t let them linger and he can’t let them affect the next plays that follow. He’s going to get beat. If you play enough snaps in the NFL at corner, you’re going to give up some stuff. The important thing is how you react to them and how you come back. I think Mike is the right kind of guy to do that,” Fangio said.

Fangio is correct. If Ojemudia is going to last in the NFL, then he must learn to have a short memory after bad games like the one he had on Sunday.

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WandaVision

As a big comic book fan, I get excited when a new movie or TV show is coming out that is based on source material from comics or graphic novels. On Sunday, the latest trailer for WandaVision hit the internet and had millions of views within the matter of an hour. It looks like an interesting show to say the least.

I’m not a huge fan of Vision, either in the comics or the movies. He’s an interesting character, but not one I get super excited to read about or watch. However, I do love the Scarlett Witch. She is incredibly powerful and could be one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe if/when she realizes her full power. This show basically takes place in a reality that she created through the grief of losing Vision during Infinity War.

The WandaVision show is coming soon to Disney+ and I cannot wait. Are you excited about this show? Hit me up on social media and let me know!