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DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 25: Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos smiles as he celebrates a first quarter touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field at Mile High on October 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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Mile High Monday: Lock struggles, Lindsay shines and Fant stands tall

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The Broncos were embarrassed at home on Sunday by the Chiefs. Kansas City didn’t even have to break a sweat and they were able to beat Denver by a whopping score of 43-16 in Week 7.

It’s like the Chiefs weren’t even really trying and they still beat Denver by a country mile. Everyone was wondering just how good the Broncos are after back-to-back victories over the Jets and the Patriots. On Sunday, the answer of “not very good” was apparent and heartbreaking for those in Broncos Country.

I like when games are competitive. The Broncos were a team last year who lost close games, but seemed to play well for their head coach. This year, the Broncos were supposed to be a team who won those close games as they built for perhaps a playoff run.

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.


He’s No Jedi

Last week, Broncos starting quarterback Drew Lock admitted it was fun to put on the Darth Vader mask when facing his hometown Chiefs. Lock grew up in Kansas City and was a fan of the Chiefs – until he made it to the pros and became a division rival. Now, he painted himself as the main villain from the classic Star Wars movies.

Social media went wild with the memes about Lock being a Dark Lord of the Sith. On Sunday, Lock didn’t even look good enough to be categorized as an Imperial stormtrooper in the Star Wars universe – let alone a Jedi or a Sith.

Lock needs to be better. There are too many times that Lock will only look at his initial target. He makes up his mind where he’s going with the ball before the ball is snapped and that decision does not change based on what the defense does as the play unfolds. This is what causes the passes from Lock that are off the mark or picked off by defenders. Against the Chiefs, Lock was picked off two times making it five interceptions over the last two weeks.

In addition to bad throws – either intercepted or incomplete – Lock’s bad habit of staying with his initial read also leads to him running from pressure as he’s holding the ball too long. This leaves him scrambling for help and/or throwing the ball away.

If Lock wants to be a “force-wielder” like Vader, he must have more nuance to his game. I’d like to see him throw with better anticipation, look off defenders and understand how to properly read a defense.


More Lindsay, Less Gordon

Phillip Lindsay is the best running back on the Broncos roster. He’s a better running back than Melvin Gordon, although it’s Gordon who is the highly-paid player while Lindsay is still playing on an undrafted rookie deal – even after compiling back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

On Sunday, we saw Lindsay provide a spark to the Broncos offense. Anytime he touches the ball, Lindsay seemed to rip off big plays and was helping the offense to move the chains with his efforts. His day was cut short on a helmet-to-helmet hit and Lindsay was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Hopefully, Lindsay can get through the concussion protocol this week and get back on the field for Week 8.

After Lindsay was knocked out, Gordon came into the game and quickly had his first of two fumbles on Sunday. Where Lindsay had burst and energy to his runs, Gordon lacked creativity and couldn’t get more than what was blocked for him.

Gordon is here and I don’t think he’s going anywhere, but is the team just wasting their time with him on the roster? A backfield that featured Lindsay and used Royce Freeman as a backup would be as good or perhaps even better than a Lindsay/Gordon backfield. The Broncos are stuck with his contract and now they’re facing his old team (that doesn’t miss him) in Week 8.


Noah’s Arc

The Broncos have a keeper in 2019 first-round pick Noah Fant. He had a good rookie season in 2019, but there were some ups and downs in his first season. After good games, Fant was always humble when getting interviewed in the locker room. After bad games, Fant was honest and accepted his blame unabashedly.

I always enjoy talking to Fant because of his honesty. He’s usually the biggest critic about his game and does not shy away from bad play while he works to get better. When healthy, Fant has proven to be the best weapon in Denver’s passing attack. He’s not at full strength, but Fant was out there battling against the Chiefs on Sunday.

Fant has done a good job of accepting responsibility for his play on the field. He is clearly not himself as that injury is slowing him down yet Fant will not use that as an excuse. The Broncos don’t hit on every first-round pick, but they have a player to keep building around in Fant.


Where is Utopia?

I don’t get a chance to watch much television during the regular season of the NFL. I was told by multiple friends that I needed to make time for a show called “Utopia” on Amazon Prime after I was done watching “The Boys” season two. I waited a few weeks before starting the show because of time crunches that abound during this time of year.

However, over the weekend I was able to start watching “Utopia” and now want to get through the first season as fast as possible. I watched three episodes of the new show on Saturday and am working feverishly to get my work done on Sunday so I can sneak in another episode.

The show is right up my alley as a comic book fan. Not to give too much away, but “Utopia” is a show about a conspiracy theory surrounding an underground comic book during a pandemic. Those who believe in “Utopia” know that the clues about what is going on in society is hidden within the pages of the dark and twisted comic book. I’m only a few episodes in and the twists and turns have been shocking and fun.

Are you watching or have you watched “Utopia?” What did you think? Hit me up on social media and let me know!