Denver Broncos: 3 Keys to Beating the LA Chargers

Denver Broncos (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

After the much-needed bye week, the Denver Broncos find themselves in the awkward position between an unlikely playoff spot and a better draft choice.

The idea of tanking for a draft pick is something it would be hard to believe the Denver Broncos aspire to.  As one of the most successful NFL franchises over the last 30-years, the Broncos have established a reputation.  A reputation that certainly would not suffer the idea of tanking.

That said, the Broncos are in desperate need in a couple of positions, most notably at quarterback.  The reality of the NFL is that you can fill most positions, even skill positions, anywhere in the draft.  See Phillip Lindsay, Rod Smith, Terrell Davis or Chris Harris Jr. for Broncos that have succeeded despite low (or no) draft position.

The place where the gamble is real and what first-round picks are seemingly for is at quarterback.  Yes, Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick, it’s not impossible to get a late-round gem, it’s just really unlikely.  Of the current top-10 NFL quarterbacks, only three (Brady, Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins) are other than first-round picks.  Even in the first-round it can be a crapshoot as evidenced by the Paxton Lynch flameout.  Lynch was always a gamble with a first-round pick and it was known early that Denver GM John Elway reached for Lynch on potential.

There are more Patrick Mahomes‘ out there.  If Denver is truly considering Gary Kubiak for a replacement offensive coordinator as reported this week, it’s worth noting that his play-action heavy style would ultimately want a quarterback that is not on the Broncos roster.  With due respect to veteran Case Keenum, Denver needs a more dynamic player at the most important position on the field.

We mentioned kicking the tires on Colin Kaepernick and were met with the same, tired arguments.  Kaepernick may or may not be able to play and/or assimilate but you can’t convince us that it isn’t worth a look. We’re not saying hand him the reins, we are saying he’s worth a look.    There is literally zero risk and there’s just not a lot else out there beyond backups and retreads.

In the meantime, they still have seven more games to play and have not been eliminated from playoff contention just yet.  Sunday’s game in Los Angeles against the Chargers is a tall order to begin a rebuild, particularly with news that Joey Bosa will be returning to the Chargers lineup, so what will the Broncos need to do to pull out a victory?  Let’s look: