Many Denver Broncos fans are celebrating the team’s 2-0 start to the 2018 season. While the Broncos look like an improved team, a 2-0 start does not guarantee success. After all, the Broncos started last season 2-0 as well. 2017 saw the Broncos enter their week five bye with a 3-1 record. Everyone remembers that the team crumbled after that, limping to a final 5-11 record. In order to avoid the same travesty happening again, the Denver Broncos still need to improve multiple areas of their play.
Where Do the 2-0 Denver Broncos Still Need to Improve to Continue Winning?
Case Keenum Needs to Improve
Case Keenum has done just enough to keep the team from losing. While Keenum has undoubtedly performed better than the Broncos’ 2017 quarterbacks, he hasn’t exactly performed well, either. The Denver Broncos still need to improve their offense performances, which ultimately lands on Keenum’s shoulders. Heading into the team’s week three matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, Keenum has completed just 59.5 percent of his passes. He has thrown for only 551 yards to go with three touchdowns against four interceptions. Keenum will need to put the ball in the end zone and limit his interceptions to keep the Broncos in the thick of a very competitive AFC West.
Demaryius Thomas Needs to Step Up or Step Down
As stated earlier, Keenum hasn’t been awful, but the Broncos were fortunate enough to play two 0-2 teams in their first two games. That being said, the blame isn’t entirely on Keenum. With the exception of Emmanuel Sanders, the Broncos’ receivers haven’t done Keenum many favors. Most notably long-time receiver Demaryius Thomas, who has struggled mightily thus far in 2018. After two years of steady decline, fans hoped that playing with a competent quarterback like Keenum would revive Thomas’ historic career. That has not been the case. According to Pro Football Reference, Thomas has just a 52.4 catch percentage. By comparison, teammate Sanders’ catch percentage sits at 93.3 percent. If Thomas cannot improve on his drops and separation, the Broncos might need to consider giving more snaps to promising rookie Courtland Sutton.
Cover the “Hot” Receiver
Once a position of unquestioned strength, the Broncos’ secondary has been nothing short of awful. If not for a premiere pass rush (and a miraculous play by a depth receiver), the Broncos could easily be 0-2 based on the play of their leaky secondary. Getting torched by Seattle Seahawks rookie tight end Will Dissly (three catches, 102 yards, one touchdown) was an embarrassing way to start the season. One week later, the Oakland Raiders had their way against the Broncos’ secondary. Most notably Amari Cooper, who caught fire with 10 catches for 116 yards. Cooper’s consistent production kept the ball in the Raiders’ hands for most of the first half.
Find Consistency at Cornerback
Thus far, the Broncos third cornerback trio of Adam Jones, Tramaine Brock, and Brendan Langley and Isaac Yiadom have been disastrous in coverage. Bradley Roby, who was the heir-apparent to the departed Aqib Talib has looked outmatched. This was especially evident against Cooper, who routinely beat Roby on small, uncontested routes. The Broncos still need to improve the play of their secondary to complement their dynamic pass rush. This task won’t be easy, as the Broncos face a reloaded Baltimore Ravens offense led by Joe Flacco. The Broncos will have their hands full covering Flacco’s new offensive weapons such as Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead IV.