In this new edition of the Broncos Fanzone, I interview Mile High Huddle’s Brandon Perna and give his takes on the Broncos this season.
The regular season is just about over now. Only one more game against the San Diego Chargers awaits for the Broncos. It is their regular season home finale as they will look to play at least one postseason game at home.
The scenario is simple. As long as the Broncos come away with a victory on Sunday afternoon, they will clinch the AFC West and get a first round bye. This guarantees that they will have the divisional game in Denver.
If by some miracle the Dolphins are able to beat the Patriots early on in the day, this would give the Broncos a great chance to have the AFC road to the Super Bowl go through the city of Denver.
A lot is at stake for this game, and the Broncos could not have drawn a better chance on paper than a meeting with their AFC West rivals.
This will be the last Broncos Fanzone article for the regular season. With how much of a success it has been, this segment will be brought back for the playoffs. There will be at least one postseason fanzone segment. However, I am hoping for more than one.
For the final regular season segment of the Broncos Fanzone, I got to talk to Brandon Perna. He is one of the analysis over at Mile High Huddle. He normally covers the previews and recaps and whatever else he is thinking about. He is also one of the three hosts on the podcast In The Huddle, where they talk Broncos every Thursday.
So, I begin by asking Brandon about Monday’s game against the Bengals. It was quite a remarkable win that got them into the postseason. I asked him who he gives credit to for the win.
“I’d give this whole team credit for this win, as they had to dig themselves out of a hole coming out of halftime. The defense shut the Bengals down in the second half, only allowing three points. They punted five times in the half and ended the game on a fumble.”
“I think C.J. Anderson deserves credit for his 39-yard touchdown run as well as Demaryius Thomas and Owen Daniels whom both made big plays late in the game.”
Agreed Brandon. My biggest thing was the defense shutting down A.J. McCarron. After a huge first half from him, the Broncos adjusted in the second half and focused on keeping him on his toes.
As far as Anderson’s run, that was a thing of beauty. I thought he would have been brought down in the backfield, but he kept going and made the cut he needed to go all the way. And Thomas’ one handed catch towards the end was awesome.
Now that the Broncos have punched their ticket into the postseason, I asked Brandon how confident he is in the Broncos in January.
“I honestly have mixed feelings about the chances for success. On one hand, you have an elite defense that can and will keep this team in every game they play. But on the other hand, you have a young quarterback with zero playoff experience.”
“In addition to his inexperience, he has to lead the team behind a struggling offensive line. Even if the O-Line continues to struggle, I think that if the skills position players play flawless football, the Broncos can make the Super Bowl.”
“I don’t see the line improving. However, between Sanders, Thomas, and Anderson this offense has the guys that can carry them.”
Good points Brandon. I am kind of curious myself to see how Brock Osweiler will do in the playoffs. Although, as we have seen in the games, he is somewhat of that old school guy who does not get rattled when the going gets tough.
If he can keep up that composure in January, I think the Broncos have a solid chance to get to Santa Clara for the Super Bowl. And I agree that Sanders, Thomas, Anderson and the other skill players will play a huge part in getting far too.
Speaking of Osweiler, the guy has been impressive in my eyes (4-2 as a starter, 1735 yards passing, 9 TD, 4 INT) so I give him a passing grade thus far. Brandon, what do you think of Osweiler?
“The thing that impresses me the most about Osweiler is the game never seems to get too big for him. We learned a lot about his willingness to finish a game against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football.”
“He seems to stay composed even when things get bad for the offense. He’s also done a good job at not turning the ball over, and that is always a positive thing for a young QB.”
“What he can improve on getting rid of the ball out of his hands a little bit quicker. He’s also taken too many sacks, (22 sacks in six games)and doesn’t make his reads as fast as a guy like Manning would, but that can only improve as he sees more playing time.”
As I just mentioned, but always a good point is that the pressure never does get to him. The game is not too big for him. And as Brandon pointed out, his willingness to finish a game is commendable. We saw that in games against the Patriots and Bengals.
With the Chargers coming to town for perhaps the last time representing the city of San Diego, I asked Brandon what he thinks the key to winning this game will be.
“The main thing the Broncos need to do against the Chargers is not make any mistakes. They are the better football team and should win this game handily. That is what worries me about this game because the Broncos seem to play up or down to the levels of their opponents this season.”
“This game will not do anything for the Chargers and Phillip Rivers other than to play spoiler, so they will go down swinging. If the Broncos are not prepared mentally they could let this slip away like against Oakland.”
“San Diego will have 17 players on injured reserve heading into this game and will be without many of their starters, so every sign points to the Broncos winning this game.”
Agreed Brandon. If there is one thing the Broncos can’t afford to do in this game, it is to make any mistakes. And take advantage of every opportunity they get. Even though the Chargers sit at 4-11, never underestimate a division opponent.
The Broncos have already fallen to the Raiders and Chiefs at home this season, so finishing the season with a home win against the Chargers would be the finishing touches to a solid regular season.
Now, Brandon, what are your bold predictions for this game?
“If the Broncos play the way they should, this game will be a blowout. That is my bold prediction. The Broncos want a bye week, need a bye week, and should run the ball and throw the ball effectively against a depleted San Diego secondary.”
“I am also confident that with an extremely banged up offensive line for the Chargers that Denver’s front seven should have a field day this weekend. My second bold prediction is that they get more sacks than they have in any other game this season.”
Well said Brandon. And I thank you for taking the time out for this interview. Go check out Brandon Perna over at Mile High Huddle to take a look at what he has been working on. Go Broncos!