2. What ‘rookie wall’?
If there is a ‘rookie wall’, it’s pretty obvious that Noah Fant hit it early in the season and his breakthrough in the past couple of games is as encouraging of a development as any for the Broncos at this particular point in time.
Although the Broncos need to scrap the page of running plays designed for Fant in their playbook, he’s becoming the threat this team hoped for in the passing game.
Against the Vikings, Fant caught four passes for 60 yards, including a big fourth-down conversion late in the game to keep the Broncos’ hopes of winning alive.
Even when Fant was struggling, he was good for at least one play of 15-20 yards or more per game. Those plays are becoming more and more frequent and in his past two games, he has seven catches for 175 yards and a touchdown.
He was the target of the final play of the game against the Vikings, and although it didn’t work out, I love that the Broncos went to him in that situation. I would have loved to have seen Courtland Sutton get some targets in that final sequence of plays, but Fant was drafted not only for his insane athleticism at the tight end position but also the fact that he is a complete mismatch in the red zone.
If I’m being picky, that throw from Brandon Allen had way too much stank on it and if he had put some air under it, I wonder if Fant wouldn’t have been able to fight off the defensive back and make the catch.
We’ll never know.
At any rate, Fant’s development since hitting rock-bottom against the Kansas City Chiefs about a month ago is a huge development for the Broncos, and him following up a stellar performance against the Browns with yet another strong game against the Vikings is a great sign.