The Denver Broncos head into Week 18 with no possibility of the playoffs, but certainly a lot to play for. Even if the team was just evaluating players for the future, this final week of the regular season is going to be massive. Future jobs are on the line. For some, free agency is on the line. For others, their future with the organization may hang in the balance.
Although not everybody is in the same boat in terms of potentially fighting for their roster lives, there is a lot at stake with this Denver Broncos team both among the players and coaches.
Who is under the most pressure in Week 18? Who would we consider to be on the "hot seat" for one reason or another?
1. Jarrett Stidham, QB
There's absolutely no question that Jarrett Stidham is on the hot seat in Week 18 against the Raiders. Facing off against his former team, Stidham is facing an offseason under the microscope, fair or not. While some people will boil it down to this two-game sample we're getting from Stidham, I personally believe the Broncos have already determined that Stidham can be the QB1 for 2024.
But I also think the perception of Stidham from the majority of the fan base is going to be based on this game. If Stidham plays poorly against the Raiders, that's going to be the lasting taste in everyone's mouth, and no matter how many times you say, "It was just one game", that's not really going to matter to very many people.
Broncos fans want to see results.
Now, on the other end of that, even if Stidham plays great, you're still going to have detractors saying, "It was just one game" or "two games", but at least if Stidham plays well, you'll have something positive to look back on. I think there's a ton of pressure on #4 in this game, most of it coming from the fan base. Fair or not, that's the way it is.