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Do the Broncos Require a Long-Term or Short-Term Fix?

The Broncos could easily be 7-4. But sadly, that is not the case. So what went wrong for the Broncos, and does it require a long-term or short-term fix?
DaeSean Hamilton

Is trying to fix the Denver Broncos a short-term or long-term issue? They say that the direction a team is headed is clear once you hit Thanksgiving. Typically, a 3-8 team is one in need of a massive overhaul and rebuild. For the Broncos, that is not true. The Broncos are not your regular 3-8 team.

They suffered heartbreaking last-second losses to the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, and Minnesota Vikings. Games that at one point the Broncos, according to ESPN had a 92.4%, 92.2%, 82.5% and 95.8% chance of winning. The Broncos could very easily be a 7-4 team, heading into Thanksgiving in a race to make the playoffs. But sadly, that is not the case. So what went wrong for the Broncos this year, and does it require a long-term rebuild or short-term fix?

Short-Term of Long-Term Fix for the Denver Broncos?

This year, like the last four years, the Broncos were lacking in quarterback production. Between Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen, there have been flashes of good quarterback play, but that has not been sustained for a whole game. In the NFL today, winning games often comes down to staying on the field on third down in crucial scenarios, and not providing the opposing team’s offense an opportunity to score.

The Broncos, due to their poor quarterback play, often played too conservatively by attempting to run out games in the fourth, instead of passing and clinching wins. This conservative play-calling allowed teams to crawl back into games that they had no business winning.

Simply put, the Broncos need a quarterback who they can rely on to make plays down the stretch of close games. Flacco and Allen are not it. The question is, do the Broncos have someone on their roster who can do that? Answer: Drew Lock.

Is Drew Lock the Solution?

Many experts had Lock as their number one quarterback in last year’s draft. The Broncos were able to steal him in the second round. Lock can make all the throws, and he has a lot of Patrick Mahomes in him. The issue is (and this may scare some Bronco fans), he also has lots of Jay Cutler in him. He panics under pressure and struggles to maintain composure and go through all his progressions when the pocket begins to collapse.

Now, that is common for a young quarterback, and he has above average mobility, which will allow him to make plays outside the pocket when the protection breaks down. I believe Drew Lock will start the rest of the games for the Broncos this year, and the coaching staff and management will get a good look and be able to evaluate if Lock is the quarterback of the future.

If Lock can prove to be the quarterback of the future, then the Broncos can automatically be contenders once again. They truly do not have many other weaknesses on their roster. Their offensive line is still suspect in terms of their tackles. But outside of that, they have playmakers at all other positions.

The Supporting Cast

Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are a great duo out of the backfield and combined with Andy Janovich’s blocking, they make for a very intriguing run game. Courtland Sutton has proven himself as a true #1 receiver, though they still need an additional receiver to support him. Luckily, this upcoming draft is filled with top-tier wide-receiver talent.

The Broncos, even with all their injuries and after a very suspect start, are ranked among the top in all defensive categories this year. So if Lock can be a franchise quarterback, and the Broncos are able to find some help on the offensive line, they can compete as soon as next year.

What happens if Lock isn’t the guy? Well, the answer is simple. They will have to draft a quarterback. The Broncos will probably draft within the first seven picks, and either Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, or Joe Burrow will likely be available. All three are projected to be future franchise quarterbacks and start right away.

However, Broncos Country should hope that the Broncos can trust Lock, and instead draft an offensive lineman. Both Andrew Thomas and Tristan Wirfs would be able to help the Broncos with their offensive tackle woes and would be safe picks early in the draft.

Broncos Fix Can Be Short Term

If the Broncos like what they see down the stretch, they can address their other (few) deficiencies in the draft. And, suddenly, it would be hard to find a real weakness on this roster. This may have been a tough season for Broncos Country to watch. But they may just get back to our winning ways sooner rather than later. The 3-8 Broncos may only require a short-term fix and could be ready to contend in the coming years.

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