Why aren’t Broncos’ Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler matching other rookies’ success?
Denver Post Broncos writer Ryan O’Halloran posts his Broncos Mailbag weekly during the season. Submit questions to Ryan here.
It’s very hard for me to be optimistic about the team when there is so much controversy at the top of the organization. When can we expect the team to be sold to Jeff Bezos and can you even begin to comprehend the implications of that?
— Matthew Booth, El Paso, Texas
According to a Google search, I came across a 2018 Forbes story stating that there are 2,200 billionaires in the world. That list would be a good place to start since the Broncos could fetch as much as $3 billion. Bezos could afford that, easily.
To your question/comment about a lack of optimism in the Broncos. You’re not alone, Matthew. I hear from fans on a weekly basis saying they love the franchise, but are fed up with the on-field performance and off-field tumult.
A new owner, which seems like a safe bet since the Bowlen children aren’t expected to unanimously endorse Brittany as the next controlling owner, will be a fascinating story to watch in terms of how much they pay, who they keep and who they bring in.
Stop me when this sounds familiar: The defense played the Chiefs’ offense about as well as you could ask for three quarters. Of course, the offense lost the game. It’s happened under three head coaches and a handful of quarterbacks and offensive coordinators. Doesn’t that make John Elway the common denominator?
— Steve, Forks, Wash.
As I pointed out in Tuesday’s paper, the Broncos’ defense didn’t allow a third-down conversion and only one offensive touchdown in the first three quarters. But they also allowed 15 plays that gained at least 10 yards.
The Broncos’ pass rush is starting to get cranked up (14 sacks in last three games), but they need to boost their anemic offense by creating more takeaways (six this year).
Yes, Elway is the thread between all of the head coaches and all of the coordinators and all of the quarterbacks. So yes, he deserves a share of the blame if this season really spirals downward.
Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler came to the Broncos with a lot of hype. So far, other rookie receivers like Chase Claypool and Justin Jefferson have been more productive. I know Hamler’s been limited by injury, but is this more a result of poor QB play or poor performance?
— Robert, Orlando
Jefferson would have been the receiver I targeted if Jeudy wasn’t on the board at No. 15 and the Broncos possibly traded down. He has 28 catches for 537 yards (eye-popping 19.2-yard average) and three touchdowns for Minnesota.
Claypool was a second-round pick by Pittsburgh and has 18 catches for 333 yards and six total touchdowns.
Jeudy has 19 catches for 286 yards and one touchdown (six games) and Hamler has eight catches for 102 yards (three games).
Jefferson and Claypool are catching passes from veteran quarterbacks, Kirk Cousins and Ben Roethlisberger, respectively. That plays into it since veteran passers are more willing to throw into traffic.
Melvin Gordon has had some good moments since we’ve signed him, but man, can he not hold on to the rock? Any chance we can trade him for some draft capital or a young prospect? Signing Gordon was definitely the most perplexing move we made in the offseason.
— Peter, Denver
Gordon can’t stay out of his own way due to fumbles (he’s lost two this year, not including the errant flea-flicker flip), an illness that sidelined him for the New England game and, of course, his DUI earlier this month. A league suspension appears inevitable.
On the field, Gordon has 82 carries for 349 yards and four touchdowns and carries great value to the Broncos because Phillip Lindsay (concussion) is injured.
I don’t think Gordon would have any kind of trade market because of his legal issues. Why would a contending team with a tailback need acquire him knowing he may not be eligible to play in December?
Drew Lock has not looked all that great since he’s come back from injury. Is his timing off or is he not as good as the hype that surrounded him? Also, why were we playing Noah Fant so much on Sunday? The dude was not 100% and he looked every bit of it.
— Mychal, Wheat Ridge
Fant, after missing the New England game with an ankle injury, played 54-of-77 offensive snaps (70%) against Kansas City.
Jake Butt and Andrew Beck were inactive with hamstring injuries, so that equaled more playing time for Fant, Nick Vannett (35 snaps) and Albert Okwuegbunam (31).
You’re right — Fant did look hobbled from time to time, but he fought through it.