Denver7 | SportsBroncos


No Von, but 'no surrender' promises coach Vic Fangio

Bridgewater admits offense has to play better
Broncos Browns Football
Posted at 2:49 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 17:21:21-04

ENGLEWOOD — Hugs and tears — that's how Von Miller left the Broncos on Monday, his iconic career in Denver over after general manager George Paton traded him to the Rams for second and third round picks in 2022.

Where do the Broncos go from here? At 4-4, do they have delusions of adequacy or will the players reward Paton's Ted Lasso belief in them by going on a run?

"There's no surrendering here. We talked to the team about that. We have confidence in the players that will step in for him. We have confidence in our team that still has the opportunity to improve a lot," said Fangio, who admitted it was a tough goodbye with Miller on Monday. "That's what we are counting on. There's no surrender."

The Broncos sit a half game out of a playoff berth despite a soul-crushing four-game losing streak last month. They remain in the mix, but realistically must play significantly better than they did against Washington to stay relevant.

Over their next four games the Broncos face Dallas on the road, Philadelphia, Chargers and travel to Kansas City. Win two, and the Broncos can sell hope with a straight face.

But no one is giving this team the benefit of the doubt. Not after posting the league's third worst record since winning Super Bowl 50 and using 10 starting quarterbacks.

The players know this.

"If people think we are tanking with what happened with Von, that's their prerogative. There's no way we can change that other than with our play on the field," said safety Justin Simmons, who delivered his best performance of the season last week with two interceptions. "I talked about it during the four weeks we were losing. Everyone was asking what was going on, and I am explaining it. And it doesn't matter what I say or how well I put it. We weren't winning. That's all that matters. No matter how great I feel about this team, it doesn't matter unless we win."

Pulling off a victory in Dallas would represent a defining moment this season. The Broncos are 9.5 point underdogs according to SuperBookSports, even with the uncertainty of quarterback Dak Prescott's status, though he practiced Wednesday with his calf issue.

The Cowboys average 32.1 points per game, compared to the Broncos' 19.6. I asked Teddy Bridgewater how the Broncos can improve as stated as necessary by Paton.

"Now it's time to put it all together: the explosives, the quicks, the screens, being efficient on first and second down. Last week might have been one of our best weeks on third down (7-for-13). We were better in the red zone. There were some positives to take away from it, but I agree with George," said Bridgewater, who has nine touchdowns and five interceptions over the past five games. "I think we can be better by not only putting our guys in position to make plays, but to make those explosive plays."

Callahan, Bolles out
Injuries continue to spoil Bryce Callahan's career in Denver. When healthy, he has been the team's best quarterback the past three seasons. However, he missed the 2019 campaign, played only 10 games a year ago, and, after hyperextending his left knee last Sunday might be sidelined for the remainder of this season. The Broncos will place Callahan on injured reserve, knocking him out for the next three weeks. Nate Hairston, Kyle Fuller and Essang Bassey are candidates to replace him.

Left tackle Garett Bolles (high ankle sprain) will miss the second game of his career on Sunday. He will not go on the IR, a good sign. His good friend Calvin Anderson will replace Bolles in the lineup.

Bassey and fellow cornerbacks Mike Ford and Duke Dawson were designated to return off the IR, opening their 21-day practice window to be activated.

Courtland Sutton will be returning to his home state this Sunday. He grew up in Texas, starred at SMU and played in the Cowboys stadium in the state high school playoffs.

While three corners were designated for return, Michael Ojemudia (hamstring) is not ready yet.

Bradley Chubb continues progressing following ankle surgery and is expected back, as of now, for the Chargers game on Nov. 28. He was running on a side field during practice Wednesday.