Editor’s Note: We’re very lucky here at BLD to be part of Fansided, a wide-reaching network with blogs for every NFL team (as well as a huge selection of NBA, NHL, MLB, and other blogs as well). We’d be dumb not to take advantage of these resources, so welcome to our weekly feature: Behind Enemy Lines. Each week, we’ll be checking in with the staff from the Fansided blog representing the Bills’ opponent for that the week.
This week we’re checking in with Kim Constantinesco, editor of Predominantly Orange, Fansided’s excellent Broncos blog. Kim and her staff put out a ton of great content, so be sure to check out Predominantly Orange for all Broncos-related information. A big thank you to Kim for taking the time to answer some questions for us as we get ready for Buffalo’s home finale Saturday afternoon.
1) While it’s not a done deal yet, the Broncos are certainly in good shape to make the playoffs. Assuming they get in, are they doomed to be one-and-done or can this team make a run in the AFC?
The NFL playoffs are a lot like March Madness in the way the post season play is set up. The great thing about NFL playoffs is the probability for a Cinderella team to emerge. Look at the Seahawks beating the Saints in the first round last year.
If the Broncos get in they will probably be at the No. 4 spot which means they could likely take on the Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 5 seed?) in Denver. That’s a winnable game in my opinion and then who knows. The Broncos have surprised many this year both in terms of their overall record and in terms of how they thrive at the end of games. Broncos fans are hoping the team thrives at the end of the season as well.
2) A lot of Bills fans I know were heartbroken when the Broncos snapped up Von Miller with the 2nd pick in last year’s draft. Just how good has he been as a rookie?
Everyone is excited about Von Miller right now. He complements Elvis Dumervil in the pass rush and he’s an explosive threat every game. Miller is 8th in the league in sacks with 12.0 this season. He’s set all kinds of rookie records already. In the past, teams would double Dumervil, but they can’t do that with Miller on the field. You can’t double both, so it presents a big obstacle when offenses prepare for the Broncos.
At first people were wondering why Fox and Co. didn’t take a defensive tackle (i.e. Marcell Dareus) with the 2nd overall pick because that was the team’s biggest hole. Now no one looks back on the decision to draft Miller. He will likely get the defensive rookie of the year award.
3) This year’s run has been incredible, but is this team ready to contend for the next few years? What weaknesses will have to be addressed this offseason?
The team is building in the right direction to contend in the future. The biggest off season need is at defensive tackle. The team brought in veteran Ty Warren but he was placed on the IR before the season started. They could use some depth there. Then the team needs youth in the secondary (primarily at cornerback). John Fox utilizes a heavy run game and at 30 years old Willis McGahee can’t play for this team long term and carry the bulk of the load. He needs a complimentary back like John Fox had with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams in Carolina. Finally, the team could needs depth at QB. That’s not to say that Tim Tebow is not their guy. It’s just insurance.
4) All right, I can’t hold back any longer…let’s talk Tebow. Is John Elway serious that Tebow’s the man for this franchise going forward? Or should Tim except some competition when training camp opens in 2012?
It took you four questions to get to Tebow? That might be a record. The Broncos front office fully endorses Tim Tebow. He will start the 2012 season at QB, but I expect the Broncos to pick up a QB in the middle rounds of the draft. Again, that’s not a knock on Tebow. All the Broncos have right now is Brady Quinn and he will most likely look to play somewhere else since he hasn’t taken a regular season snap since 2009. The team needs a good Plan B should Tebow fall victim to the injury bug.
The lockout hurt Tebow’s development as much if not more than any player in the league. He couldn’t work with team coaches to correct his mechanics, and the team doesn’t want to do that midway through the season so this off season will be about developing the young QB. John Elway has already said that he plans to lace up the shoes and work with Tebow on the practice field.
5) Any other players that maybe don’t get a lot of love from the media that we should keep on an eye on Saturday?
Willis McGahee is on a tear this season. He’s 11th in rushing and he steadily keeps the chains moving while taking pressure off of Tim Tebow. With that said, the Broncos offensive line is doing an incredible job opening things up for the run game and giving Tebow plenty of time in the pocket to go through his reads.
Defensively, CB Chris Harris is an undrafted rookie that has been a big contributor on this team. He has 60 tackles and 1 INT on the season and he’s even started for the Broncos. He’s a fun guy to watch and rarely misses a tackle. Great pick up by the Broncos.
6) How about a prediction for the game?
Broncos recover from last week’s loss and realize that with a win in Buffalo and an Oakland loss, they secure a playoff spot.
Broncos – 31 Bills – 20.