When a team employs the best quarterback in the League, it tends to make other teams plan accordingly. Division rivals are typically the most-affected by a dominating figure such as Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs offense, and while most General Managers opt to fight fire with water (defense), the Denver Broncos have chosen to attempt to fight fire with fire …
… although so far it appears to be them trying to take a lit match to the Great Chicago Fire (and no, by “Great Chicago Fire” I don’t mean Ryan Pace after Trubisky finishes fizzling out).
Let’s take a look at how they are currently (doing a poor job of) emulating the Chiefs offensive roster:
The most important position on the team is obviously also the most important to get correct. General Manager and sugar-cube-enthusiast John Elway has historically failed at this more than Bobby Boucher taking an Advanced Trigonometry test. He is best known for landing then-free-agent Peyton Manning, and has summarily missed at the position basically every time since.
His most recent acquisition has been former Mizzou quarterback Drew Lock, who is mostly known for being big, white, and having a strong arm. Drew has also shown some mobility at times, but mostly it’s the “big white arm” Elway covets.
Why? Because the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs employ a quarterback with … well, a much stronger arm, but the trait is there so he took it faster than he cried to the refs about Arrowhead Stadium crowd noise.
Lock may well end up being a decent quarterback in the League, but he is Best Choice canned meat to Patrick Mahomes’ filet mignon.
If you’re going to invest in a big-armed quarterback, they have to have bodies to throw to, right? Let’s take a quick look at the receivers currently on the Broncos roster (in no particular order):
- Trinity Benson
- Fred Brown
- Tyrie Cleveland
- DaeSean Hamilton
- KJ Hamler
- Kendall Hinton
- Jerry Jeudy
- Zimari Manning
- Kelvin McKnight
- Tim Patrick
- Diontae Spencer
- Courtland Sutton
When you see that list of names, only a few stand out. Courtland Sutton, obviously, is a lock, and truly has potential. So there’s one …
Jerry Jeudy was a top draft pick and has shown some speed, but has he shown “Chiefs” speed? No. He may very well live up to his draft hype and position, but to assume he is going to make Chiefs fans sweat playing against him at this stage is to assume that the Royals will win 100 games next season — I’ll believe it when I see it.
KJ Hamlin was a nice later-round addition, but the same narrative about Jeudy stands for him as well.
After that? A list of guys you will likely never hear of again. Pardon me while I take Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Mecole Hardman over one slightly-proven talent and two complete unknowns. Denver’s wide receiver room is still discount-brand Chiefs.
Tight End Group
I’m not going to dwell much here. Travis Kelce is what Noah Fant fantasizes himself becoming as he cries himself to sleep over a Diet Coke and a bag of chocolate pretzels. Albert O. is even more unproven. Next!
This is where Denver actually has a peg-leg to stand on. Phillip Lindsay, Melvin Gordon, and Royce Freeman form a pretty solid group, if I’m being unbiased (for once). However … running games don’t win championships. Especially not when competing against a Mahomes-led offense.
And Kansas City’s running back stable is fine — great, honestly, for how they tend to utilize this position. Pass catching backs in Damian Williams, DeAndre Washington, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire fit perfectly into how much-better-than-Denver’s-coach Andy Reid usually employs the position.
Since the passing game far outweighs the running game when it comes to offensive production and wins, the Broncos once again take an “L” here.
The Denver Broncos are obviously attempting to build a team like Kansas City, but with far inferior pieces. In the end it will result in yet another catastrophic season or three, until Denver fans finally collectively voice their displeasure over Equine Elway’s team management processes.
They have added some speed, and while Lock may be an upgrade over the Paxton Lynchs and Trevor Siemiens of the world, he is still no League/Super Bowl MVP, First-Team All-Pro Quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
But the imitation IS flattering. Thank you, Denver Broncos, for acknowledging just how much better the Chiefs are than you.