Broncos vs. Bucs Open Thread/Live Blog | Week 3

Chad Jensen

Once again, the Denver Broncos are underdogs. At home. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 6-point favorites at Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday. The Broncos have been underdogs in each game this season but so far, although they've lost each game, they've covered the spread in both. 

This week, it's another future Hall-of-Fame quarterback rolling into town and one that frankly hasn't had a ton of success at Mile High. Tom Brady might be in a new football city, sporting a new uniform, but he's the same quarterback, at least, he is mentally. 

Physically, the 43-year-old Brady might have lost some of the mustard on his heater but he's still got that football brain that has seen everything the NFL has to throw at a QB over the last two decades. And this time, the collection of talent around him has been significantly upgraded. 

The Broncos won't be able to play coverage on Sunday and hope to keep Brady in check. He'll sit back in the pocket and dissect the Broncos rookie cornerbacks with the dink and dunk. Vic Fangio has a plan. Here's to hoping it works. 

Meanwhile, it's the Jeff Driskel show for the Broncos offense. With no Courtland Sutton and a banged-up Jerry Jeudy, Driskel will have to feed other playmakers but the good news is, there are more than one or two. 

Tight end Noah Fant and running back Melvin Gordon need to have a big game and don't be surprised to see rookie wideout KJ Hamler make a few splash plays. If Driskel can throw it around on Sunday like he did in Pittsburgh, the Broncos will have a chance. 

Join us as we live-blog and discuss TBvsDEN here in our weekly Open Thread. Dive into the conversation — it's easy — by simply going to the top of the site and in the bottom right-hand corner of the Mile High Huddle logo, click the follow button.

You can log in with Facebook or Google and either way, it's free. From there, sound off in the comment section and share your reactions and observations with our staff, subscribers, and fellow members of the MHH community as we react to the game in real-time.

What to Watch For

 Denver owns a 9-8 all-time overall record and 6-7 regular-season record against Brady. Denver is the only NFL team with an overall winning record against Brady. 

• With a win on Sunday, the Broncos can extend their win streak over Tampa Bay to five games (2004-pres.). 

• Noah Fant needs 100 receiving yards to become the fifth Broncos pass-catcher to reach 800 career receiving yards by his 19th game, needs one touchdown reception to match Demaryius Thomas (6) for the second-most touchdown catches in team history through his first 19 games, needs one receiving touchdown to be come the first Broncos tight end to record at least one receiving score in three consecutive games since Julius Thomas in 2013. 

• Melvin Gordon needs 105 receiving yards to become the eighth active running back with 2,000 receiving yards in his career, needs one scrimmage touchdown (rush or rec.) to become the fifth active running back with 50 combined scores. 

• Jerry Jeudy needs 28 receiving yards to pass Glyn Milburn (145, 1993) for the fifth-most receiving yards in team history through a player's first three games, needs 32 receiving yards to pass Demaryius Thomas (149, 2010) for the fourth-most receiving yards in team history through a player's first three games, needs 50 receiving yards to pass Vance Johnson (167, 1985) for the third-most receiving yards in team history through a player's first three games. 

Inactives

First Quarter

Broncos receive. 

RT Elijah Wilkinson flagged for holding on first play from scrimmage. 

Broncos move the sticks, overcoming the penalty with Jeff Driskel picking up the first down with his legs. 

On 3rd-&-10, Driskel connects with Noah Fant for a 6-yard gain. Punt. 

Punt is blocked. Patrick O'Connor picks up the ball, returns it to Denver 10-yard line. 

Tom Brady hits Chris Godwin on 3rd-&-goal. Touchdown. Extra point is good. 

Bucs 7, Broncos 0

Driskel throws incomplete on first down, Gordon stuffed for 2-yard loss on second, Driskel hit as he throws on 3rd-&-12. Incomplete. This time, Sam Martin's punt is not blocked. 

On 3rd-&-4, DeShawn Williams tips Brady's pass. Incomplete. 

Broncos go three-and-out. Punt. 

Brady moves the ball but stalls just inside Broncos territory. Brings up 4th-&-1 after Bruce Arians challenges spot of the ball. 

Bucs go for it. Leonard Fournette picks up the yardage. New set of downs for Tampa Bay. 

Brady-Fournette fumble on the hand-off exchange. Bucs recover. 

On 2nd-&-11, the bubble screen goes to Godwin who promptly picks up 10 yards like it's nothing. 3rd-&-1. 

Shelby Harris tips the third-down pass. Incomplete. 

Ryan Succup's 43-yard field goal attempt is good. Bucs extend lead. 

Bucs 10, Broncos 0

Second Quarter

Broncos open quarter two with a 2nd-&-8. 

Driskel hits Jerry Jeudy for a 15-yard gain. 

On first down, the play-action fake goes to Fant who picks up 18 yards. 

On second down, Driskel fails to get rid of the ball after he's pressured off the edge by an obvious blitzer. Sacked. Brings up 3rd-&-16. 

3rd-&-16, Driskel hits Fant for a 7-yard gain. Brings up 4th-&-9. Fangio trots Brandon McManus out to attempt the the 56-yarder. It's good. 

Bucs 10, Broncos 3

On 2nd-&-8, Anthony Chickillo breaks up Brady's pass. 

On 3rd-&-8, Justin Simmons is beaten over the top for a 47-yard gain. Bucs in business. 

On 2nd-&-5, Brady misses a wide-open Rob Gronkowski in the end zone. Josey Jewell beaten in coverage. 

On 3rd-&-5, Brady connects with Godwin on the cross for a 6-yard gain. 

Brady pressured and almost sacked by Harris. Just gets the ball away on first down. Incomplete. 

On second down, Fournette picks up six yards. 

Brings up 3rd-&-4. Brady connects with Gronkowski to move the chains. 

Two plays get the Bucs 3rd-&-Goal from the 1-yard line. Look for Fournette or Gronk here. 

Nope. A quick screen goes to Mike Evans. Easy touchdown. Extra point is good. 

Bucs 17, Broncos 3

Broncos go three-and-out after Shaquil Barrett sacks Driskel on second down. A third-down screen pass to Gordon is swallowed up quickly by Bucs. Punt. 

Bucs with good field position after the 49-yard punt. 

Brady hits O.J. Howard for a 33-yard gain. Jewell in coverage, penalized for pass interference. Penalty is declined. Great one-handed grab by Howard. 

Broncos getting trucked. Brady hits Evans with a goal-line fade. Touchdown. 

The extra point is blocked by Joe Jones. No good. 

Bucs 23, Broncos 3

Broncos drive and score. Driskel to Tim Patrick. Broncos narrow the margin. 

Bucs 23, Broncos 10

Third Quarter

Bucs drive but stall at midfield. Punt. 

The 41-yard punt is fair caught by Diontae Spencer. 

Fant drops a chain-mover on first down. Two plays later, he drops another. 

Driskel sacked in the end zone by Barrett for the safety. 

Broncos force Bucs to punt. 

Broncos go three-and-out. 

Bucs drive but on 3rd-&-16, Brady throws to LeSean McCoy, who picks up 15 yards. Punt. 

On 2nd-&-13, Driskel gets hit as he throws. LaVante David intercepts. Bucs in business. 

Shelby Harris sneaks through for the shoe-string sack on Brady. 

On 3rd-&-14, Bradley Chubb catches Brady for a 1-yard gain. Succop's field goal is good. 

Bucs 28, Broncos 10

Fourth Quarter

On 3rd-&-15, Driskel sacked by Ndamukong Suh. Fifth sack on the day. 

Brady sacked on second down by Harris. Brings up 3rd-&-28 and Bucs almost got in. Brady to Scottie Miller for 27. Brings up a punt. 

Driskel benched. Brett Rypien in the game. 

Rypien moves the ball but on 4th-&-1, he goes for the homerun and is picked off in the end zone. 

Game over. 

Bucs 28, Broncos 10

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Comments (210)
No. 1-50
BuckinBronco
BuckinBronco

Win or lose, there's nothing like waking up on Sunday knowing I get to watch the Broncos

CarlDumler
CarlDumler

Really hoping to see a lot of moving pockets on offense. Need that play action game strong today. Means Broncos can't get behind early in this one if they stand a chance.

Luke  Patterson
Luke Patterson

Blitz Tom Brady often!

Lance Sanderson
Lance Sanderson

Driskel needs to scramble more. Give the threat of your legs and that can open up some stuff up front.

Studlee14
Studlee14

Driskel got some legs. I'm not sure I like him doing that often, but if it's there its there

Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall

Lousy effort by Hamilton on the block

Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall

Broncos are going to have to push the ball down the field. The Bucs D is getting to the short stuff quickly.

Lance Sanderson
Lance Sanderson

How did I know that something bad was going to happen on special teams just now...

Luke  Patterson
Luke Patterson

Nice No Block by Hamilton on the reverse.

Studlee14
Studlee14

Well it didn't take long to get to the "here we go again" feeling this game

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

I thought the special teams were going to be great this year and signing Sam Martin was going to fix everything?

Chad Jensen
Chad Jensen

Editor

That $300K Elway saved by letting Casey Kreiter go is really paying dividends.

CarlDumler
CarlDumler

Broncos continue the self inflicted ways of finding ways to lose.

nevets4433
nevets4433

Our special teams shoots us in the foot...again...

Denverkewl
Denverkewl

Crap tackling by CBs on the TD

Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall

The Broncos Oline is struggling in the run game

jimtaylor
jimtaylor

Is there a team that is more consistently poorly coached than Denver? Elway is terrible at finding a halfway decent coaching staff. At least since he decided not to pay Philips.

Lance Sanderson
Lance Sanderson

Gotta figure out a way to get the running game going. Vita Vea is a tall task up front, but a first and 10 incomplete throw sets up an obvious running situation. this is Jeff Driskel, not Drew Lock.

Chad Jensen
Chad Jensen

Editor

Pat Shurmur's play-calling to open this game has not been encouraging to say the least.

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

Mike Munchak needs to take the time to teach Risner how to deal with stunts/twists. Each game so far Risner has continued to make the same stupid mistake which has led to really bad plays.

Tortilla
Tortilla

Already making Gronk look like his old self.

Chad Jensen
Chad Jensen

Editor

Gronk is gonna have a big game

Jay99
Jay99

Maybe Risner has hit his ceiling

Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall

Really would like to see the Broncos pass rush come alive

Jay99
Jay99

I would like to see that too.

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

Yawn. Same old stuff. Hey a blitz with Johnson as the blitzer. Shocking. Nothing new with the D.

Jay99
Jay99

Famgio seems to teach the defensive line to just sit and surround the QB

Chad Jensen
Chad Jensen

Editor

Happy to see DeShawn Williams making a play in his first actual game as a Bronco. Third stint with the team. First game.

Luke  Patterson
Luke Patterson

Great batted pass by Broncos D!

Jay99
Jay99

How many games will it take the Broncos to get out this multi-year funk? The world may never know.

Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall

This is agony watching this offense.

jimtaylor
jimtaylor

Each week this team is getting worse. We really are the most poorly coached team in the NFL. Elway made another poor coaching hire with Fangio and his staff.

Studlee14
Studlee14

Courtland Sutton jumps and catches that ball

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

Thankfully I am also working on draft stuff. Something to make this game less miserable.

Lance Sanderson
Lance Sanderson

Nice scissors concept there, but Driskel misses the throw to a wide open Jeudy. He had good separation. Gotta hit that throw there.

Denverkewl
Denverkewl

Warm up Rypien...gawd this is awful.

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

Second consecutive 3 and out with 10 more coming.

Luke  Patterson
Luke Patterson

Run the RPO for Driskel. He already has some wheels in this game

Lance Sanderson
Lance Sanderson

Good tackle by Ojemudia

Jay99
Jay99

I say just blow everything up. This season is not going to get any better if no adjustments have been made so far. People tell us that us fans shouldn’t give up on the season when the coaches seem like they have. This is not coaching to win.

Cdub217
Cdub217

Only silver lining I see so far is the Defense playing somewhat good. Don't see how I'm going to hang my hat on that every season.

Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall

Do the Broncos players and coaches realize this is a must win game?

Cdub217
Cdub217

The Broncos are playing the way I'm watching this game. Without passion or joy.

Studlee14
Studlee14

Once again, bend but don't break defense. Still bending too much.

Jay99
Jay99

It’s 3rd and 1, and you play off coverage and not press??

Chad Jensen
Chad Jensen

Editor

Fangio has been bailed out by a couple of well-timed third-down tipped passes. As I said in the keys to victory, playing coverage against Brady is a recipe for losing.

Jay99
Jay99

Again, an example of bad coaching

Jay99
Jay99

They are daring the Broncos to throw

CarlDumler
CarlDumler

I'm impressed with the defense stepping up for the most part. Nice to see them cleaning up some of the tackling issues from last week. Offense has to at least get a 1st down here though. Can't keep making this defense march out on the field with no time off the clock.

Hard to watch that guys are open though. Playcalling on offense has been good just this is what happens when you have a backup QB. They miss those easy opportunities.

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

Jeudy completely lost on that first play. Him not knowing what to do took the threat of the pass out of the play. Jeudy has been killing the Broncos these three games so far.


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