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Broncos, Briefly: Friday, Oct. 12, 2018

"I'm not concerned about spiraling downhill, I'm looking forward to us bouncing back this week," Ellis said. "That's where our focus is. I believe we'll be ready for the Rams on Sunday. A big challenge for us.

"(There is) a lot of football to be played. Five games in, (we're) obviously disappointed with the last three weeks because we set high standards for ourselves. Last week (a 34-16 loss at the Jets) was very disappointing, but you move forward from it. You have no choice. I think our players, our coaches and all our football staff understand that."

The Broncos' Super Bowl 50 MVP started the season with four sacks in two games — their only two wins this season. But the momentum fizzled. Now, Miller leads the Broncos into a critical Week 6 meeting with the Rams, owners of one of the most dynamic offenses in the league.

And where he goes, his defense and team may follow.

"It's all of us. When you're playing big games — Sunday's going to be a big game for us — your best players have to make plays. He understands that," coach Vance Joseph said of Miller. "He wants to make plays for us. When he's one-on-one, he has to win. We'll have a plan to get him more attempts of being one- on-one, but he has to play well for us to win. He understands that each week."

For the Broncos, Lindsay's touches have remained fairly consistent. He has had at least 12 carries in four of the Broncos' five games to go with a smattering of targets in the passing game. But Lindsay is often the Broncos' back of choice, along with Devontae Booker, when the team opens the formation in a three-wide receiver set.

And despite their struggles in pass protection at times, that continues to be the personnel grouping the Broncos have used the most. To get Freeman in the lineup more -- he had eight or fewer carries in three of the Broncos' games and has played fewer snaps than Booker at times -- the team's decision-makers will have to either put him into that three-wide receiver set or use one of the other personnel groupings more.

For his part, Freeman has said "we have a great running back group, and just being interchangeable at any point in a game helps us. I just want to win and help us be successful."

"We've all got his back as an offense and as a team," center Matt Paradis said. "We're praying for him. He's a great man."

The fast-paced NFL lifestyle allows for little self-reflection even through the greatest of challenges. On the field, Musgrave's play calls against the Jets (51 passes and 17 rushes) often sputtered. That was especially true during the second half, when Denver accounted for just seven points on six offensive possessions. Eight of the Broncos' total rushes, not including short-yardage situations, gained 3 or fewer yards. Quarterback Case Keenum, sacked four times, ended the game with an interception in the red zone.

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders suggested that players take equal responsibility in creating offensive momentum, himself included, with an emphasis on being more "assignment detailed."

"At the end of the day, it's not about Bill," Sanders said. "Every man has got to look at himself and say: 'You know what? How can I get better?' No matter what the play is, we can still go out and execute ... and make him right even when he says he put us in a bad situation. I love Bill to death. A heck of a play-caller."

Almost every head coach I've had has said they have an open door. They tell you to stop by with any concerns. Nobody ever does though, and typically players' thoughts fester and reveal themselves in negatively, or when emotions run high after a game.

Joseph's meeting has the potential to help the team more than the players-only session, but it has seemingly created two factions of opinions. Some believe Joseph gave his players reason to question his leadership by asking players for their input on his coaching. Others, including some Broncos players, appreciate the collaborative forum.