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Denver Broncos News: Broncos' Mailbag


Mason's Mailbag: The three-game road swing isn't all that uncommon

You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.*

Why is it that the Broncos have three road games in a row again? They had the same scenario just a few years ago (I believe it was the 2014 or 2013 season). And, I believe they're the only team in the NFL that has three road games in a row. The NFL scheduling just doesn't seem fair when this happens (to any team as far as that is concerned).

-- Bill Steinbach

First of all, the Broncos are not the only team with three consecutive road games this season. Six others have similar road swings:

Atlanta (Weeks 7-9)
Cincinnati (Weeks 9-11)
Minnesota (Weeks 12-14)
New England (Weeks 13-15)
Philadelphia (Weeks 13-15)
San Francisco (Weeks 4-6)

The Raiders also play three consecutive games away from Oakland, although one is a home game that will be moved to Mexico City. They also have a bye week in the middle of that stretch, which means they will go 37 days without a home game between their Oct. 19 against against the Chiefs and their Nov. 26 game against the Broncos.

Is it ideal? No. The Broncos went 0-3 in a three-game road swing in 2010. They went 1-2 in a similar stretch four years later. Even the 1997 team that won Super Bowl XXXII lost two games of three consecutive contests it played away from Denver. It is a daunting scenario, no matter which teams you play.

But it is something you can expect to see, perhaps more often as more games are played outside of North America, which could lead to a bit less scheduling flexibility. Further, if the NFL ever sees multiple teams based in Europe, such road swings may become routine.

The passing workout in L.A. is canceled? Where are the leaders? WRs, RBs, QBs, etc needed to get together. They were not dominant last year. With two young QBs, this group needs to jell and determine which QB can take us past 9-7 and into the playoffs. Disappointed. No leaders. Losing record. You reap what you sow. Would Manning allow this to happen?

-- Steve Henderson

There's no evidence that these workouts were ever 100 percent chiseled in stone to begin with, so take a step back and calm down.

A few points:

  1. You've got to let go of the Peyton Manning comparisons. His annual organization of these throwing sessions was unusual. As former teammate and current Broncos Radio Network sideline reporter Tyler Polumbus noted this week, Manning's ability to organize players for downtime sessions and run practice-like work without coaches around is "rare." Even plenty of Hall of Fame-caliber quarterbacks don't necessarily do this sort of extra work.
  1. It's harder to get players together at this time of year than in the spring, when Mark Sanchez gathered his new teammates in Los Angeles last year. This is the last truly free time the players will have until the end of the season. It is a grind from the moment they arrive in training camp until the exit physicals, with only a bye-weekend respite to give them a chance to breathe.
  1. On Friday, Trevor Siemian said he wants to get teammates together for some sessions next week. So the door is not closed on extra work.
  1. These sessions weren't going to determine which quarterback got the job. They could provide some extra work on timing and rhythm, but to point to this and start saying, "No leaders. Losing record. You reap what you sow" ... man, chill out a bit.


Who do you see as the "surprise" breakout player on offense and defense this year? DeAngelo Henderson? Shane Ray? Paxton Lynch? A.J. Derby, maybe?**

-- Bob Owens

I like Ray as a breakout defensive player, but I'm not sure he would be considered a surprise. With DeMarcus Ware's retirement, Ray is a clear starter. He will get plenty of chances, and with Von Miller drawing the attention of opposing blocking schemes, he's in position to post a double-digit sack total for the first time.

On offense, Derby looks like he could be a breakout player, especially given that they want much more involvement from the tight ends as receiving targets. Last year, the Broncos ranked 31st in the league in receptions by tight ends (53). That should change in a big way this year, and Derby could be a primary beneficiary.

Are fans allowed to enter the UC Health Training Center and look around in the lobby and/or get a tour of the facility?

-- Kevin Taylor

Fans can visit the lobby of UCHealth Training Center during normal business hours to see the trophies (although generally this is not the case during training camp, for security reasons), but there are no public tours of the training facility.

When asked about the Broncos 2017 Super Bowl chances, I've heard multiple analysts say without hesitation that they are "headed downhill" and have zero chance to win the AFC West. Since they're my favorite team, it's hard to answer that for myself without bias. What would you say to that question?

-- Hannah McNally

I would say that "multiple analysts" do not determine division winners and Super Bowl champions. Players, coaches and on-field outcomes do.

That style of answer is straight from the playbook of's Vic Ketchman, who set the standard for team-site mailbags on the sites of the Packers and Jaguars over the last decade-plus.

Ketchman's final mailbag on will run Monday as he settles into full-time retirement in South Carolina.

All the best, Vic ... I'll wave to you from one island over on my annual treks to the Low Country.

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The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.





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