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Broncos' Trevor Siemian knows offense hasn't played its best game. That might be a good thing

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Posted at 5:17 PM, Nov 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 19:17:16-05

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The Broncos own wins in seven of their first 10 games. It isn't so much a record as a contradiction. With six games remaining, the Broncos continue to leave mouths agape and fans perplexed.

In seeking their sixth straight AFC West title, the Broncos trail the Raiders by a half game in the standings. Everything remains possible. However, weekly observation raises an interesting question: Are they lucky to be 7-3 or feeling lucky because they have yet to hit their stride as the finishing kick approaches?

"No one on offense would say we have played a complete game yet," Siemian said.

That provides motivation. They believe they can improve. On both sides of the ball. The defense ranks first in fewest yards allowed per pass play, and second in passing yards per game (194.1). However, Denver has yet to stuff the run with any regularity. 

"We haven't played anywhere close to our best. We have been too inconsistent," safety T.J. Ward said.

The Broncos' ability to make the Chiefs one dimensional figures to be critical to their success. Kansas City would prefer to run the football with Denver allowing 123.7 yards per game, fourth worst in the NFL. Quarterback Alex Smith remains reluctant to take chances -- thus the nickname Captain Checkdown -- but he might not have a choice if the Broncos are better on first down than in the past. 

"We need to be [sic] tackle well, and just be nasty," linebacker Brandon Marshall said.

Wolfe remains hopeful

Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe wants to play Sunday. And there's no doubt if it were up to him, he would. But he needs clearance from the training staff after fracturing his right elbow against Oakland. What does he need to know to believe he's ready?

"Just to have an elbow that works. If it will hold up, then I'll throw on the brace and let's go," Wolfe said.

Wolfe knows the Chiefs well, and star tight end Travis Kelce even better. They roomed together at the University of Cincinnati. Kelce entered school as a quarterback, tried defensive end before switching, partly at Wolfe's suggestion, to tight end.

How did Wolfe survive living with Travis, a reality TV star, and his brother Jason, a center for the Philadelphia Eagles?

"Barely," Wolfe said with a smile.

Footnotes

Receiver Emmanuel Sanders returned to practice. He missed Monday with his wife close to delivering the couple's second child. For now, Sanders will remain on call, hopeful his wife doesn't go into labor on Sunday night.

... The Matt Paradis plan is mapped out. As the center deals with a chronic hip issue, he will practice once a week. He worked out Wednesday.

... Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison on how he explained to right tackles Ty Sambrailo and Donald Stephenson that multiple players could receive snaps. "If it takes competition on game day to get the best five out there, that's what we will do."

... The Broncos' locker room featured a new exhibit. The team's three Lombardi Trophies are encased in the middle of the room. "It's great to see that on the daily," safety T.J. Ward said.

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Want Broncos news? Denver7 Broncos insider Troy E. Renck is your source. He talks to the players, covers the games and reports scoops on Denver7 and the Denver7 app. He is a CU grad who has covered pro sports in Colorado since 1996, including 14 years at The Denver Post. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and TheDenverChannel.com’s Broncos page. Troy welcomes most of your emails at Troy.Renck@kmgh.com.