Things got heated before the ball was snapped during the Broncos’ divisional game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night at Arrowhead Stadium.
NFL Network analyst Steve Smith Sr. stood on the sidelines doing pregame preparations, bouncing up and down as Jerry Jeudy shot the ball as the music rang through the stadium The music nodded.
Jeudy seemed to be getting into gear ahead of Thursday Night Football’s game, but the Broncos wide receiver wanted to issue a statement to Smith, who recently trashed Jeudy on his podcast — calling him “just one person”.
The former Panthers wide receiver said on Amazon Prime that he was trying to apologize for his comments. But Judy disagrees. Smith didn’t take the disrespect lightly, looking straight into the camera after the game and calling Jeudy an average receiver who the team should avoid trading at the .
Smith’s comments circulated on social media almost immediately. Despite plenty of pregame antics and dancing to “YoungBoy Never Broke Again,” Jeudy ended up with just three catches on five targets for 14 yards as the Broncos lost 19-8.
So much for Smith to break his promise.
“I don’t remember. It was a close game. We had to finish it at the end of the game.” Jeudy dodged questions about his pregame conversation with Smith.
Whether or not Smith’s comments were too TV-friendly, they ring true Thursday night. Jeudy has played like “just a guy” so far this season, as has much of the Broncos’ wide receiver room.
Jeudy was strong toward the end of last season, tallying 523 receiving yards in the final six games. However, this gain has not translated so far in 2023. He has caught 20 passes for 222 yards since missing Week 1 with a hamstring injury. His best performance came in a 70-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins when he caught five passes for 81 yards, but most of his numbers came when Denver was already trailing significantly. Completed.
Jeudy struggled in the first half Thursday night, catching two passes for one yard on four targets. Courtland Sutton had 46 yards and a touchdown but only had two catches for 14 yards in the first and second quarters. Rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims was held targetless all game.
“You just have to go back and watch the film and evaluate everything,” Judy said.
Jeudy was promoted as an elite runner out of Alabama, but the 2020 first-round pick has yet to put it together on a weekly basis. Sutton has eclipsed 50 receiving yards in just two of six games this season, including a 13-yard fumble last week against the New York Jets.
Mims is the only receiver with more than 100 yards in a game this season, but he’s averaging just two catches per game.
Simply put, none of the Broncos’ receivers have shown they can be that clutch player.
After Denver beat the Chicago Bears 31-28, Jeudy took to Twitter to attack former Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay, who tweeted: “Where are the receivers! !So much money just for absence?”
“Glad you could watch from the crib family,” Judy responded, even though he only had three catches for 52 yards in the come-from-behind victory.
It’s clear that Judy isn’t afraid to call out the haters. It’s clear he didn’t do much to prove them wrong.
As fireworks went off after Denver suffered its fifth loss of the season, Smith’s pregame remarks resonated with everyone who watched Denver’s disastrous offensive performance. On Thursday night, Judy was “just a human being.” That’s not enough for a guy drafted 15th overall.
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