The Denver Broncos cannot catch a break.
An untimely block in the back penalty negates a punt return touchdown, a fumble promptly ends the Broncos' attempt to tie the game, a missed extra point, and for dessert, the Broncos' last comeback attempt falls short when Orton threw an interception (the second such throw he has made this season in potential game-tying drives).
After eight games, I have conceded to what I believe to be the truth--it's just not the Broncos' year.
Yes, the Broncos have had injuries this year, and yes, they have an inexperienced offensive line.
Enough is enough. There are no more excuses. In my opinion, the Broncos have had a golden opportunity to win six of their eight games, and they have blown it 67 percent of the time.
But I refuse to go down without a fight.As the season progresses, there are a few select things I want to see the Broncos improve upon. They are putting up big numbers in the passing game, but to no avail as they simply cannot put the ball in the end zone on a consistent basis.
Today, Orton had a solid game. He was one yard and a bogus chop block call away from throwing three touchdown passes, but unfortunately, those things happen and he was unable to rebound, finishing the game with only one touchdown, an interception, and a fumble.
Here are some things I want this team to improve upon as the season goes along.
1. Get the Run Game Going
We only ran Knowshon Moreno 11 times today. No wonder our run game is struggling. We refuse to actually run the ball. Moreno had a pretty average game at best. One run he had went for 17 yards, and he started the game red hot but cooled way down. I realize the passing game is our bread and butter, but you've got to establish a semblance of a decent running game.
2. Scoring in the First Half
We rarely do this. In fact, I'd be willing to bet we are the worst first quarter team in the NFL. At some point, you have to set the tone at the outset of the game. We come out looking stale on a game-by-game basis, and it's getting pathetic. I don't konw if it's play-calling, execution, or what, but it's got to end.
3. Stop Allowing "Da Bomb"
If there was a stat for allowing receptions on pathetic bomb passes, we would probably lead the league. Sadly, Brian Dawkins is on the back end on many of these plays. The throw that Troy Smith put up today should NEVER be caught in the NFL.
4. 12 Men on the Field
If this has happened once, it's happened FAR too many times. We have at least one of these infractions every game. Today, we had 12 men on the field and allowed a huge 2nd and 20 conversion.
5. Penalties in General
This is an area where we are very, very poor. We are not disciplined in this regard, and I hope our players are running gassers until they puke this week. Penalties are part of the game, but it's been far worse than normal this year for the Broncos.
A penalty negated the play that would have given us command of the game. A penalty negated the play that would have put us down by two with a chance to tie the game.
Way too many penalties.
6. Aggressive Play
And finally, we need to be aggressive. I don't know how else to put it. I tweet at least once a week that we don't play with urgency. Our offense has been stale at best. Our defense does not put pressure on the opposing quarterback. I realize it's a marathon, not a sprint, but I would like to see us play more aggressive ball in the final eight games.
This loss is heart-breaking, and puts us in terrible position in the division as Kansas City improved to 5-2 today. We would need a gigantic comeback to make the playoffs this year. The Broncos' playoffs begin in two weeks when we play the Chiefs.