Blown Opportunities... Will we learn from them, or will we Quit?

In the spirit of “Intellectual Honesty” I decided to do a quick analysis of the Broncos Offensive (pun intended) drives in the Raiders game.  When I started, I was almost convinced to believe that it wasn’t as bad as I had thought.


I was wrong. It was worse.


This analysis is based on the simple fact that this is the NFL.  Every team has world class athletes and on any given Sunday, any team can beat any other.  The winner is usually the team that either makes the fewest mistakes, or the team that takes best advantage of their opportunities.  We did neither on Monday night.


Years of playing and watching football have made me believe that a failed drive can be traced to a single play.  Since I am most interested in what exactly went wrong Offensively, I went through the play by play and picked out the play on each drive that I believe was the “Drive Killer”.  The following is my opinion, if you are likely to be offended by it…don’t follow me beyond the jump.



Drive #1 – Start Den 20 – 34yards

Drive Killer - 2nd and 9 at DEN 48 K.Moreno left end to DEN 42 for -6 yards (K.Wimbley).

*Losing 6 on 2nd down made 3rd and 15. Even a nice 3rd down play by KO for 12 yards couldn’t save it.


Drive #2 - Start Oak 15 – 5yards

Drive Killer - 3rd and 5 at OAK 10  (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete short right to D.Fells.

            4th and 5 at OAK 10 M.Prater 28 yard field goal is GOOD,

*3 plays inside the OAK 15 and we only got 5 yards.  Inexcusable, left 4 points on the board.


Drive #3 –Start Den 20 – 18yards

Drive Killer - 2nd and 20 at DEN 21 (Shotgun) K.Moreno left guard to DEN 26 for 5 yards

*Gotta get more than 5 yards on this play…poor play calls on 1st and 2nd down.


Drive #4 – Start Den 20 - 3yards

Drive Killer - 1st and 10 at DEN 20 K.Moreno left tackle to DEN 23 for 3 yards. FUMBLES 

*Only play of drive…


Drive #5 – Start Den 20 – 18 yards

Drive Killer-2nd and 15 at DEN 33  (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete short right to K.Moreno

*After an incomplete on 1st down and a penalty, 2nd and 15 has to be completed.


Drive #6 – Start Den 28 -23 yards

Drive Killer - 1st and 10 at OAK 38 (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete deep middle to E.Royal.

            2nd and 10 at OAK 38 (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete short right to E.Decker

            3rd and 10 at OAK 38 (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete deep left to B.Lloyd.



Drive #7 - 2 minute Drill- Start Den28 – 33 yards

Drive Killer - 2nd and 10 at OAK 47 (Shotgun) K.Orton pass deep right intended for B.Lloyd INTERCEPTED

*Had momentum…bad decision in “Crunch Time”.  Left enough time on the clock for a 63 yard FG from SeBass.




Drive #8 – Start Den 11 – 75 yards – Red Zone

Drive Killer - 3rd and 5 at OAK 5 (Shotgun) K.Orton sacked at OAK 12 for -7 yards

M.Prater 30 yard field goal is GOOD

*Incomplete on 2nd down, then a bad sack on 3rd down.  Left 4 points on the board.  This was the first drive after the Punt Return, could have taken complete control with a TD here


Drive #9 - Start Den 42 – 34 yards

Drive Killer - 1st and 10 at OAK 24  K.Orton sacked at OAK 34 for -10 yards. FUMBLES,

*Missed a wide open TE for TD – Fumbled untouched.


Drive #10 Start Den 20 - -2 yards

Drive Killer -  1st and 10 at OAK 41 K.Orton sacked at DEN 50 for -9 yards (M.Shaughnessy).

2nd and 19 at 50 (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete short middle to B.Lloyd.

3rd and 19 at 50 (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete short middle to E.Decker (J.Boyd).

*Denver moved 30 yards forward on -2 offensive yards…and then sack and 2 inc in a row.  DOH!!! Given 30 yards in penalties and screw ups on one drive, you have to at least get a FG.  No excuse.


Drive #11 – Start Den 20 – 80 yards

Drive Killer -  None – Touchdown. 

*Very nice drive


No team is going to score on every drive.  Good teams have to be able to get more than junk yards (like the nice 12 yard pass on 3rd and 15).  They have to be able to move the chains and keep them going when the opportunities present themselves.


In my opinion, failures on Drive #2, 7, 8, 9 and 10 were failures that are the difference between winning and losing. Had we converted 1 play on any one of those 5 drives, we could have won.


Drive #2 was important because it started on the Oakland 15.  A good team HAS to get a TD when they start in the red zone.


Drive #7 was a 2 minute drill.  Good teams score at the end of halves.  The interception here not only took 3 points off of our board, it gave Oakland the opportunity for a Record Breaking Momentum shifter.


Drive #8 was the first offensive drive after the Punt Return.  A TD from the offense here slams the door shut on the Raiders.  You drive all the way to the Oakland 5 and then have an Incomplete pass followed by a bad sack.  Momentum shifts back to Oakland.


Drive #9 is an unforced error.  Should have been 7 points for us…ends up going the other way without a good play from the Raiders.  Wet or not, that cannot happen.


Drive #10 was awful.  We were gifted 30 yards after a series of weird fumbles, penalties and screw ups.  Then we throw 3 incomplete passes in a row.  Awful. Inexcusable. Painful.


If you look at just stats, you could conclude that the 2nd half was pretty good offensively.  I believe exactly the opposite.  I see 1 good looking drive and a whole bunch of blown opportunities by a team that didn’t care to reach out and grab the win.  You can pile up all the stats that you want…if you don’t take advantage when it counts, you cannot win games.


Let's not forget, Oakland played a sloppy game.  Outside of DMF…they didn’t do much to beat us.  If we run into a team that plays even halfway competent football, we had better learn to stand up and be counted on those Drive Killers!



This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR.