Cubs Broncos Country!
I know after a loss it’s tough to console ourselves, and no one is really in a mood to be "cheered up" and told "it’ll be OK."
But the hard truth is that it will actually be OK (14-2, baby!)
Unfortunately not for at least 10 days until the Broncos will have another chance to redeem a loss that was totally preventable had the performance and play-calling matched the potential on the field.
It wasn’t all bad, however, as a few plays/indications were positives for this team moving forward (plus Cubs won, so if you're a cursed fan like me you can focus on them for a few days until the next Broncos game).
But let’s consider both the best and worst of the game that snapped the Broncos streak of 15 divisional road game wins and ticked off Broncos fans everywhere who had grown accustomed to beating up on Philip Rivers.
#Broncos streak of winning 15 straight road division games ends. A lot of questions and work to do. 11 days before facing Texans on MNF.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 14, 2016
Highlight: Broncos defense/ST (after 1st drive)
Other than the first drive in which Philip Rivers so nostalgically carved up our defense and drove down the field in a matter of minutes before scoring an easy TD, the Broncos defense held Rivers and Co. to just field goals the rest of the game.
And special teams made some key plays, such as Kayvon Webster downing a punt at the 1-yard-line, Shiloh Keo recovering a fumble on the punt after the safety and Jordan Taylor recovering an onside kick.
Wow. #Broncos recover the onside kick and we have a BALLGAME.— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 14, 2016
: https://t.co/4nY6oIH7TH #TNF #DENvsSD https://t.co/wFtA2BfAfw
Don’t make this a quarterback controversy. It’s not. Neither of our QBs is all that good right now. Inexperience, injury, offensive line ineptitude, play-calling - choose your excuse if you’d like but be sure to apply to both. Trevor Siemian was 30 of 50 for 230 yards and 1 TD.
Last week Paxton Lynch was 23 of 35 for 223 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Both overthrew their receivers and both made some beautiful plays. Unfortunately, both also struggled to read a defense correctly and make a quick decision that would result in a first down. Or even a completed pass.
One should wonder why the #Broncos didn't take a single shot to the end zone in that series. Turrible...— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) October 14, 2016
For me personally, I thought the play calling was awful. Rick Dennison acknowledged in his presser this week that he starts the game out calling the plays and Gary Kubiak takes over as the game goes on. Perhaps this is why the fourth quarter tends to be our best?
I’m all for "establishing the running game" and wearing down a defense, but five running plays in a row is ridiculous. I might as well be the play-caller if that’s what we’re going to get.
Hopefully Denver calls another run up the middle here.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) October 14, 2016
Highlight: Devontae Booker
The running game was nothing short of pathetic in the first half with 21 yards between C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker. But the rookie RB sparked the run game in the second half with a 17-yard bolt followed by a 5-yard pass and topped it off with a 16-yard sprint.
Heavy dose of Devontae Booker sparking the #Broncos offense.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 14, 2016
Suddenly the offense came alive as the rookie - and clearly faster back - marched the team down the field. Sadly, the Broncos had to settle for a field goal attempt (which was wide right) after a holding penalty negated Anderson’s 15-yard run into red zone territory.
But the running game had made an appearance as Anderson had 10 carries for 37 yards and Booker went five for 46 (9.2 yards per carry) and improved overall game stats considerably, pushing the rushing attack yards up to a paltry but still better 84.
.@dbook23 BULLDOZES his way through a defender.— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 14, 2016
Truck stick at its finest.
https://t.co/T3HIQ6IIVz #TNF https://t.co/dBl64RUxYz
Remarkably, the Broncos were in this game until the very end despite doing their damnedest to take away all momentum and a bunch of points via penalties.
Holding, sack, fumble. Just like that.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) October 14, 2016
It would be satisfying to blame the loss on some terrible ref calls (particularly the phantom holding call on Matt Paradis that brought back a fabulous rushing TD by Anderson), but in reality, the Broncos have to own these penalties and all the wrath they brought - 12 penalties for 103 yards.
Among those was a holding call that nullified one touchdown and another holding penalty that led to a safety. If you eliminated only those two penalties, the score would have been 20-19 Broncos.
I don't care what the @NFL says. There's no way the #Broncos had 7 holds to #Chargers 0 tonight. #TNF Tough game tonight...— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) October 14, 2016
Highlight: Color Rush uniforms
You know when you’re looking at the jerseys as a highlight of the game, it must have been an awful game.
And if you were a Broncos fan watching that game last night, the uniforms ended up being the best play to watch on the field.
Bright orange pants, jerseys and cleats with a sweet old-school D in the modern colors. I vote we keep these as a permanent option.
I want these color rush uniforms to become permanent.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) October 13, 2016
Lowlight: Fumbles, misses
Aside from the penalties, the Broncos also fumbled two passes - c/o Jordan Taylor and Demaryius Thomas - while Brandon McManus missed a 56-yard field goal.
Demaryius Thomas catches the ball...— NFL (@NFL) October 14, 2016
FUMBLES the ball.#Chargers recover!
: @NFLonCBS #TNF #DENvsSD
Highlight: Von Miller
Thank goodness he’s still on our defense because even though he’s getting held on every play, he’s still making his way to the QB while simultaneously taking down any runners that cross his path. With six tackles and a sack, Miller was a lone force out there at times stopping the Chargers.
"Miller is single-handedly stopping the run." @PhilSimmsQB is actually speaking truth. pic.twitter.com/GTcfc1Xks6— L.Lattimore-Volkmann (@docllv) October 14, 2016
OK, Broncos Country...I know you have many more, so let’s get the complaining out of our systems so we can be "on to Houston."
Come and get us, Brent!
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