With the Denver Broncos offense on life support through two and a half quarters, it seemed like one of the longest shutout streaks was about to come to an end. Down 13-0, head coach Gary Kubiak completely abandoned the run game and put the game on Trevor Siemian’s shoulders.
And he almost delivered.
“He battled through. He did everything he could possibly do,” Kubiak said. “We just didn’t do enough.”
Truer words were never spoken. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders certainly did enough as they made several circus-like catches to keep drives going late. Others, like Bennie Fowler and A.J. Derby came up short. One with a dropped touchdown and the other a game-ending fumble.
The Broncos have a daunting task ahead of them, however. They play the 10-2 New England Patriots at home next week, then travel to Arrowhead to facet the 10-3 Kansas City Chiefs, before heading back home to host the 10-3 Oakland Raiders to close out the season. That’s a combined record of 30-8 with the Broncos likely needing at least two wins to maintain the sixth seed of the AFC playoffs.
“I think we have the right group to do it,” Siemian said of the three game gauntlet. “It’s going to be an awesome challenge.”
If Siemian somehow guides this defunct Broncos offense through this gauntlet with a winning record and playoff berth, it would be one of the most amazing feats a first year starting quarterback could achieve.
It’s been a trying season for all Broncos fans, especially after being spoiled for so long with Peyton Manning and now this defense. A good finish will go a long way to set the tone of optimism heading into 2017, for not only fans, but also a young quarterback like Siemian who took the starting job in training camp and never let go of it.
Right now, the Broncos are 8-5 despite the frustrations around various issues the team has had. Many teams would love to be in this situation, so its time to focus on the positives of being in the thick of a playoff race this late in the season.