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Broncos offense fails in Tennessee

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The Denver Broncos 2016 season is now on life support. At 8-5, and third place in the AFC West, the playoffs a slowly slipping away.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders both had great games. Trevor Siemian passed for 334 yards and one touchdown. The defense held Tennessee to just 13 points. In 2015 that would have been followed by, “Broncos win again.”

Unfortunately, this is 2016, and these games are just not falling Denver’s way. Here’s the rest of the game in a nutshell. The Broncos lost 2 fumbles, rushed for 18 yards, went 3-of-11 on third down, and 1-of-2 on fourth. They also couldn’t force a turnover, and they lost the time of possession battle.

Stats can shed some light on what happened, but they give no indication of why. And it’s the why that everyone is interested in. Why the Broncos lost this game is pretty simple. The offense is stagnant. The offensive line is bad. The running game is non-existent.

Watching the games this season has been painful. The game against Tennessee was exactly what is disappointing about 2016. The Broncos have a great defense. While they struggle against the run, they give nothing away against the pass. They shut down teams, and don’t allow a lot of points.

When the defense gives up just 13 points that should be a win. The offense must begin to contribute on a consistent basis. Flashes of offensive brilliance are nice. A half here or there, however, is just a recipe for disaster. The fourth quarter was that flash, but it was too little, too late.

What is it about this team? Why does it seem as though each game the offense picks one quarter to really bust out, leaving the rest of the game for the defense to do all the work?

At this point, declaring the season over is premature. The Broncos still control their own destiny. If they can play the spoiler, and beat the Patriots, Chiefs, and Raiders they will also end the season at 11-5. That should be enough.

Does it feel like Denver can get that done? Did the offense inspire anybody to feel confident about a possible three-game win streak to end the season? It’s one thing to believe in your team, but thinking the Broncos can accomplish this feat isn’t confidence, it’s delusion.