So, where do the Denver Broncos stand after this week?
Below are the potential AFC Wild Card Teams and a review of the games. As you can see, some poor teams will make it in before us. The nature of playing in the strongest division in the NFL. The good news is other teams in the AFC aren’t stepping up to take us down.
Kansas City (9-3) 29 @ Atlanta 28 (7-5)
Ugh. One missed 2 point conversion. Matty Ice became Matty tepid tea. Eric Berry was a thorn in our side as earlier in the day he had a pick six before a 2 point pick. Hard to have any ill will towards Mr. Berry, only admiration, so will focus my wrath of Matt Ryan.
For Matt Ryan to mess up twice in a game is very unusual, for Alex Smith not to, well it was an indeed a day of WTH?!
KC offense wasn’t as great as the numbers appear as one of their scores came from a fake punt. Seriously. 16 points came from defense and special teams. Did KC rip off a page from Denver?
KC wins like we did against the Saints. What are the odds?
I’d write more about this game, but what else is there to say? It’s all summed up in three plays. Having two WR’s who were hobbled probably didn’t help things, same for their LT.
Injuries: Falcons, LT Jake Mathews knee, Julio Jones, leg, WR Mohamed Sanu, groin
Next up, They take on Oakland. This is a game that we’re better to have KC lose because the Raiders two games up may very well be too hard to catch, but KC losing a division game and dropping a game helps us more.
Denver (8-4) 20 @ Jacksonville 10 (2-10)
Lynch had one issue and it plagued him the entire game: his accuracy. Lynch’s height and his still new experience with NFL drop backs are why there were balls that got away from him. Most were too high. One hopes that some of these were due to the theme of the day, which was do not turn the ball over. Making sure the Jags couldn't intercept one may have also insured our guy would need to make extra hard catches.
Of course, like Siemian, he spent time with some OL issues and no run game minus two break out rushes. At one point we were down to third string RB, Juwan Thompson. One third down conversion and eleven punts is head scratching. You have a QB who can run, if they didn't trust him with his consistency on passes, why not use his legs a lot more? Help the run game. No clue on this one. A bright spot was when Devontae Booker scored a TD that I swear happened by Russell Okung carrying him on his back.
What Lynch did well that lead Gary Kubiak to say today that he has a brilliant career ahead of him and he was excited, was he did made some really tough throws, made good decisions, and read the field. Fix the feet, spend more time practicing with the ones and Denver will be set for years.
As I said in my preview, Jacksonville has a top three defense against the pass. They showed up. A few pass break ups were NOFLYZONE worthy. No wonder so many QBs leave with bad numbers. If this team was coached better and fix their QB’s technique they have all the talent to be a playoff team.
Our defense was better. We picked off Bortles two times, once by Chris Harris, Jr., and a pick six by Bradley Roby with an assist from Von Miller. Bortles also fumbled. The so-so was our run defense, it allowed 154 yards, but only Bortles scored with his legs.
Injuries: Broncos, DL Billy Winn, neck, RB Kapri Bibbs, ankle (IR), LB Brandon Marshall, thigh...this, to me, was the worst part of the day. These injuries.
Next up, traveling to Tennessee.
Tampa Bay (7-7) 28 @ 21 San Diego (5-7)
As I wrote in the preview, this game would come down to turn overs. It did. While a first half pick by Jameis Winston by Casey Heyward didn’t end in points, Phillip Rivers wasn’t nearly as fortunate. Also said that when Rivers gets down, he forces throws and tries to carry the team on his back. Bingo.
An interception by Keith Tandy of Rivers in the end zone sealed the win. The killer was an earlier pick six from Lavonte David from a Vernon Hargreaves tip.
Melvin Gordon rushed for 84 yards and hit the 1,000 mark. Too bad the rest of the game didn’t go their way. Rumblings for the firing of Mike McCoy are growing louder. Much like Jacksonville when you have some talented players but don’t have records to show it.
Thinking it’s a good thing we played Tampa Bay back when they didn’t have Doug Martin and no defense because if we played them now, not sure it would’ve been an easy win. This team has beaten both SD and KC in their stadiums. Both wins have helped us. They barely lost to the raiders and had Doug Martin played might’ve pulled it off. This team is now in the play offs. A month ago, Winston said, I am not a loser, we’re not losers. Since then, they’re not. Belief is a powerful weapon. Our team had it last year.
Tampa’s woes with their kicker continued, forcing TB for a successful 2 point conversion to Mike Evans. What is up this season with kickers? When they play the Cowboys, which was flexed to primetime, they better hope the kicker is on.
San Diego is in big trouble and I foresee a lot of changes during the off season. They’ve lost too many they should’ve won. Plus, this team has lost belief in itself. A losing attitude is a cancer and it eats a locker room alive. It’s too late to save this season, but somebody better channel some Winston going forward or they’re the Browns.
Injuries: Tampa, WR Adam Humphries, concussion, WR Cecil Shorts, knee (IR). DE William Gholston, foot/ankle
San Diego: DE Joey Bosa, leg
Buffalo (6-6) 24 @ 38 Oakland (10-2)
Sigh. Not a game I wanted to watch, not even the highlights. Rex Ryan needs an Rx for how to play aggressive football front start to finish. I wrote in the preview the way to beat Oakland was to get Carr’s face, harass him. Did they? No. He played from the gun the entire game forcing a change in game plans and Ryan didn’t adjust. Not one sack.
I said the good Tyrod would need to play well, plus he and McCoy needing to run. To smash the football down the throat. McCoy got 130 yards, no TD’s, Taylor had 30 yards and rushing TD, but Tyrod also threw no TD’s and had an INT from a deflected pass. He was sacked four times and lost a fumble. He was 18-35 and is due $30 Million in March. Maybe Texas needs a QB.
Ryan allowed a win to slip from his fingers. Mack forced two turnovers which ended up in points.
Buffalo allowed three drives in a row for TD’s. Three. That goes to coaching. Lay it right at his feet. That is a defense rolling over and giving up. Nothing more to say.