After the Denver Broncos third preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams, it appears the offense will continue to be a step behind the defense. It could be more than one step. Obviously, Gary Kubiak and his staff are trying to put the team in the best position to win, but the offense feels stagnant.
How long can we expect the defense to do the yeoman's work, saving the offense from themselves. Preseason games are not always a great measuring stick, but the amount of vanilla in the first few series of the game left a bitter taste in this fan’s mouth. It wasn’t that the offense did anything terrible, but they didn’t do anything great.
The offensive line looked more than a little suspect on the first four series. The holes were not really there for Devontae Booker or CJ Anderson. Trevor Siemian was not given much time to throw. It was sloppy. The biggest need in the offseason aside from quarterback, had to be offensive line, and the play in the preseason has been less than reassuring.
Here is where that defect kicks in. Ball control is the name of the game. As great as the defense is, the offense keeps putting them back on the field. The snaps are going to add up, and that will take it’s toll. We won’t see it in the preseason because the starters put their baseball hats on pretty quickly.
That means the second half of games will become crucial. Tired teams make mistakes. Fatigue could become a major factor if the defense is asked to do too much.
There were bright spots for the offense. Trevor Siemian led the team down the field for a touchdown. Anderson had some big runs. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders made some nice plays, and Virgil Green capped off the fifth drive with an easy catch in the end zone.
The defense stood firm, allowing only field goals. Siemian seemed to settle in, and the Broncos were able to put themselves in a position to allow Brandon McManus to kick a long field goal and take the lead going into the half. That’s all great, but can it be sustained?
It won’t matter who the starting quarterback is when the season starts. Whether you are a fan of Siemian, or hoping Paxton Lynch gets the ball, there should really be only one concern. Can the offense control the ball, and give the defense a break? Will the O-line make holes for Anderson and Booker? Will they block for the quarterback?
Will the offense stay on the field long enough to allow the defense to recover? Greatness can overcome the blemishes around it, but fatigue leads to injury, and injury can be the difference between good and great. The difference between good and great is the difference between making the playoffs and winning it all.