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The No Bull Season Review: Part 3

A No Bull look at our season taken one quarter of the season at a time as we look back to see what the team accomplished and where they are at heading into 2017.

Denver Broncos vs. New Orleans Saints, NFL Week 10 Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

To wrap up the season, I’m going to break down each quarter of the Denver Broncos season, how the games in each four game block went, the keys to each game, and what we learned from the quarter.

Broncos 20 - Raiders 30

Synopsis

Denver absolutely got smoked by the Oakland Raiders. We scored some garbage time points to make the game look much closer than it actually was. The offense looked poor, the defense got wrecked, and we didn’t look like any kind of contender.

It was at this point in the season where a bad habit was noticed by me with Trevor Siemian: he stares down his receivers and it is costly.

The other worrying player from this game was Bradley Roby. He got straight up pwnd in almost every way you can imagine.

Read my final thoughts in this one. The crystal ball was in full effect.

Keys

  • Playcalling was mind boggling to many in Broncos Country
  • The Defense got owned at the point of attack for half the game
  • The offense playing so poor led the defense to getting worn down as the game went on

Broncos 25 - Saints 23

Synopsis

This was arguably the funnest game to watch of the Broncos season. The offense looked good and got decent production, the defense held Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints to under 30 points, the game went down to the wire and was won with one of the rarest kind of plays you’ll see in the NFL (blocked extra point returned for 2).

Keys

  • The stare down issues from Siemian continued and led to costly turnovers
  • Max Garcia, Donald Stephenson, and Ty Sambrailo stuck out as liabilities on the line
  • Demaryius Thomas had a killer game and in ways helped shoulder the load to get the win
  • Darian Stewart had his best game arguably ever with two INTs and 2 PDs
  • The game was won on a killer blocked extra point (Justin Simmons) and return (Will Parks)

Chiefs 30 - Broncos 27

Synopsis

While the game against the Saints may have been the funnest win of the Broncos 2016 season, the game against the Kansas City Chiefs was easily the best game the Broncos were in this season as far as pure NFL football entertainment goes. We didn’t end up victorious, but the game was a nail-biting overtime extreme experience that had tons of drama and interesting football situations and decisions.

Many will point to this loss as a turning point of sorts for the team and I honestly don’t disagree. This was a game the Broncos needed to win and should have won. They didn’t take care of business in so many ways and it really seemed to weigh on the spirit of the team.

The game was a back and forth affair with two very talented teams trading blow after blow. The offense finally got a significant lead in the 4th quarter, opted to not go for 2 to try and make it a 2-score game, then fought tooth and nail to win but eventually fell to an overtime FG after missing a very long controversial field goal attempt to play for the win instead of take the tie.

Keys

  • The Special Teams unit lining up incorrectly leading to a 4 point swing
  • Jordan Norwood’s muffed return
  • Not attempting a 2 point conversion in the 4th quarter
  • Wade Phillips running zone concepts in the last KC drive of the 4th quarter which plays to their QB’s strengths
  • Bradley Roby sucking wind on that same drive to give up a key 1st down inside the 5 AND a scoring play not long after

Broncos 20 - Jaguars 10

Synopsis

This game was a testament to the juggernaut that is the Denver Bronco defense. As we did dating back to the 2015 season, our team lives or dies with the play of the defense. They rolled in this game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and helped drag our offense to a victory.

Paxton Lynch, as a rookie filling in, was wildly inaccurate and our offense accounted for all of 13 points with their one TD coming off a drive where we uncharacteristically ran the ball with authority and got some penalty help to get in scoring position. The TD on this drive was actually illegal even, but the football gods had pity on our offense and let us get away with one.

The defense played smothering defensive football and with a pick 6 from Roby helped Denver cruise to a victory against an offense that was in every way outmatched.

Keys

  • Kapri Bibbs running very well up until he got injured
  • Roby with a superb pick 6
  • The offense not turning the ball over
  • The defense pretty much owning the Jags through the whole game

What this quarter said about the Broncos

The team was struggling at this point in the season, but the hope was still there. The team still controlled its own destiny as far as making the playoffs. Sadly the writing was starting to be on the wall for the team in that the offense may not be able to do enough. This was another quarter where they went 2-2 and the team was running out of wiggle room.

The other problem I saw this quarter was that with so many teams really stifling our offense early and often, the defense was getting more and more worn down as the games wore on. I fully believe that contributed to how many losses we suffered down the stretch.