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Broncos at Chargers: The No Bull Review

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The Denver Broncos laid one of the most pathetic-looking eggs of a game I have ever witnessed in my time as a fan. Here are my thoughts, opinions, and analysis on just how bad it was.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Embarrassing.

I felt last week I laid it on a little thick with bashing our “starting quarterback” and the coaches. I kinda feel like they read my article and said, “Hold my beer…”

What the actual four-wheeled truck was that abomination that we just witnessed?

I can assure you that on the offensive side of the ball it was nothing that resembled NFL-level football in any way, shape or form.

Also, the Special Teams unit looked about as poorly coached and disciplined as I have seen in both returning kicks and covering them.

Buckle up again, Broncos Country...we’re entering the depths that have been unexplored since the years of Josh McDaniels. This is NOT going to be pretty.

Defense

Let’s start the ride off positive: the defense played a fabulous game. There are flaws to clean up. The secondary needs to practice handling rub concepts. The inside line backers need new legs or maybe a replacement. But beyond that, the run blocking was awesome, the pass rush was good, and the pass coverage in the back end was amazing as usual.

Front 7

Von Miller shows the superb power and use of technique / leverage to get a sack early. He also got another one late that was the most soulless looking big play I’ve ever seen out of him.

Brandon Marshall nice pressure on A-gap blitz causes a nice throw-away on 3rd down. Sadly, his pass coverage game isn’t nearly as sharp. Later in the 2nd quarter he gives up an easy TD in the flat. I’m not sure what the problem is with Marshall this year, but he looks bad fairly consistently in pass coverage.

Todd Davis in coverage is almost always a lose. If coaches scheme their TEs to get matched up with him, it is an easy gain for the offense. Honestly, I don’t care how good he is against the run. At this point, teams design plays specifically to target him and it works at a very high rate.

Domata Peko had a disgusting sack up the middle, which is just what the defense needs to get better at doing. That kind of interior pass rush will help in every other facet of the defense. Honestly, I can’t think of a player that looked better in this game than Peko. He was a reckoning in the middle of our defensive line.

Secondary

Roby nice coverage and tackling all game. Late in the 3rd quarter he showed picture perfect coverage against Keenan Allen punching the ball away on a post route. Honestly, I’ve been one of Roby’s biggest critics, but I have to say he had an amazing game...it was the best I’ve seen him play in our beloved orange and blue.

Also, he hardly ever gets thrown on, but in case you were wondering, Aqib Talib is still one of the best corners in the NFL. He was all over everything thrown his way and was this close to a pick six on one pass defense.

Offense

There are one of two things going on with the Broncos offense. Either Mike McCoy needs to be seriously questioned as far as his professional capability to be an offensive coach in the NFL or Trevor Siemian is absolutely, positively worse than I have ever thought of him in the 2+ years that I have been watching his career. There is no other option. It is one or the other at this point from where I stand.

Heck...it may be both for all I know.

Quarterbacks

Trevor Siemian early on looked like a guy trying harder and harder to look more like Tim Tebow as far as accuracy goes. He was constantly overthrowing routes. Look guys and gals. I’m not going to lie to you...saying this is absolutely debilitatingly depressing. Why? Because the vast majority of his throws weren’t even more than 10 yards down the field.

Broncos Country, I don’t want to hear any more about Trevor Siemian being an accurate quarterback.

Pairing Siemian’s inability to read defenses and / or go through read progressions like a normal NFL QB with a line that is spotty in its blocking is a recipe for derptitude of the highest order. The first half saw another dropped INT as well as a nice strip-sack from the Broncos “starting” QB. It only got worse as the game went on with a 2nd dropped INT and another fumble. I stopped counting after 4 turnover plays that were his responsibility.

Broncos Country, I don’t want to hear any more about how Trevor Siemian takes care of the ball.

On one play call (2nd and 10) Bolles is cutting his blocker (this is normally something that is planned. This means the ball is coming out in under 3 seconds for the play to work..unless you are Trevor Siemian. Then it means you hold the ball and think real hard until you get sacked.

Late in the 3rd quarter, he had probably his most disappointing throw of the game. McCoy calls a play action on 1st down and it works perfectly. The Charger defense bites hard leaving Green streaking up the sideline. The only problem was that Siemian completely under threw the pass which winded up incomplete. Had he been able to throw it with any velocity and lead his receiver, it was an easy TD that changes the game.

Broncos Country, I don’t want to hear any more about Trevor Siemian can make all the throws.

Soon after I wrote that, Trevor Siemian said, “Hold my beer…” On 4th and 6 he does a decent job scrambling out of trouble, then sees DT about 10 yards down the field...only to toss the pass 5 yards behind DT to the Chargers on what was one of the most pathetic throws I’ve seen from a QB in space ever.

Broncos Country, I don’t want to hear any more about the “Little Trevor Siemian That Could.”

He’s a train wreck of a third-year NFL QB. He’s a joke. He absolutely, positively has no business getting another NFL snap on this team. It is Ole Yeller time, ladies and gentlemen. Put that kid on the bench and put him and more importantly the good fans in Broncos Country out of their misery.

Line

Garett Bolles, welcome to the NFL. You just got your tail handed to you on a platter. This is the game you need to get on film and spend hours going over your technique. You sucked. Now learn from it. You are better than the product we saw on Sunday by a far stretch.

I do want to applaud Andre Barbre for his attempt at playing right tackle. It was atrocious, but honestly, I can’t say it was any worse than any other performance we’ve seen at right tackle from the Broncos this year.

Max Garcia, it is only by the grace of God himself that you aren’t talked about more. Our right tackle problems are so big that only a few of us constantly call out how bad you suck at football. FYI: You still suck at it.

Running Backs

If we’re keeping it real here at the No Bull Review (and we are), C.J. Anderson played a pretty darn good game. This was a game that he was playing with passion and doing his all to try and get the offense to be productive.

Receivers

Passes were completed to 9 different receiving options in this game. The top targets went to A.J. Derby (throws to a tight end, yay!) and Demaryius Thomas (throws to our #1 WR, yay!). As a group, the 9 targets averaged 8.3 yards per pass. I don’t know what it means, but I will say that the passing receivers in the game seemed to have no impact on the game from a play-making standpoint. Is it because of the scheme that focuses on short throws? Is it because the QB is so inaccurate?

I’d say it is both. Between the WRs, TEs, and RBs we have on the team, there is plenty of pass catching talent to be had.

Special Teams

Andy Janovich and Zaire Anderson need to have their tails chewed sideways for letting that punt return TD happen. They were looking sideways at blockers instead of closing lanes down on the returner. It was the kind of derpy kickoff coverage I expect to see in the college game, honestly.

Also worth noting is the awful return work Brendan Langley has been doing on kick-offs. He keeps running out punts and losing the team yardage. Unless the kick has low hang-time there is no reason to try to return a kick that is 3 yards deep in the end zone. None. Stop trying to be a hero and put the team before your desire to do something on the field.

Final Thoughts

Here’s where the rubber meets the road, ladies and gentlemen. If the Denver Broncos are interested in actually winning football games this season, it is ABSOLUTELY time to bench their “starting quarterback.” He’s a dumpster fire.

The next step after doing that is to blow up the offensive scheme and design something specific to work with the players we have on the team. The offense as I see it looks a lot like what McCoy did with Manning and Rivers. There is a lot of short throws that require great accuracy in the scheme. When those work, the running game works better, and it opens up big passes down the field from time to time.

The problem this team has is that we don’t have Peyton Manning or Phillip Rivers on this team. That scheme can’t work here because Siemian is so very far from being able to carry those two QB’s jocks.

The focus needs to move away from requiring pinpoint accuracy and instead move more to scheming mismatches, intermediate throws between the seams of the defenders, and much more work out of the run blocking of all of the offensive players.

The talk from Vance Joseph about the problem not being Siemian is absolutely untrue. It is just coach speak and PR. The Broncos have an insurance salesman playing QB. He needs to go sell insurance and the Broncos coaches need to be talking more about how they are going to win actual games instead of the same old silly song and dance while they continue to try and pull the wool over the eyes of this fanbase.