The Denver Broncos can find no answers to their woes as they fall 20-17 to the equally bad Cincinnati Bengals at home. The way they lost is just a microcosm of their 2017 season in which mistakes and bad luck just kills all chances of victory.
At 3-7, the Broncos join a mile-long list of teams in the past who missed the playoffs. No team has made the playoffs when starting a season 3-7. It’s on to 2018 for the Broncos at this point. We should expect Paxton Lynch to be thrown into the lineup next week.
The Broncos owned the first quarter statistically, but a 100-yard interception return by the Bengals gave Cincinnati the points they needed to keep the score fairly even. Despite efficient play from Brock Osweiler and a blocked punt from Shaquil Barrett, Denver could not muster more than a touchdown in the first quarter.
Somehow, Dre Kirkpatrick's 100-yard interception return didn't end with a touchdown. pic.twitter.com/c3zsalux4h— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 19, 2017
That end zone interception proved crucial. It turned into a 13-point swing in favor of the Bengals and a huge momentum killer for the home team.
Broncos 7, Bengals 6.
The Broncos defense broke down on one drive in the second quarter as the Bengals drove quickly down the field for a touchdown, but other than that one drive they stifled and stuffed the Bengals in each of their other drives.
Hell of a TD throw by Andy Dalton to Alex Erickson. Bengals take 13-7 lead. pic.twitter.com/wHkbmMJvhF— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 19, 2017
Unfortunately, the Broncos could not get any offensive drives going on their end. Just before halftime, they did get Brandon McManus close enough for a 61-yard field goal attempt. However, that was blocked.
Bengals 13, Broncos 7.
Defenses for both teams took over in the second half, but the Broncos had the most success moving the ball. The Bengals offense had just 137 total yards after three quarters, but the big interception in the first quarter continued to be the difference in the game.
After three quarters the Broncos have held the Bengals to 134 yards, seven first downs and 27 yards rushing, yet the Broncos still trail, 13-10. https://t.co/fv5HfyOHOb— Jeff Legwold (@Jeff_Legwold) November 19, 2017
The Broncos defense has rediscovered its dominance and confidence after two very bad weeks having given up 92 points in their last two games.
Bengals 13, Broncos 10.
From their own 10-yard line, Osweiler got the Broncos moving with an early third down conversion and soon found themselves out near midfield. Unfortunately, C.J. Anderson fumbled the ball away to the Bengals to shift momentum back towards the visiting Bengals.
CJ who NEVER fumbles just fumbled. That kind of season. #9sports— Rod Mackey (@Rod9sports) November 19, 2017
The Bengals drove down the field and Andy Dalton lofted a pass to A.J. Green for a touchdown pass to put the game away for Cincinnati.
For the first time in weeks, the Broncos offense showed they had some fight in them as Osweiler drove them all the way down the field capping the drive off with a touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas with five minutes left in the game.
Not that it mattered. The game was out of reach the minute the Bengals added that touchdown. On to the 2018 NFL Draft, Broncos Country!
Bengals 20, Broncos 17.