As we stated all week long at Mile High Report, today’s game against the New York Jets was a must-win for the Denver Broncos. After three consecutive losses, the Jets were a struggling 1-3 team without a clear identity. It was never a gimme game, but today’s gridiron affair presented a prime opportunity for the Broncos to rebound after a heartbreaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Unfortunately, the Broncos strolled into town on their endless “We Can’t Win on the Road Tour” and played with no sense of urgency and were a complete disaster. The Jets played inspired and curb-stomped the Broncos in epic fashion en route to a 34-16 victory. Here are five things we learned from today’s dreadful game.
Final.#DENvsNYJ pic.twitter.com/DC0ATum8gj— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 7, 2018
1. The 2018 Denver Broncos are an absolute disaster and it’s time to clean house
If you are one of those fans in Broncos Country who are still optimistic about the rest of the year, you probably shouldn’t be. There is absolutely no reason for it.
The team lacks consistency on offense, gives up too many plays on defense and perhaps most importantly, the coaching has been suspect all year long. Execution? That doesn’t exist in Denver. Throwing five yard passes on third and long? That’s routine. A premier group of pass rushers who can’t rattle young and inexperienced quarterbacks? Yeah, that’s a big problem.
I could go on and on, but it’s quite simple — nothing about the 2018 Denver Broncos inspires confidence. It’s a damn shame how far this team has fallen after their Super Bowl victory just a handful of years ago. Today’s performance was appalling and made the Jets’ offense and Sam Darnold look like All-Pro’s. But if you think today was bad just wait and see what happens when the high-powered Los Angeles Rams do against the Broncos next week at Mile High.
Hell, dare I say it’s even time for the Broncos to clean house? That means the coaching staff, a wide variety of underwhelming and over-priced players who aren’t performing and maybe even some of the leadership at the top. Hit the reboot button, because this franchise is going in the wrong direction.
I wonder where most of #BroncosCountry lands on the #Broncos coaching situation after 5 games and a 2-3 start to the season.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) October 7, 2018
2. Bradley Roby had the worst game of his career
When you allow 21 points in one quarter, it’s awfully hard to rebound and win football games. That being said, the Broncos’ defensive effort in the second quarter was inexcusable. Most notably, atrocious effort of cornerback Bradley Roby.
The first major breakdown was a complete lack of discipline by most every defender on Isaiah Crowell’s 77-yard touchdown, but Roby whiffed majorly on his tackle attempt near the sideline. The second occurred when Robby Anderson juked Roby out of his cleats and burned him for 76-yard touchdown. The Broncos’ defense was in Cover 1, with Darian Stewart playing deep in the center of the field. Unfortunately he got caught peeking at Darnold’s eyes and was mislead, resulting in being out of position to give help over the top. The third breakdown was when Darnold tossed a beautiful 35-yard pass to Anderson, who burned Roby again in the end zone at the end of the second quarter.
I’ve been an advid supporter of Roby throughout his career. He has shown flashes of brilliance and I expected great things from him this season with the potential of a long-term deal. Alas, it is safe to say he this was the worst game of his professional career and arguably the worst game he has placed since Jared Abbrederis torched him in college in 2013.
Reminder that Robby Anderson is an elite deep threat. Bradley Roby can run but Anderson put him to shame here. pic.twitter.com/DXicQyHYtr— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) October 7, 2018
3. The Jets’ rushing attack was incredible
The trench battle in today’s game was decisively in favor of the Jets, who controlled the pace of the game and the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. After having four yards for zero yards last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Isaiah Crowell had a record-setting performance against the Broncos’ defense that allowed over three hundred yards on the ground. You would probably have to dig deep into the history books to find the last time the Broncos’ defense was that horrendous against the run.
4. The Broncos’ offensive line couldn’t handle the Jets’ blitzes
As I outlined in my Scouting the Enemy piece, Todd Bowles has a penchant for dialing up creative blitzes to get after the quarterback. Today was no different, with a handful of Jets defenders terrorizing Case Keenum and the Broncos’ offensive line throughout the game. Quite frankly, it didn’t even seem like the Broncos’ coaching staff did anything to help combat them. The Jets racked up 4 sacks in today’s game while the Broncos only had one. When will the Broncos’ offensive line improve and more importantly, when will their highly-touted group of pass rushers actually show up?
5. Case Keenum delivered another underwhelming performance
After enduring several years of below-average quarterback play, the Broncos made a big move in free agency by signing Keenum to a lucrative two-year deal. Many fans across Broncos Country were skeptical about the transaction, wondering if his efforts last year with the Minnesota Vikings were an aberration from years of mediocrity. Count me in as someone who was hopeful Keenum would continue to play at a high level, but he certainly has fell short five games into his time with the Broncos.
Whether it’s errant passes to nobody, holding on to the ball too long or making questionable reads, Keenum is clearly off and not the quarterback we were all hoping for. The Jets’ secondary was banged up and he still wasn’t able to take advantage of them when necessary. Please don’t remind me of the late fourth quarter touchdown to Demaryius Thomas when the game was already over or that it was his best statistical performance to date. He was far from the worst player on the field today, but nothing about his season to date screams franchise quarterback. Chalk that up as another long-term need for the franchise and soon enough, it might be time to start calling for Chad Kelly — because I have a hard time believing he would be much worse than Keenum has been to date.
Two near INTs for Case Keenum today. I swear there are times when his mind is made up pre-snap. He locks onto a decision and throws it anyway. #Broncos @1043TheFan— Cecil Lammey (@CecilLammey) October 7, 2018
So Broncos Country, what were your five big observations from today’s game? Sound off in the comments section and make your voice heard!