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‘Maybe the Broncos just aren’t very good?’

Andrew Mason - joining Ryan Edwards and Steve Atwater on Orange & Blue Radio - tries to figure out what is going on with the Broncos this year.

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Denver Broncos v New York Jets Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images

The crew at 1st & 10 @ 10 on Orange and Blue Radio had an intriguing discussion about the Broncos problems during the first 15 minutes of their broadcast today that is well worth the listen.

Ryan Edwards, Andrew Mason and Steve Atwater were just as frustrated as the rest of Broncos Country over the loss to the Jets and had some interesting things to say about it, beginning with the fact that if the Broncos were going to guess how the Jets could beat them on Sunday it would have been exactly as it happened - with a couple of deep passes to Robby Anderson and some “big gash plays” from Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell.


“The Jets had three plays of 50 yards or more from scrimmage - the most the Broncos have allowed in any game since Week 17 of 2009,” Mason noted, pointing out it was the last game of the 2009 season against the Chiefs when Jamaal Charles “went off against the Broncos.”

So basically, Mase added, it’s been 127 games since the Broncos defense allowed that many 50+ plays.

Atwater was frustrated over the lack of contain that seems to be happening week after week with the defense.

“We’ve got to get that contain together,” he said, adding that most of the time if the defenders stayed where they lined up, they’d be in right place for where the play develops. “If they just stood there, kept that position, they’d have great contain. But because they run up the field, they run themselves out of the play.”

Mase also voiced his frustration over a familiar topic - the lack of running plays for the Broncos’ offense. Noting that the Broncos rushed 15 times in the first three quarters out of 47 plays despite being Top 3 in the league at rushing, Mase was less than happy.

“You’re running less than one-third of the time when either you’re leading or tied or the game is still within reach,” he said. “The thing you have to understand is that effective running means you’re going to have some ‘no gains,’ some ‘runs for losses.’”

And a little “fun fact” about Sunday that many Broncos fans probably overlooked or didn’t know, former Broncos offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, who is the “running game coordinator” for the Jets, has now been responsible for engineering two wins against the Broncos (including the Bills’ win last year over the Broncos when Dennison was their OC).

Not only that, but Dennison is the “run-game coordinator of record” for Isaiah Crowell setting a league record of 14.6 yards per carry in a game with at least 15 attempts.

But regardless of all the shortcomings, none of the 1st & 10 crew buys into the noise that the players quit on Sunday.

“They lost, but I don’t think they quit,” Mason said, adding that the ‘Oh they quit; they have no heart’ comments are one of things “that is easy for fans to say, but rarely if ever is that true. You got beat for different reasons, but I don’t think they quit.”

Atwater agreed. And while he doesn’t think the players “quit,” he does believe they got embarrassed for poor play.

“Guys went out and played hard and got their butts whooped. They’ve got to tip their hat to the Jets because Jets came out ready to play ball right from the jump,” said a guy who knows a thing or two about how to play defense. “I know one thing - we did not execute the way you are supposed execute, and when that happens, [this kind of game] is what happens - 300 yards rushing and you’re one of the top rushing defenses in the league? That’s unacceptable, and I ‘m sure their pride is hurt. Hopefully they go back to the board and fight and make sure this doesn’t ever happen again.”

But then Mase finished the segment with a dagger.

“The thing is, we’re talking about some ridiculous number every few weeks. Whether it’s Derek Carr going 29 of 32 against your pass defense or it’s giving up 51 to Philadelphia last year,” Mason pointed out. “This team is 8-17 dating back to late 2016. Maybe it’s just not that good?”