Coming into the Denver Broncos matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs much of the talk was about how bad the Chiefs defense was. They were like a sieve. Teams could run right up the middle on them. Offenses were putting up big numbers against them. Well, they hadn’t met the Broncos offense yet.
As I told Ian St. Clair on the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), the big takeaway from the Broncos loss to the Chiefs has to be how bad the offense is. Not just how bad Joe Flacco is. Not just the terrible play calling. Not simply pointing a finger at a porous offensive line. Not just the individual issues of Garett Bolles, Ronald Leary, Connor McGovern, etc.
The offense as a whole was heartless, lifeless, and plain feckless throughout a game that should have been their opportunity to finally put some points on the board. Feckless. Flacco couldn’t read the blitz packages that the Chiefs threw at him. He couldn’t adjust. He couldn’t avoid pass rushers. He couldn’t get his throws on target. He was just bad.
But he wasn’t alone. Bolles and Leary had their issues on the offensive line. A few holding calls, and an inability to block anyone who made their way towards Flacco didn’t help the situation. The whole line found ways to be just bad enough. It’s hard to block for a statue, but it’s hard to move in a collapsing pocket on almost every play.
Neither Phillip Lindsay nor Royce Freeman could really get anything going, and that first drive touchdown was fool’s gold. Without a couple bad penalties on 3rd down, that drive dies before it reaches the 50 yard line. The failed 2-pt conversion should have been an indication of how ineffectual the offense was going to be the rest of the way.
Noah Fant had his opportunities to silence some of the naysayers from his role in the Flacco interception against the Titans. Instead, he missed on his chances to catch balls that would have kept drives alive, and kept the Broncos in the game. And now he will be looked at by many as a first-round bust.
As far as the wide receivers, Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders had only small contributions. When the quarterback can’t be effective for all the wrong reasons, it limits what the receivers can do.
All things considered, the defense played well. They were handed a pretty difficult scenario with the offense being incapable of moving the ball. And don’t forget that seven of the points scored by the Chiefs were on a scoop and score fumble recovery. You could see the frustration on their faces throughout the game. It’s a tale as old as time in Broncos Country.
No. The two-game winning streak was not an indication of the Broncos fixing anything. It was pause from the ineffectual product that kept being put out on the field. What we were all shown was just how far away Denver is from really competing for anything. And the sad part is just how wasted some truly great players are on this awful team.