The start of the Denver Broncos season couldn’t come soon enough for most fans. The preseason was seemingly interminable. From the first scrimmage in July to the last kickoff in September, we waited, and waited, and waited. The one big takeaway? The Broncos were just not ready for prime time.
Monday night on the road is a difficult task. Now, throw in all the quirks that preceded the Broncos matchup with the Raiders, and the task becomes a mountain range of obstacles. However, as I discussed with Ian St. Clair on the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), the Broncos looked incredibly, woefully, underprepared to play on Monday night.
The one big takeaway from the game has to be that Vic Fangio and his coaching staff did not do enough to get the starters ready to perform in an actual game. Even though the Broncos had seemingly the longest preseason in history, the starters on offense only played 20 snaps. Von Miller looked like he took the entire preseason schedule off, even when he did play.
In the NFL everyone is good, even the bad teams. It is the little things that make teams winners. In the loss to the Raiders, the little things kept slipping through the cracks. The defense looked sluggish. Isaac Yiadom was a liability most of the game. The play calling on offense was strange and confusing. Special teams is still a huge concern, except Brandon McManus. It was an all around poor showing.
With all the issues that the team faced, there was still a chance to win. DaeSean Hamilton’s drop in the end zone dramatically shifted momentum. From 14-10 to 14-6 in the bounce of a football off of chest pads, and the game was all but over from then on.
But, this is just Game 1. While the Broncos may have skipped the preseason to the detriment of the opener, there is a whole season ahead of Broncos Country. Joe Flacco and the offense will improve, and the defense will wake up. Even the special teams might get better.
Maybe it feels like we are watching Part 4 of the Denver Broncos franchise collapse since the 2015 Super Bowl win, but the season isn’t over. A lot of teams looked bad in Week 1. Let’s wait and see where the team is at after Week 4 before we call in the undertaker.