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5 winners, 5 losers in Broncos loss to the Packers

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Turnovers by the offense and lack of turnovers/sacks from the defense proved the difference for the Broncos.

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Give this to the Denver Broncos: They keep finding ways to lose games.

The most recent chapter of the three-game losing streak to start the 2019 season, the Broncos gifted Aaron Rodgers three turnovers that resulted in 14 points. Of course, when you don’t protect the football, you won’t win many games; especially on the road ... against Rodgers ... at Lambeau Field (thanks, John Madden). The result was a 27-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday and the first 0-3 start for the Broncos since 1999.

On the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), Adam Malnati and I wonder — is there relief in sight? And what is there to get excited about? You might get surprised by what we have to say.

As always, I’m bound to miss someone on this list, so please point them out in the comments.

Winners

Phillip Lindsay

Denver’s second-year running back was the offense on Sunday, and he was fun to watch. Lindsay led the Broncos with 21 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns. He also had four catches for 49 yards.

Royce Freeman

Denver had the two-headed monster at running back roaring on Sunday. In most instances, when an offense has the running game rolling like the Broncos did against Green Bay, you win. Freeman finished with 15 carries for 63 yards. The second-year back also had four receptions for 10 yards. If Denver is able to run the football as it did on Sunday, it will win games. The Broncos finished with 149 yards rushing on 38 carries.

Dalton Risner

When you throw your running back into the end zone, as Denver’s rookie left guard did with Lindsay, you get put on the list. As a person said on Twitter in response to my tweet on the play, it’s what you could call “yards after Risner.” Also, the Broncos offensive line for its running game, deserves an honorable mention.

De’Vante Bausby

The question from Denver fans after Sunday’s game: Why didn’t Vic Fangio play Bausby sooner? The Broncos cornerback had three tackles and two passes defended. Hopefully this means more Bausby in the secondary going forward.

Bradley Chubb

No, the second-year edge didn’t get any sacks, but he was damn good on Sunday. Chubb had five tackles, three tackles for loss and the lone quarterback hit for the Broncos.

Losers

Turnovers

As noted in the intro for the column, you can’t turn the ball over three times and win in the NFL, and that’s a huge reason Denver lost this game. No need to single out the players who turned the ball over or were responsible, the loser is the turnovers in general.

Lack of turnovers/sacks

On the flip side, when your defense doesn’t create turnovers or sacks for the third-straight week, you’re not going to win many games. As Mike Klis noted on the tweeter machine, the Broncos are the first team in 50 years to have neither in the first three games of a season. How is it possible to have Chubb and Von Miller in your defense, and you have no sacks? The defense did create more pressure than it has, but it’s not enough.

Pass protection

The whole offensive line makes the list for this. There’s no doubt Joe Flacco didn’t do himself any favors in some instances, but Denver’s offensive line has to get better in passing situations.

Elijah Wilkinson

When your play factors in both turnovers and pass protection, you make the list.

Brandon McManus

Missed extra points are inexcusable, especially in close games.

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