clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Broncos vs Bills: The No Bull Review

The Denver Broncos got handled by a superior NFL team in the Buffalo Bills. Here are my thoughts, opinions, and analysis on the Denver Broncos’ most recent game.

NFL: DEC 19 Bills at Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There are contenders in the NFL (the Buffalo Bills) and there are pretenders (the Denver Broncos). When teams that have it together face teams that don’t, bad things happen as we saw this week.

Our defense and its banged-up secondary got dunked on.

Our offense and its joke of a QB couldn’t keep up in any way, shape, or form. The result is a 48-19 drubbing that sadly wasn’t as close as the score indicated.

Defense

Vic Fangio is doing what he can with shoe string and bubblegum at cornerback and the Bills decided to show the world exactly how much the Broncos are lacking at cornerback. We’re starting a rookie who should be best served as our nickel corner or at best covering the #2 WR. We have a guy who’s probably a #5 cornerback that should be maybe seeing the field 1-3 snaps per game across from him.

I’d like to say it was a valiant effort, but those seem like meaningless words to this Broncos fan. Honestly, I’m not sure what team could have a situation like our defense and make something competent happen against a really good quarterback.

Front 7

Buffalo Bills v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Jeremiah Attaochu kept hustling to get a strip sack. It was mostly due to great coverage, but credit to him for eventually beating the tackle.

Bradley Chubb you would think would be thriving in this situation late in the season with young guys being productive in the pass rush, but he barely got one hit on the quarterback in this game.

Secondary

NFL “u2013 CAROLINA PANTHERS VS. DENVER BRONCOS Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson both seemed to be doing their best to tighten down the hatches for this defense with them both in the top 4 tacklers of the game (I’m going to point out again that it is bad to have a safety lead the team in tackles...where you at ILBs???).

De’Vante Bausby spent the vast majority of the game getting straight-up picked on, picked apart, and outplayed. He’s a decent enough guy to be at the back end of your roster, but this game for sure showed me that he’s not got the stuff to be a starter.

Offense

As much as we wanted reality to be the well-called, well-executed game that Pat Shurmer and the Broncos offense showed last week against the hapless Panthers, Broncos Country instead got to watch yet another craptastic show of incompetence from its offense.

The sad part is that the insight I can give you as a take-away from the game is that Shurmer and the Broncos are protecting Lock right now with how they are calling the game. As the lead grew, nothing much was done to push Lock into trying to make anything happen. Instead, we had run calls and simple throws 10 yards and in.

My question here is that if Lock is really the future, why aren’t we letting him let it all hang out when we’re down by more than 2 scores?

Quarterbacks

Buffalo Bills v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

I honestly almost get as excited about Drew Lock tucking the ball and running out of bounds as I do him completing a contested pass. On 2nd and long he ran out with a 2 yard gain when every one of his options rolling left had at least 2 guys covering them. That’s all I have for positives on his play in this game.

Lock was inaccurate on short throws yet again. He takes so long to read plays as they develop that it leads to sacks, closed windows, and stagnation in the passing game. He had two throws that absolutely should have been picked off because he’s throwing into excellent coverage.

Line

For the first touchdown of the game by the Broncos, you love to see the offensive line owning up front to get Gordon the open scoring lane. We pulled a guard to blow up the linebacker and the whole left side of the line got it done. Honestly, I’m going to point out again that this line is playing much better than it started the season. The offensive ineptitude isn’t something that I mostly link to the line play (which I would have in many of the early games from this season).

Running Backs

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Gordon Jr. continues to show that he’s the best running back on the Broncos team without a doubt. His power and ability to make guys miss make him the right back for this fledgling offense.

Phillip Lindsay at least showed up with a 3.5 ypc average in this game. Something still looks amiss with him to me...he’s either lacking explosiveness or teams just have gotten the read on how to play him.

Receivers

I’m not sure what we’re supposed to talk about with our receivers when the quarterback is so poor at his job. Noah Fant was the leading receiver which is not a bad idea at all. But the production just wasn’t there. The longest passes we got to receivers were 19 yards by Jerry Jeudy, 16 yards by Noah Fant, and 10 yards by Tim Patrick. No one topped 100 yards receiving and outside of Jeudy and Fant, all other receivers averaged 5 yards or less per pass.

Special Teams

Sam Martin is a good punter. That’s where we are at this season, ladies and gentlemen.

Did anyone else miss Brandon McManus? I sure did. I’m still scratching my head on why he wasn’t allowed to play this week.

Final Thoughts

The Broncos hopefully look better in the final two games of the season. They are playing average to below-average defenses so we have hope for some decent football left in the year. Like most out there, my focus will be to see overall what Lock has to show us and whether or not the Broncos are going to put him in a position to grow or keep choosing to protect him and not have to look for a quarterback again this offseason.