In a game the Denver Broncos should have probably won based on the number of miscues that they committed, but it was the visiting Tennessee Titans who overcame their three missed field goals and an extra point by Stephen Gostkowski to give him one more chance at redemption.
He would boot the winning field goal through to give the Titans a 16-14 road win to start the season. Denver would never take a time out on that final drive.
The two teams traded punts early, but the Broncos were set up with solid field position after Stpehen Gostkowski missed a field goal. Drew Lock made all of the plays, with a little help from Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay, on the next drive to help get the team in position for the first score in the game.
Lock found Noah Fant for a nine yard touchdown pass to put them up early.
Noah Fant with the first touchdown of the #Broncos season.— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 15, 2020
There will be more. pic.twitter.com/vLSpYxsbxz
In the second quarter, the Broncos had to go into survival mode after a series of miscues plagued them throughout.
The first miscue came from Melvin Gordon who fumbled just past their own 20-yard line to give the Titans excellent field position. The Titans would convert that into a game tying touchdown.
The second miscue came on the Broncos ensuing possession as they found themselves with a first and goal at the two. They would not get in and would fail to convert on fourth and goal at the one.
The third miscue ended up being saved by Shelby Harris. The Titans were able to drive the length of the field from their own one yard line, but when Stephen Gostkowski lined up to take the lead with a field goal. Harris did this.
For the second time in his NFL career, @ShelbyHarris93 blocks a kick in week 1. pic.twitter.com/QBzOg27d6o— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 15, 2020
Denver’s miscues continued through the third quarter as the offense began to sputter with three and outs.
Lucky this wasn't a huge turnover. Lock had an open DaeSean Hamilton in the middle of the field. pic.twitter.com/XPHksuqdcZ— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 15, 2020
Two long drives by the Titans chewed up the clock and put the Broncos defense on the verge of collapse from exhaustion. Another missed field goal bailed them out early in the quarter, but the third quarter ended with the Titans holding a second and goal.
The fourth quarter opened up with a swing pass to Derrick Henry to give the Titans a third and goal from the two. He would be stuffed at the goal line to bring up a fourth down.
Like the Broncos in the first half, the Titans would go for it. Unlike the Broncos in the first half, the Titans would convert it with a wide open receiver in the end zone to give the Titans a 13-7 lead. Stephen Gostkowski, in a comical turn of events, missed another kick in the game.
Melvin Gordon went no where on first down, but then ripped off a 25-yard gain out to midfield on second down to break open the drive for Denver.
Pretty design by the #Broncos, nice run by Melvin Gordon pic.twitter.com/6UbXqXrfs7— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 15, 2020
Jerry Jeudy made a filthy cut to break himself free for a 21-yard gain on the very next play. That was so dirty, we need a GIF for it.
Jerry Jeudy isn't human. pic.twitter.com/kQTIgjYFJE— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 15, 2020
After a short loss on a pass to Jeudy on the next play, Lock found Tim Patrick on a slant over the middle for 14 yards and a first down. Gordon would gain three on an outside run on the next play, then Royce Freeman got involved taking a pass from Lock down to the one yard line.
Melvin Gordon would punch it in two plays later for the Broncos to take the lead 14-13 after Brandon McManus, you know, kicks the ball through the uprights.
Dalton Risner and Andrew Beck escort Melvin Gordon into the endzone. #Broncos 14#Titans 13 pic.twitter.com/wu1kmfE6bc— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 15, 2020
The Titans came out on their next possession, but on third and one the Broncos completely stuffed Ryan Tannehill on a quarterback sneak to bring out the punt unit.
Lock made a dangerous throw outside to Tim Patrick to open up the next drive, but he rifled it in before the defender could get there on the jump. Melvin Gordon would take the next handoff outside for a first down. Gordon carried four defenders on his back on his way to a seven yard gain on first down. He would lose a yard on second down, and Lock would have his arm hit on third down to force another punt.
Sam Martin boomed a massive punt to pin the Titans on their own four yard line with just under five minutes to go in the game. From there the Titans quickly found themselves in a third and 10 after a stuffed run and an incomplete pass. Kareem Jackson was beat on a pass over the middle, but he was able to make a diving tip to deflect the ball away.
A poor punt by Brett Kern set the Broncos up with great field position at the Titans 44-yard line. Lock hit Jeudy dead on the numbers on a slant, but the rookie dropped his second ball in the game. A short run by Gordon setup a third and eight, where Lock went deep to DaeSean Hamilton who was wide open in the end zone and overthrew him badly.
Bad miss by Drew Lock. #Broncos fail to burn any clock. pic.twitter.com/XLGw40Sv54— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 15, 2020
Tannehill got himself into a rhythm early on the next drive with a couple of easy completions and four consecutive first downs before the two minute warning to get them to the Titans 49-yard line after Vic Fangio challenged the call to bring the ball back a few yards.
The first play after the two minute warning saw Alexander Johnson fly through the gap to nail Tannehill as he released the ball. Michael Ojemudia was beaten deep and committed pass interference to give the Titans the ball at the 35 yard line.
Fangio decided to leave the timeouts in the bank to give Stephen Gostkowski situation a go to win the game.
Broncos 2020 schedule
|1||9/14/2020||vs. Tennessee Titans (MNF)||8:10 PM||ESPN||14-16||0-1|
|2||9/20/2020||at Pittsburgh Steelers||11:00 AM||CBS||21-26||0-2|
|3||9/27/2020||vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2:25 PM||FOX||10-28||0-3|
|4||10/1/2020||at New York Jets (TNF)||6:20 PM||FOX||37-28||1-3|
|6||10/18/2020||at New England Patriots||11:00 AM||CBS||18-12||2-3|
|7||10/25/2020||vs. Kansas City Chiefs||2:25 PM||CBS||16-43||2-4|
|8||11/1/2020||vs. Los Angeles Chargers||2:05 PM||CBS||31-30||3-4|
|9||11/8/2020||at Atlanta Falcons||11:00 AM||CBS||27-34||3-5|
|10||11/15/2020||at Las Vegas Raiders||2:25 PM||CBS||12-37||3-6|
|11||11/22/2020||vs. Miami Dolphins||2:05 PM||CBS||20-13||4-6|
|12||11/29/2020||vs. New Orleans Saints||2:05 PM||CBS||3-31||4-7|
|13||12/6/2020||at Kansas City Chiefs (SNF)||6:20 PM||NBC||16-22||4-8|
|14||12/13/2020||at Carolina Panthers||11:00 AM||CBS||32-27||5-8|
|15||12/19/2020||vs. Buffalo Bills||2:30 PM||NFLN||19-48||5-9|
|16||12/27/2020||at Los Angeles Chargers||2:05 PM||CBS||16-19||5-10|
|17||1/3/2021||vs. Las Vegas Raiders||2:25 PM||CBS|