The 2020 Denver Broncos season is finally over.
And since irony isn’t completely dead, the season ended as it began ... with the Broncos incapable of closing out a close game. Welcome to the last two years of football in Denver. Sunday’s chapter ended in a 32-31 loss to the hated Las Vegas Raiders.
And it happened in a game in which the Broncos won the turnover margin 4-0.
As Andrew Mason pointed out on Twitter, Denver snapped a 62-game league-wide winning streak (including playoffs) for teams that had four takeaways and zero giveaways. Since the start of the 2018 season, teams with exactly four takeaways and zero turnovers are now 117-2, per Pro Football Reference.
Per the usual, I’m bound to forget someone, leave them off or put them in the wrong category, so please mention them in the comments.
It sucks Denver couldn’t honor with the Broncos legend with a win, but he is and always will be a winner. Rest in peace to “The Franchise.”
It’s safe to say just about everyone in Broncos Country wanted to see the rookie receiver respond the way he did on Sunday. I know that I did. And that 92-yard touchdown catch offered a glimpse at what Jeudy is capable of. Mile High Salute to the rookie. He finished with five catches for 140 yards and a touchdown.
With his interception on Sunday, he is the only safety in the NFL with multiple picks in each of the last five seasons. Was this his final game with the Broncos? I certainly hope not. Simmons is everything you want on your team and is a Pat Bowlen Bronco. Pay. That. Man. Simmons had three tackles (two solo) and two passes defended.
The rookie cornerback forced two fumbles and four for the season. With the rookie year out of the way, I’m excited to see what Ojemudia looks like in his second season. For the game, he finished with seven tackles (five solo).
The second-year defensive tackle recorded 1.5 sacks to push his season total to 6.5. Keep in mind, Jones missed three games this season. He finished the game with six tackles (two solo), 1.5 sacks, and one tackle for loss.
In the words of Vic Fangio, “Drew, I thought, played well … I thought overall Drew played good football.” For the game, Lock was 25 of 41 passing for 339 yards and two touchdowns. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over.
The Broncos running back came up a bit short of his second, 1,000-yard rushing season of his career. But for the game, Gordon ran and played pretty well. He finished with 26 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown. Why is he both? Horrible game awareness. Instead of staying in bounds to force the Raiders to use a time out, he ran out of bounds. Inexcusable game awareness from a veteran who should know better.
About the only thing that makes any sense as to why the Broncos head coach used a time out, when Jon Gruden and Las Vegas had none and were about to get a delay-of-game penalty, is Fangio really wanted that higher draft pick. Fangio still has not learned clock and game management. At. All.
Gruden said the Raiders "changed our mind three times on the 2-point conversion. Fortunately, they used their timeout."— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) January 4, 2021
Jacobs: "We would have been scrambling if they hadn't."
Broncos special teams
This isn’t about the play, per se, but it’s my way of saying, hopefully we’ve seen the end of Tom McMahon in Denver.
The organization has now had four-straight losing seasons. With the Cleveland Browns (last playoff berth in 2002) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (last playoff berth in 2007) making the NFL Playoffs, Denver’s five-straight seasons is now the second-longest playoff drought in the NFL behind the New York Jets. That’s not winning.