Of all the ways this game could unfold, traversing back to 2019 or 2020 was not one of them.
Yes, it’s just one game, but that 23-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens was putrid on just about every level for the Denver Broncos. Not much you can do or say after a game like that, so let’s just get right to the point.
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.
What a game for the Broncos rookie. The safety finished with three tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and one pass defended. In the first four games, Sterns has been a consistent performer for Denver.
Broncos running game
On 16 carries, the combo of Melvin Gordon and Javonate Williams finished with 104 yards. Both averaged over 6 yards per carry. Yet despite the success the Broncos had running the ball, they only ran four times in the second half. With a quarterback who got little to no reps with the starters, that’s not a recipe for success.
You know the kind of day it is when the punter makes the winners list. But when you punt it 10 times and four of them were downed inside the 20, that’s a great day. Martin also averaged 49.1 yards per punt.
Nothing special from the Denver tight end, but he had the lone touchdown. Fant finished with six catches for 46 yards.
Once Teddy Bridgewater left with the concussion, it seemed like Shurmur had no clue what to do. How do you have success running the ball, lose your starting QB, bring in a quarterback who hasn’t played, and rush it four times in the second half?
The Broncos secondary
The talk prior to this game was how Denver’s secondary had the advantage over the Ravens receivers. Well, that Broncos unit was just shredded by Lamar Jackson. That is the biggest concern stemming from this performance.
They are no excuse, but the injury mojo has to correct itself at some point, right? Down your starting left and right guard, when Baltimore defensive tackle Calais Campbell was asked if it was noticeable, he replied, “Oh yeah.” And now you use Bridgewater? That’s not great. However, the Ravens have dealt with their share of injuries as well.
There was cautious optimism after the first three weeks of the season. Now, after this showing, it’s like a bad rerun. “Here we go again.” It is just one game, and there’s a lot of football left. But in the biggest game this franchise has played in years, they got shellacked. How Denver responds against the Pittsburgh Steelers could go a long way in defining this season.