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Broncos’ red zone woes doom them once again versus the Eagles

The Broncos continued to struggle in the red zone against the Eagles, and it ended up costing them the win.

Philadelphia Eagles v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Throughout this season, I have continued to be amazed by the Broncos’ near-ineptitude in the red zone. I even sent out a tweet saying it is like they just forget how to football when they get down there.

And it still held true against the Eagles.

The Broncos now rank 21st in Red Zone DVOA, but are 31st in Goal to Go DVOA. They are 16th in Red Zone DVOA when Passing, but 26th in Red Zone DVOA when Rushing. These issues crept up against Philly, where the Broncos went 1-5 in the Red Zone due to a number of puzzling decisions. They are sitting at 17-34 for Red Zone TDs on the season, which ranks 29th in the NFL, per Pro Football Reference.

Denver kept throwing the ball in the red zone, and it was clear early that this wasn’t a worthwhile strategy. The only time they scored a touchdown, they fed Melvin Gordon inside the 25, and they ended up scoring.

The numbers for Denver aren’t exactly stellar with a poor Red Zone rushing DVOA and an abysmal Goal to Go situation, but Philly came into the game ranked 25th in Red Zone rushing DVOA on defense. Denver averaged about 5.4 yards per carry between Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon.

Why they insisted on sticking with throwing the ball whenever they got into the Red Zone this week was a puzzling at best decision - one that ultimately cost them the game.

The guys on Broncos Country Tonight also discussed this mind-boggling approach with Steve Atwater on Tuesday and Pro Football Focus’ George Chahrouri on Wednesday to get to the bottom of why the Broncos don’t run the ball more.

Even the Hall-of-Fame safety known for his positivity when it comes to the Broncos was baffled.

“I don’t know!” he said when Ryan Edwards pushed him on the reason the Broncos abandon the run game despite finding much success there. “I just don’t know. But it’s not getting called.”

Edwards thinks he knows (and is probably right): “Pat Shurmur hates the run game.”

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