The Denver Broncos continue to be inept on offense. In their week 16 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders it was more of the same from Pat Shurmur. When Javonte Williams is held to just 12 rushing yards, you know something has to change.
If you didn’t look at the stat line, that Williams stat probably would have surprised you. In the end, it is just another in a long line of indicators that are screaming for big changes in Broncos Country.
At this point, it’s hard to find a reason to make anyone a winner, but that’s the assignment. I can make it work.
It was a great play on defense that gave the Broncos their first lead over the Raiders all season. Bradley Chubb, fully extended, tipped a Derek Carr pass, snagged it out of the air, and rumbled toward the end zone. He set up the Broncos lone touchdown with one of the best defensive plays of the day. It wasn’t a perfect day for Chubb, but it was certainly fun to watch him make that big play at the end of the first half.
Chubb reached full extension on that pick.— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) December 26, 2021
Griffith lead the Broncos with 13 total tackles, including 2 tackles for a loss. The defense played well, and Griffith was all over the place. He has looked good 2 weeks in a row, and is playing his way into a huge roll moving forward. The season may not end they way we all hope, but Griffith has been a nice surprise.
Harris was a thorn in the side of Derek Carr all day. He had 1.5 sacks, and with the Broncos down 13-14 late in the 3rd quarter, his strip sack gave the Broncos the ball, and a chance to take the lead. He combined with Steven Weatherly on a 3rd and 4 with the Raiders in the red zone, forcing them to settle for a field goal, and keeping the Broncos chances alive.
He gets on the list. He was a big part of the success of the defense, and the aforementioned play that kept the Broncos in the game could have been an even bigger moment in the offense could have cashed in.
Browning was in on several plays. He had 9 total tackles, and continued to be an impact player on defense.
The Whole Defense
Let’s face it. Without the efforts of the defense, it is hard to imagine the Broncos having the record they do. Mike Purcell and Dre’mont Jones both recovered fumbles. Ronald Darby made several tackles. The defense held the Raiders offense to just 17 points. That should be enough to get the win. On this team it isn’t, but they deserve the recognition.
He caught 3 balls for 60 yards. He was one part of the offense that seemed to be OK. However, he had a pivotal drop on the sideline that killed a drive early on.
He keeps turning nothing into something. He had the Broncos lone TD, and while he only rushed for 12 yards, I guarantee he earned each and every one. Still, in a game that needed him to blow a few guys up, he just never did.
As great as the defense is, if your team can’t score points, you won’t win games. Fangio is the reason we have Pat Shurmur in Denver. The loss to the Raiders was just another in a long list of games that prove Fangio is a great defensive coordinator, but just isn’t a very good head coach. A second loss to the hated Raiders gets you put on this list, no matter what.
If I know that every time Jerry Jeudy goes in motion the Broncos are going to run the ball, so do opposing defenses. There is talent on the field, and a little innovation and creativity could go a long way to improving things. In this game, it wasn’t just a lack of creativity. It felt like apathy on the part of Shurmur. That was it? That was the bag of tricks that you brought to the game. In today’s NFL all the offense could muster was 13 points (and the only TD came off a turnover that put the ball on the one yard line). We are all past done with this garbage from the Broncos OC.
The Offensive Line
Losing Lloyd Cushenberry was a bit of a blow, but the o-line has been bad in pass protection all season. Against the Raiders they were just bad all around. Drew Lock didn’t play all that well, but he never really had a clean pocket. The running attack, which is Denver’s bread and butter, fizzled under the lack of effective blocking. And it’s not like the Raiders have a great defense. They are not bad rushing the passer, but not exactly world beaters overall. The offensive line made them look like a team full of All-Pros.
I thought about leaving him off this list, but felt like the drop he had on a perfectly placed Drew Lock pass was worthy of placement here. Mostly, this is just a placeholder for the offense as a whole. Just bad. There wasn’t a lot of joy here.
What did I miss? Let us know in the comments.