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Broncos at Chargers: The No Bull Review

The Broncos lost another close snooze-fest in the big lights of prime time. Here are my thoughts, opinions, and analysis on the poorly coached game.

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

This story was old like 3 years ago… stop me if you’ve heard it before: The Broncos have a really solid and talented defense that is balling out week after week holding teams to under 20 points per game (which is excellent in today’s NFL).

The only problem is that the Denver Broncos have one of the most flaccid offenses known to football at any level. Much like this Dorito and Mountain Dew-consuming geek during his high school years, they just can’t score.

For a coach to be given a chance at running a team like this with a big-name QB traded for injecting real juice to the offense, Nathaniel Hackett should be doing a heck of a lot better.

And I’m tired of the excuses. I’m tired of hearing how “he needs to do better.”

Talk is cheap, Nathaniel Hackett. So is your dime-store garbage bin offense you’ve mustered after selling Broncos Country a bill of goods on a potent West-Coast powerhouse a la the Green Bay Packers of the past few years.


The only bad thing worth pointing out about Ejiro Evero’s defense is the lack of focus that led to so many penalties (real ones, not the imaginary pass interferences that the refs kept handing the Chargers in order to help them win against our pathetic team). There are too many dumb penalties that extend drives by this defense. Outside of that, they did a hell of a job and deserve exactly 0% of the blame for this loss.

Front 7

DENVER BRONCOS VS LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Baron Browning is kinda a big deal. He’s looking fantastic on the field and is a game-changer of a pass rusher. What’s really awesome about his game is that he’s the total package. He really covers well, defends the run, and is a hungry pass rusher with moves as well as speed. He gets a sack going light speed from the edge to sack Herbert inside the red zone early in the game. He also made a nice interception in the 4th quarter off of a deflected pass.

The pass rush from the front is honestly looking absolutely astounding. Jonathan Cooper had a nice pass rush early (he actually had two pressures that impacted plays). Rookie Matt Henningson got left clean for a sack because the Charger line was too worried about our edge rush.

Alex Singleton needs praise for his work in this game. It wasn’t a perfect game for him (there are some angles he needs to clean up in order to really shine), but the guy made 21 tackles which is just plain stupid.


DENVER BRONCOS VS LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Patrick Surtain II got tested and excelled with perfect coverage for the pass defense exactly one time that I saw. He is truly a shut-down corner with the Chargers’ offense completely ignoring his side of the field on every play.

Damarri Mathis got the shaft in this game. He had three bogus PI with one that actually was a penalty. But those 3 plays from what I saw was PERFECT coverage technique. I love seeing him just get back up and keep working. He ended up breaking up the hail mary at the end of the 4th quarter which I thought was impressive to see.


What can I say that hasn’t been said practically every game this season? This offense sucks. Nathaniel Hackett’s play calling is phenomenally, woefully, and predictably horrid.

At the end of the game we had not one, not two, but THREE drives in a row where the play calls went run, run, pass, then punt.

This is not the 70’s or 80’s, Hackett. Your offensive line looks like something my dog left on the front porch after chawing down a couple of Hershey’s bars. Your running backs are all mediocre journeymen with no real ability to break a big play of their own accord.

The one consistent thing we’ve seen is that when Wilson takes over a drive, uses his feet, and buys time by rolling out, the offense does some really amazing things. So just do that. Stop trying to make him a pocket passer like Dan Marino exclusively. I do think he should develop those skills, but right now, this team needs him to just be Russell Wilson and I think he makes enough cheddar to be able to handle that assignment.


Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Russell Wilson looked as good as we’ve seen with him in a Broncos uniform to date in the 1st quarter. Then the Chargers kept at least cover-2 going from that point on and Wilson never really had an answer for the deep throws being taken away.

If the hamstring issue happened that early in the game, then he needed to at some point just sit and let the backup come in. I don’t think that is the case, though. That being said, if you are going to stay in and play hurt, you have to do better than what we saw.

The really amazing thing (in a bad way) is that Wilson absolutely out-played Justin Herbert. And this Broncos team still lost.


I had hope in this line when the season started. We seemed to have consistent run blocking which goes a long way. But now, this line looks lost. I get that injuries have a lot to do with that, but at some point, the real story starts looking like the offensive line coach is clueless and less that the line is just no good (though some of them absolutely could be upgraded).

Running Backs

The only thing to talk about here is that a journeyman running back in Latavius Murray came into town and just stole Melvin Gordon III’s lunch money. It wasn’t even hard to do. He just showed up and did normal running back things and now we have a bewildered look of a guy that just can’t believe that he’s not seeing the field. Well, Melvin, 2.7 ypc just doesn’t cut it. Since week 2 you haven’t really made an impact in the run game. Add in the fumble history, and why would the coaches call your number when Mike Boone and Murray both get better results consistently?


Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Welcome to the NFL Greg Dulcich! He runs a go route, the Chargers ignore him completely, and he makes the easy catch to the house for 6.

K.J. Hamler once again showed big-time jets at the end of the half taking the top off the defense. If Wilson could just lead him properly, this offense would get an easy six. But we’ll take the big chunk yardage wherever it comes from.

Special Teams

P.J. Locke lost us the game. Sure, the offense sucks and mostly is to blame, but that one play by a special teamer was the thing that nailed the coffin shut. It was absolutely his fault, too. He should not have been anywhere near the fair catch. He should not have been blocking the gunner.

Final Thoughts

I enter every season looking and searching for hope. I love cheering for this team. I love seeing the ups and downs. I’m just sick of seeing mostly downs.

I preached patience to Broncos Country for the first handful of games. We’re past that now and the offense has not taken even a little step forward. Every week we watch and hope they finally turn a corner and find something to start building success off of, and every week they just fall on their faces due to their own astronomical levels of derpage.

I’ll still cheer, but much like last season, we’re now at the point where I’m going to just enjoy poking fun at just how much this offense sucks.