Following an admirable effort in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, largely in part to a surprisingly effective defensive showing, the Denver Broncos followed it up with a home victory over the Green Bay Packers.
It’s plausible that many in Broncos Country had already shifted their attention away from a successful 2023 season and instead towards the potential of getting a franchise QB like Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in the draft, so it was not necessarily a victory that was met with unanimous praise. However, a win’s a win, and we’ll get to see how the team responds next week vs. the Chiefs in a rematch.
Let’s take a look at the game using GIFs
Well...we’re not expecting much outside of a clunker from both teams, but we’re here...let’s go, I guess.
More bad discipline takes away a touchdown
It seems like just about every time the Broncos offense has something going this season, someone makes a dumb penalty to kill the drive. This time it was on tackle Quinn Bailey, who’s holding penalty nullified a four-yard touchdown run by Javonte Williams, sending the team back ten yards and ultimately forcing a field goal.
Sloppy play on both sides, punts, field goals, penalties, zzzzz
And here comes the clunker one would expect between a 2-3 and 1-5 team. If you’re a fan of slop, penalties, and the occasional good run, this game’s for you. Otherwise it’s like watching paint dry. This was basically the story of the first half where the Broncos went into the locker room up 9-0. Credit to the defense at least for not allowing Jordan Love to have the superman moment most QBs seem to have vs the Broncos.
The offense finds a little juice
Following a field goal by Green Bay, Russell Wilson and the Broncos’ offense engineered a 75-yard touchdown featuring three plays of15+ yards, including the 18-yard touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton (who has had some impressive red zone performances in recent weeks). Nice.
The Packers answered with a touchdown of their own with a 16-yard toss to Romeo Doubs...but was it really? The Broncos’ Pat Surtain II appeared to grab the ball simultaneously with Doubs but with his feet landing first...something that has been argued in games this season that gives the defender possession. On this day, that was NOT the case, and The Packers cut it to six. It was a solid play by both parties, regardless.
Second half meltdown, right on cue?
Well, the Broncos had lost 10 straight when leading at halftime, why should we expect anything different? After a three-and-out by the Broncos offense, the Packers marched down the other way of the field, ate up some clock, and took the lead on a short tight end dump to Jordan Reed from Jordan Love. 17-16 Packers.
The Broncos answer! (with a field goal)
The Broncos just can’t put things away with ease. The Broncos couldn’t take the lead back with a touchdown, so resorted to a field goal with plenty of time (sub-four minutes) for the Packers to answer. 19-17 Broncos, but can the home team hold on?
Luckily for Denver, Jordan Love is not yet Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers and made an ill-advised deep ball attempt over the middle of the field that landed directly into the arms of reserve safety PJ Locke. The Broncos were able to control the clock the rest of the way and give Sean Payton his first home victory as the team’s coach.
A win! Yes! But...something feels...off
Are Caleb Williams and Drake Maye now...non-options?
It’s a win but a sloppy one. But is this team just not bad enough to the point of pushing themselves away from the top two signal callers. Maybe JJ McCarthy has that it-factor? It’ll be interesting to see what kind of season the team has in regards to draft position. Outside of a miraculous turnaround, at least.
But hey, a win’s a win! Right? RIGHT?!?!
Who cares if we won our way out of franchise QB contention. Maybe this is the start of a turnaround! Maybe we’ll shock the world! Let’s be happy!