They didn’t go their way at all. Today they were their own worst enemies. Their abysmal offense and self-inflicted wounds being the primary reason for their 31-21 loss to the New York Jets.
It’s an embarrassing loss for the franchise, especially after how critical Sean Payton was of Nathaniel Hackett. The franchise has now dropped to 1-4 on the season—and if I had to put money on it—more losses are on the horizon with matchups against the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills over the next several weeks.
Here are some of my big instant reactions from today’s game.
Denver’s Offensive Performance Was Horrendous
There aren’t many positive takeaways from the Broncos’ offense today.
The only highlight in my eyes was Jaleel ‘Real Deal’ McLaughlin, but after an impressive first half performance—he was nowhere to be found in the second half.
Outside of that? I’ve got nothing good to say.
Courtland Sutton didn’t have a target or reception in the first half. It took until the two-minute warning in the second half for him to finally put numbers on the stat sheet. Jerry Jeudy barely made an impact. Where was he all game long?
Did I mention the Broncos’ offensive line was an absolute disaster? They looked horrendous most of the game, but absolutely dreadful the third and fourth quarter.
Russell Wilson might have had a few good scrambles, but he held onto the ball too long on numerous occasions resulting in key sacks by the Jets. He also didn’t attempt many balls down the field. It seems like virtually every pass outside the last few minutes of the game were shorter than five to seven yards.
It’s not the type of performance I expected. The Jets were down multiple players in their secondary and star cornerback Sauce Gardner was sidelined for most of the second half.
What to know something absolutely sickening? The first three drives of the second half resulted in -18 yards on just 8 plays and only took three and a half minutes of the clock. The Broncos offense might have made some noise in desperation time at game’s end but logged virtually two and a half quarters of doing absolutely nothing of merit.
It was a win for Jeff Ublrich’s defense and a major loss for Sean Payton and his offense, who failed to make the necessary adjustments in the second half. They beat themselves and deserve most of the blame for the loss.
Self-Inflicted Wounds Doom Denver
Let’s take a look at some of the major mistakes the Broncos made today. Marvin Mims was lost a fumble on a punt early on in the game, Russell Wilson was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, and Samaje Perine tossed an awful throw on a trick-play attempt.
All three errors were costly mistakes for the Broncos which resulted in points eight total points for the Jets. That might not seem like a lot, but poor errors like that certainly were momentum swings that were a major factor in the Broncos losing today’s game.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was Wilson fumbling the ball away on a drive at the end of the game that could have resulted in a field goal or touchdown. Instead, the Jets recovered the fumble and took it the distance.
Teams won’t win many games when they have that many turnovers and self-inflicted wounds. Sloppy, undisciplined, and just pathetic. Fans expect better than this.
Vance Joseph’s Defense Struggles Mightily in Second Half
Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph’s players had a good first half. They stopped the Jets in the red zone several times and holding them to a few field goals. Nik Bonitto started off hot with two sacks and Zach Allen looked better than he had all year long and had a key sack of his own.
The Broncos were up 13-8 at the half, but after that things started to unravel. It’s quite clear Denver is going to need to significantly upgrade their defensive line. If you don’t have good players up front in the trenches every player behind them has to work harder. It’s like pushing water uphill.
Breece Hall unleashed his fury in the second half and wound up with a final stat line of 22 carries for 177 yards and a touchdown. The Jets offense had over 230 total yards rushing.
It’s sort of bargaining with grief at this point, but the offense didn’t do Joseph’s unit and favors. For them to hold the Jets offense to as many field goals as it did [all things considered] actually gave Denver a shot to win the game, but in the end—that didn’t matter.
Fire Up the Tank!
The Broncos are now 1-4 five games into the year with their toughest stretch of the season ahead of them. I don’t think there is much hope left or anything to be excited about the rest of the season. Today’s loss was an absolute disaster. How do you guys feel? Because I feel like the best thing the Broncos could do would be to tank, trade away whoever they can, and just accept the fact a long and lengthy rebuild is in store.