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Broncos come out flat vs. Lions and lose big

The Denver Broncos defense was steamrolled by the Detroit Lions in an embarrassing 42-17 defeat. Is this reality setting back in for Broncos Country?

Denver Broncos v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It didn’t take long for the Detroit Lions to expose the Denver Broncos defense in this game. There was absolutely no pass rush all game long and Jared Goff simply picked apart the Denver secondary in a huge blowout home win for them and a devastating blow to Denver’s confidence heading into the final three games of the season.

Offensively, the Broncos couldn’t protect Russell Wilson much at all and the run game was nonexistent. Overall, the entire team just looked listless and flat for 60 minutes. There were some big plays made, but overall it was just four quarters of frustration for those Broncos fans watching.

Denver will need to bounce back quickly as their only likely route to the AFC playoffs is to win out from here.

Broncos vs. Lions final score

TEAM 1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
TEAM 1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
Denver Broncos 0 0 10 7 17
Detroit Lions 0 21 7 14 42

First Quarter

The Broncos got Jerry Jeudy involved from the very first play on offense for a 40-yard gain, which was easily the embattled wide receivers biggest play of the year.

Unfortunately, Russell Wilson would be strip-sacked to end that promising opening drive as both teams settled into a defensive struggle in the first quarter. They would both get near or across midfield multiple times in that opening quarter, but every drive ended with a punt.

Broncos 0, Lions 0. Full first quarter recap.

Second Quarter

On both sides of the ball, the Broncos seemed to come into this game with zero energy or urgency. They were flat on offense and on defense leading to a complete lack of sustained drives on offense and terrible tackling and open receivers on defense.

That led to Jared Goff dropping 215 yards passing and three touchdowns in the first half, including three touchdown passes in the second quarter to blow the game wide open.

Lions 21, Broncos 0. Full second quarter recap.

Third Quarter

Things looked pretty bleak at halftime, especially considering the Broncos had not scored an opening drive touchdown in the third quarter all season. That changed in this game as the Broncos drove down the field powered by a long pass interference call to close the gap to 21-7 on this Russell Wilson touchdown pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey on third and goal.

Any hopes that the opening touchdown drive from Denver would inject some life into the defense were dash in short order as the Lions streaked down the field on their first possession. This Jahmyr Gibbs run setup the Lions up for yet another Jared Goff touchdown pass.

The Broncos came back and put together an impressive drive to close out the third quarter, but officiating became a bit suspect once they ended up inside the Lions 10-yard line. First, Jaleel McLaughlin sure looked like he scored a touchdown, but instead of being down at the one inch line they spotted the ball at the one yard line. Then it looked like Javonte Williams got in, but they called that down too. On fourth down, they called this offsides by Quinn Meinerz. You be the judge:

Lions 28, Broncos 10. Full third quarter recap.

Fourth Quarter

It would seem that fiasco wouldn’t have played much of a difference in the game’s outcome because the Broncos defense just had zero answers for Jared Goff and the Lions offense. Detroit would immediately turn another touchdown in — their fifth-straight touchdown drive — early in the fourth quarter to put Denver out of their misery for good in the game.

The Broncos would add a garbage time score, but down 25-points was not going to happen in this game. The only unknown was what the final score would be for the Lions home win over the Broncos. The Lions answered that question with a touchdown answered for every touchdown given. Jared Goff would finish with five touchdown passes on the night.

Lions 42, Broncos 17.


How would you grade the Broncos performance against the Lions in Week 15?

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