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7 things we learned from the Broncos last-second 22-17 loss to Houston

The Broncos five-game winning streak comes to an end. Here’s what we learned from Sunday’s loss.

Denver Broncos v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The streak had to end at some point.

But the way the Denver Broncos five-game winning streak ended on Sunday may leave a sour taste in their mouths. The Broncos lost a close game to the Houston Texans 22-17.

Denver had its chances to win on Sunday but couldn’t convert on the opportunities.

Here’s what we learned from the Broncos loss on Sunday.

Denver’s offense couldn’t convert

Whether third down or in the red zone, the Broncos offense struggled in both areas.

Denver was 0-for-11 on third down and 1 of 3 in the red zone.

You won’t win many games when you can’t convert on third down

For what it’s worth, the Broncos were 3-for-3 on fourth down.

With the chance to win the game, the offense came up short with the ball on the 8-yard line.

Questionable playcalling with the game on the line

Why Denver didn’t target Courtland Sutton at least once still baffles me. He’s a matchup nightmare, give him a chance with the game on the line.

Instead, on the game-sealing interception, Sutton was at the line of scrimmage, and there was mass confusion from the offense.

From a team that showed up in those situations the previous five games, this was surprising.

Russell Wilson did not play well

Three interceptions, with one to end the game, will not cut it for the Broncos.

Wilson had played better over the five-game winning streak but did not play well on Sunday.

Just like the offense and team, in those situations, Wilson has shown up for Denver. He didn’t do that on Sunday.

Broncos offensive line had a rough day

After how well Denver’s offensive line played against the Cleveland Browns, it regressed on Sunday. It was not good enough against the Texans front.

Big plays cost the defense

The one thing the Broncos defense couldn’t do was give up big plays. That’s exactly what happened on Sunday.

C.J. Stroud was 16-for-27 for 274 yards, 191 to Nico Collins.

Give the credit to the defense, it got a lot better in the second half and gave Denver a chance. The Broncos offense failed to capitalize.

Turnover magic runs out

Denver lost the turnover battle 3-0. In fact, the Broncos failed to force a turnover.

You knew the streak would end at some point, but the turnovers on offense were brutal. Especially when you consider Denver was inches from recovering a fumble that would have put the offense in prime field position.

Instead, Wilson throws a pick on the very next play.

Yet despite losing the turnover battle, the Broncos still had an opportunity to win the game.

Playoff hopes take a hit ... but not dead yet

Now at 6-6, Denver’s hopes for the playoffs took a big hit.

But they’re not dead yet. You could make the argument this was the toughest game remaining on the Broncos’ schedule.

Since the Arizona Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, and if the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cleveland Browns, that will certainly help.

A win over the Texans would have been really nice. But now Denver has to regroup and come back together.