The Denver Broncos defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 16-9 but were officially eliminated from the playoffs after the final scores in other games this afternoon. Here are some instant reactions from today’s game.
Thoughts on Jarrett Stidham.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, I didn’t have huge expectations for Sitdham. After all, today’s game was his first start of the season. Moreover, Denver was without Courtland Sutton and Marvin Mims. With that in mind, he was certainly working with less than favorable weapons on offense. That’s not an excuse, it’s just an added and realistic perspective. That being said, I thought he played decent in his first action of the season.
In the first half he was 12/22 for 165 yards and 1 touchdown. For comparison, Russell Wilson hadn’t thrown for over 150 yards in the first half of a game this season since the beginning of October. Say what you will, but I’ll call that progress.
The one big issue with Stidham, at least early on in the game, was his timing with receivers. Several passes were late and behind his intended targets. After just one week of practice reps, seeing some erratic throws and accuracy issues isn’t a surprise. The offense struggled in the second half, in particular the run game and shooting themselves in the foot with costly penalties that took points off the board. With that, Stidham wasn’t able to build much upon his first half statistics.
However, there were several positives I thought I’d mentioned. Stidham hit eight different pass catches in the first half. On top of that, he showed the willingness and ability to work all three levels of the field. He didn’t show any hesitancy throwing the ball down the field and hit several receivers on routes over the middle of the field.
He finished the game going 20/32 for 224 yards and 1 touchdown.
Take a bow, Lil’Jordan Humphrey!
With the aforementioned duo of Sutton and Mims out of today’s game, somebody needed to step up in the wide receiver room. That player was Humphrey.
His fantastic 54-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in the second quarter was by far Denver’s best offensive play of the day and provided the spark necessary to come away with a victory. I definitely think there will be some changes to Denver’s wide receiver room this offseason, but I’m quite confident Sean Payton will bring Humphrey back to fill a spot in the corps for the 2024 season.
Despite win, Broncos are officially eliminated from the playoffs.
The Broncos had about a 12-percent chance to make the dance before today’s game started. Alas, the outcomes of the games, particularly the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs winning ended their postseason hopes. Denver will look to close out their season with a win on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders next weekend.
If they do, they will have a 9-8 record on the season and their first winning campaign since going 9-7 in 2016—the year after their Super Bowl 50 championship. That’s not much of a consolation to Broncos Country, but that’s better than what we have all witnessed for years.