New season, the same Denver Broncos.
New head coach and coaching staff, same result.
There were no doubt moments the Broncos looked better on Sunday, but the same issues persist. And that could take time. Before learning how to win, Denver needs to learn how not to lose.
As Sean Payton will say, all that matters is the Broncos lost 17-16 to the Las Vegas Raiders and now has lost seven straight games to their division rival. Yikes.
Here are the seven things we learned from Sunday’s loss.
1. The Broncos pass rush is terrible
Denver failed to record a single sack on Sunday.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Broncos were incapable of getting any hint of pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo. For the game, Denver recorded three quarterback hits. At no point was Jimmy G under duress. And the few times the pocket ever collapsed, he escaped (the game-winning first down).
That’s an indictment on Vance Joseph and the lack of ability and depth at the edge and along the defensive line.
This must be corrected or it’s going to be a long season.
2. Denver’s run defense finally contained Josh Jacobs
If you would have told me the Broncos held Jacobs to 48 yards rushing before Sunday’s game, I would tell you they would win the game.
That highlights how terrible the Denver pass rush was in this game.
3. Too many stupid mistakes
The number of dumb penalties committed by the Broncos was alarming.
Whether you agree with the flags or not, don’t put yourself or the team in that position. Know the situation you’re in and play smarter football.
Not to mention the lack of field and game awareness by the players. From touching the onside kick before 10 yards (I’m still not sure if it was because the replays were so horrible) or stepping out of bounds before making a catch.
For the game, Denver committed 10 penalties for 83 yards.
4. The offense was ... OK?
Russell Wilson and the Broncos had the chance to put the game away with a first-and-goal at the Las Vegas 8-yard line.
Not one running play was called and that’s the strength of the Denver offensive line. The way Samaje Perine can break through tackles, heck even Javonte Williams can do it, there should have been at least one running attempt instead of three passing plays.
Failing to score a touchdown in that situation proved costly.
No doubt the offense looked more efficient and was “better,” but knowing the moment and putting the game away stands out.
And the offense still can’t score more than 17 points.
5. Denver’s running back duo is fun to watch
Perine and Williams may turn out to be one of the best running back tandems in the NFL.
Both run extremely hard, make positive yardage and are fun to watch.
Williams finished with 52 yards on 13 carries, while Perine had 41 on eight carries.
It would have been nice had they gotten a chance from the 5-yard line for that drive that would have put the game away.
6. Damarri Mathis really struggled
The second-year cornerback had a rough day. And unless he gets better, the Broncos will see opposing offenses do the same and attack him every chance they get.
On top of the terrible pass rush, this was the biggest issue on defense for Denver.
7. Lutz ride ... into a ditch
The Broncos traded for a kicker who left four points off the scoreboard. Wil Lutz missed an extra point and missed a 55-yard field goal.
That pretty much says it all right now when it comes to this franchise.