The Denver Broncos entered the 2023 season with big ambitions. Sean Payton was supposed to right the ship. Things were going to turn around. He was going to fix Russell Wilson. Yada yada yada.
We ended up with more of the same when the Broncos opened the season against the hated Las Vegas Raiders. Another loss in a long line of losses to the a team that just is not good. A horrendous start.
As I told Ian on the podcast, the under hit again. The under always hits for the Broncos. That’s the problem.
There are plenty of discussions that can be had around the season opener. Damarri Mathis was awful, making Jakobi Meyers look like Jerry Rice. The pass rush was non existent, making Jimmy Garappolo look like an OK QB. Will Lutz missed kicks would have changed the outcome. Yada yada yada.
The big issue I had with the game was the difference between the offense of the first half and the second half. After scoring two touchdowns in the first half, the offense disappeared in the second. Why?
I’m not going to go through all the stats, but both teams had eerily similar stat lines. Both teams scored two TDs. Both teams made one FG. One team missed a field goal. One team missed an extra point. Yada yada yada.
Where is the killer instinct? Where is the desire to crush the opponent. It looked like the Broncos offense drifted into protection mode. I felt like the team was hoping the clock would simply move faster. But that’s not how it works.
Sean Payton talked about needing more explosive plays on offense. As Ian said on the podcast, he calls the plays, so...
When it comes down to it, the second half started with a good drive that resulted in just 3 points even though they were deep in the red zone. When the Washington Commanders come to town, the Broncos have to finish drives. They can’t stall out. And if the need some splash plays, I suppose Sean Payton should call for them.
Broncos Country doesn’t need to overreact here. There is a lot of season left. Payton is a historically slow starter as a head coach, so breathe.
All games are must win, and I hate that cliché, but if there was ever a week 2 game that fits the cliché, it is this one.