Life as a Broncos fan is rough today. We lost to a 2-6 team, Kyle Orton hurt his ankle and didn’t play in the 2nd half of the game, and the San Diego Chargers beat the Eagles to tie the Broncos for 1st in the AFC West. Woe is me, woe is Simms, woe is Denver for giving up a touchdown on 4th and 20. The final score doesn’t lie. Today, it was the typically unstable Redskins who beat the Broncos by maintaining control of the clock. Final result: 27-17.
The Broncos offense got off to a solid start. Kyle Orton connected with a wide open Brandon Marshall for a 40 yard TD. Then, later in the 1st quarter, Orton found his main man again for a 75 yard TD pass. Things were looking up until the Redskins’ punter looked like a better passer than Chris Simms. The Skins’ faked a punt on 4th and 20, and benefitted greatly from the risky call. Hunter Smith saw Mike Sellers in the endzone, and finished the day 1-1 for 35 yards and 1 TD. Not a bad first career pass attempt in the NFL. The fake was completely advertised, but unfortunately, the Broncos were the last to catch on.
It was after that play that fecal matter really hit the fan. Kyle Orton hurt his ankle towards the end of the 2nd half, and the Broncos settled for a field goal. Those were the last points scored by the Broncos.
The second half saw blonde hair blue eyed Chris Simms take his first regular season snap of the year. Determined not to be out done by Hunter Smith, Simms failed miserably. He went 3-13 for 13 yards and 1 INT. He lost more yards (21) than he threw for, and saw balls fly behind, over, and at the feet of his receivers. The Broncos absolutely had a chance to win the game. It’s absurd to have a 7 year veteran walk away from today’s game with a 7.5 QB rating. Credit can be given to Simms for leading an anemic offense to defeat.
The Broncos defense struggled today as well. Despite Clinton Portis sitting out with a concussion, Ladell Betts picked up the slack with 26 carries for 114 yards and 1 TD. He enabled the Skins’ to maintain control of the clock while the Broncos’ defense back pedaled their way down the field. In the 2nd half, the Broncos failed to pressure Jason Campbell who didn’t miss a beat (9-9). He finished the game with 193 yards on 17-26 passing and 1 TD.
In the nation’s capitol, where things looked very bleak from a football perspective, the Broncos managed to lighten up the mood by becoming discombobulated after their game manager went with an injury. Three losses in a row doesn’t end their season, but the Chargers are powered up, and come to Invesco next week trying to electrocute the Broncos into submission. The Broncos can either roll over and crumble or they can be the team they were during the first six weeks of the season. I vote for the latter.