Some may be enduring another Monday morning Broncos‘ hangover. I, however, am not. Don’t get me wrong. I have not built up a tolerance for the kind of performance that the Broncos gave yesterday. I’m actually looking forward to the Broncos having the week off.
The sun is shining brightly in Colorado right now. Last night’s rain brought a redemptive cleansing wash over the city that’s built up a layer of Broncos’ dust. As I listened to the raindrops fall on the sidewalks of downtown Denver, I imagined the Broncos plane arriving in Denver this morning getting drenched and washing away all the bad from the team.
There’s something about going into a bye week with four consecutive losses under the belt that can make you feel edgy. If Josh McDaniels and staff were looking forward to any R&R this week, that thought can go out the window. They will be watching game tapes from the first eight games of the season and looking at clips for their next opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs. They will evaluate the roles of different players and schemes and try to fix all that’s gone wrong during their 2-6 start to the season.
There is still a lot of season left. The Broncos play five of their six division games after the bye week. Coming close to sweeping those and winning one or two more against non-division opponents could actually give the Broncos a shot at winning the AFC West. Before we dive into the deep end head first, let’s just get this potential train wreck on the right track.
The things that need the most improvement are obviously the running game and the run defense. The Broncos are last in the league in rushing, averaging 67.3 yards per game. That’s 13.6 yards less than the 31st ranked rushing team, the Dallas Cowboys. Their run defense isn’t much better, ranked 31st in the league and allowing 154.6 yards per game.
While those things are the primary issues staring us straight in the eyes, the team needs work in many other areas as well. Starting off on the right foot has become a major issue. It seems that the Broncos are always trying to catch teams from behind as soon as the game clock reads 14:59 in the first quarter. The Broncos have only scored one touchdown in eight first quarters of play. The team didn’t even score a point until the third quarter of Sunday’s game. The Broncos are giving teams a 25-meter head start in a 100-meter race.
The other issue is the Broncos inability to convert on third down. Because of the lack of rushing game, the offense finds themselves in a lot of third and long situations surrounded by a defense that’s anticipating the pass. Drives are cut short and red zone inefficiency becomes a problem because of the one dimensional nature of the Broncos’ offense in a short field. Balance, when they find it, will equal power.
Finally, the penalties this year have come at the most costly times. From game one in Jacksonville (facemasks) to game six against the Jets (facemask) to game eight yesterday when two illegal blocks took two touchdowns awa, the Broncos have been digging themselves a hole and jumping in it with a blindfold on. They can’t come back from those costly mistakes which helps contribute to the division worst record that they own.
The season is only half over, but there’s a lot to correct over the next fourteen days. It appears that the real work is just beginning.
As we get a small break during this rough season, take advantage and spend quality time with the loved ones around you this Sunday.
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