Thoughts on the Broncos Sobering Loss to the Lions


Thoughts on the depressing loss to the Detroit Lions (In no particular order):

  • So much to cover here today I’m not sure where to start. How about the turnover battle? The Broncos turned the ball over 3 times yesterday while forcing none. On the season Denver has only 3 interceptions which are more than just 2 other teams in the league. Their turnover margin on the year is -8. Again, only 2 teams in the entire NFL have a worse margin. Obviously, Denver is missing those impact plays that make a difference in the game, and that is largely due to the fact we do not have enough impact players on either side of the ball.
  • Tim Tebow’s quarterback rating for the game was a paltry 56.8. It was his second game in a row with a completion percentage less than 50% and he also failed to convert a third-down in the first half of both contests. Tebow absolutely has to start playing better. I understand it is merely his 5th start, but he has to start making basic plays and show some signs that he can be an elite quarterback. Look at Andy Dalton or Cam Newton. Both of those rookie quarterbacks have had flashes of brilliance and some tough stretches, but for the most part they can already make big plays and can complete a tough throw for an occasional 3rd down conversion. Most of all they have already shown they have the tools necessary to play quarterback at this level. We need Tebow to show us he can do the same.
  • With that being said, John Fox and Mike McCoy have to do a better job of forming the game plan around Tebow rather than the other way around. According to reports last week they were going to do exactly that against the Lions, but aside from the first 2 series where Tim looked pretty decent, it was the same vanilla offensive scheme and the exact same result. The bottom line is that unless they make some changes in philosophy we are going to see a lot more of what we saw yesterday. You cannot do the same thing over and over again and expect the outcome to change.
  • The Broncos have done pretty well statistic-wise in terms of penalties. They rank 29th in the league in total penalties and 26th in the league in total penalty yards, but it’s not the volume that is hurting them, it’s the timing and the significance. It is becoming a common occurrence for the Broncos to extend an opponent’s drive with a dumb personal foul or pass interference on 3rd down. Sometimes it seems like they cannot get out of their own way. When you are not a talented team, you have to play smart and disciplined football to make up for physical shortcomings. When you don’t do that, you find yourself at 2-5 and a lock for a top-5 pick in the draft. The discipline of the team is the responsibility of the head coach, and John Fox is not getting the job done.
  • The Broncos gave up 7 sacks yesterday! That is way too many at any level of football. I know Tebow doesn’t help that stat with his style of play and the fact he is clearly taking way too much time to make decisions, but the offensive line has looked downright terrible lately. I am hoping we can chalk up Orlando Franklin’s tough day to rookie growing pains.
  • In order to reduce the number of sacks and to help Tebow out, Mike McCoy should be calling more quick hitters and screens. They need more 3 step drops with quick throws. How many screens can you recall from yesterday?
  • Looking for something positive to talk about? What about punting? Britton Colquitt is ranked 3rd in the league in average and 2nd in the league in net average. Make sure to vote for Colquitt during Pro Bowl balloting. He deserves to be recognized for what he is doing this season.
  • Eric Decker had a nice game with 72-yards receiving and a score, but it would have been a whole lot nicer had he dragged that first foot on the near touchdown in the first quarter. Tebow actually was throwing pretty well early in the game, and that throw to the back of the end zone was on the money. Those 4 points wouldn’t have made a difference in the outcome, but it would have been interesting to see if the offense could have kept their rhythm after hitting on a big play early.
  • The Broncos defense is now ranked 30th in the league in points allowed at 28.6 points per game. Although they have shown signs of improvement at certain times, they still have a long way to go. In case you are wondering, the offense is ranked 23rd at 19.0 points per game. No fuzzy math there; the Broncos average getting beat by nearly double digits.
  • Knowshon Moreno actually finished the game with a pretty impressive 4.9 yard per carry average, but I still saw too much dancing at the line of scrimmage. He may be a better athlete than Willis McGahee at the late stage of his career, but there is little doubt who the fans would like to see carrying the rock on Sundays.
  • If the Broncos play like they did yesterday for the rest of the season there is little hope we will see any more victories. The entire team, but especially Tim Tebow, has to play better to save the organization from reaching embarrassingly low levels. Tebow is scheduled to start for the remaining 9 games, but what do Elway and Fox do if the offense continues at this excruciating pace?
  • It is very sobering to come to the realization that the Detroit Lions walked into Mile High Stadium and outclassed us from top to bottom. If there is any silver lining at all, it’s that they went 0-16 just a few short years ago and have bounced back pretty quickly. Here is to hoping that the Broncos organization can also rebuild in a hurry and save the fans from these dark times.
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