The Denver Broncos held off a late rally for the second consecutive week and came up with a big stop on fourth down to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 24-17 in Denver on Sunday.
It was an incredibly ugly win.
The Broncos, who had more penalties than first downs in the second half, were up comfortably 21-10 at halftime, and didn’t get the ball in the second half until there were just five minutes remaining. They proceeded to score just three points the entire second half as the Chiefs dominated time of possession but were able only to muster seven points.
For whatever reason, the Broncos have had two consecutive weeks with terrible second half offensive outputs. The defense was in bend-don’t-break mode, and an incredible number of penalties kept a couple of extremely long Kansas City drives alive, causing my head to nearly burst with rage.
Even when the Broncos had a decent play, it was offset by some silly mental mistake like an offside or a technicality like Alex Smith throwing a ‘forward pass.’
Truth be told, it felt like the Broncos lost this game because of the way they played in the second half, and they nearly gave up the lead as it were, but in the end, a win is a win and the Broncos hold a one game lead over San Diego in the AFC West two weeks in after San Diego’s upset win over the Seattle Seahawks.
So, to recap, the Broncos are coming off of two horrid second half performances in a row, getting set to travel to Seattle to face a team that is coming home off of a road loss, their first loss since the 2013 season.
Do you think something’s going to have to change?
The Broncos won’t beat many teams the way they played against Kansas City, but it’s good to be able to go back to the drawing board after games like that perhaps in a way to see what things you need to correct. The Broncos are so loaded with talent, it’s so frustrating to see them struggle the way they have through two games, or at least a majority of those two games.
Despite their best efforts, and despite a couple of decent plays, the Broncos were for the most part unable to get Demaryius Thomas significantly involved for a second straight week. Emmanuel Sanders led the team in receiving, and looked really good, but something might be up with Thomas, and it’s a bit concerning at this point. Again, much of it stems from the Broncos not having the ball for a long period in this game. They were dominated in time of possession by way of 36:14-23:46.
With just under 24 minutes of possession with the ball, the Broncos were able to capitalize and score on at least four drives, but the Chiefs had four first downs off of penalties, and the Broncos committed 11 as a team.
Not to mention, this game seemed to be poorly managed by John Fox. That’s nothing new, but the Broncos have been so good the last couple of years that it hasn’t really mattered. These last two games, it has nearly cost them in the win column.
Something’s going to have to change, and soon for the Broncos. It’s great and critical at this point to be 2-0, but they are fortunate to have been in the position they were from their offensive explosions in the first half of games. Hopefully against Seattle, they can put together four quarters of strong football and I think this team will be motivated in a big way come time for next weekend’s game.