Nov 16, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Tre Mason (27) carries the ball against the Denver Broncos during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won 22-7. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Give this to the Denver Broncos: When they fail, they fail in epic fashion.
So much for the loss in Foxborough being the biggest embarrassment for the franchise this season. Denver’s 22-7 choke job to the St. Louis Rams is a stain it may not get rid of.
Hey, at least the punter showed up. Britton Colquitt finally earned his big paycheck.
Once again, this team was outcoached and outperformed.
There’s no doubt the NFL is a week-to-week league. What happens one week doesn’t mean squat the next.
Except when those aspects become a trend.
John Fox and his staff got schooled by Jeff Fischer and his Rams staff in every aspect of the game. Whatever Fox and the Broncos dialed up, Fisher and St. Louis had the answer. No halftime adjustments. No adjustments period. Just the same failed game plan.
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Peyton Manning was outplayed by a third-string quarterback. Chew on that.
The defense once again failed to get pressure, the play calls were head scratching at best and it gave up big plays.
The Broncos special teams is atrocious. Their best kickoff return is a touchback, they don’t bother to even try to return punts, can’t tackle, commit costly penalties and don’t even attempt 50-plus yard field goals in a dome. That has to help the confidence of your kicker the rest of the season – a young kicker to boot. If Fox doesn’t have faith in Brandon McManus in a dome, how he can remain on the roster?
For the second straight week, Denver looked like it didn’t want to get off of the plane.
But the aspect of this team that is putrid – and that’s an insult to the word putrid – is the Broncos offensive line.
I said earlier this week that John Elway and the Broncos cannot sign Richie Incognito. Feed me the crow. After this game, if Incognito hasn’t been signed by now, they might miss out. The Seattle Seahawks may swoop up and take him given the injuries their offensive line has had. The latest is center Max Unger, who was carted off with a leg injury in Kansas City.
Nov 16, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls a play against the St. Louis Rams during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won 22-7. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Denver needs something, anything, to get this corrected. If the offensive line struggled against the Rams, the next three weeks should create panic at Dove Valley. And for Manning. If you thought PFM has had happy feet the last two weeks, just wait.
The Broncos face the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills – all defenses with far superior defensive lines and pass rushing ability than the Rams.
Here’s the thing: it’s not just one guy. The disease has hit all of them. So even if Denver signs Incognito, it may not be enough to matter.
Before the season started, the biggest question mark was the offensive line; especially after how it got destroyed in the Super Bowl against Seattle.
Sure, Clady was coming back from an injury, but the only sure thing on that line was right guard Louis Vasquez. Now even he’s been forced to change positions because of how putrid the play has been.
Short of signing veteran Will Montgomery and drafting Michael Schofield, nothing was done to correct the problem.
Now, the Broncos still can’t run the football and can’t pass protect, either.
That’s not good and spells trouble over the next three games.
Right now, it might be too late.
They could bring in Incognito and put him at left guard, put Vasquez back at right guard and keep Montgomery at center. That leaves right tackle.
What, move Orlando Franklin back to right tackle? Chris Clark? Paul Cornick? Schofield?
They have nothing, but Denver better figure it out and quick. The next three weeks are crucial.
I still haven’t mentioned the injuries to Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Yeah, they have those to worry about now, too.
At least when the Broncos go down, they burn the whole place in the process.
Nov 16, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Tre Mason (27) breaks the tackle of Denver Broncos strong safety Quinton Carter (38) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports