Denver Broncos must address offensive line immediately

Sayre Bedinger
Oct 13, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (99) is blocked by Denver Broncos offensive tackle Russell Okung (73) during the second half at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 21-13. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (99) is blocked by Denver Broncos offensive tackle Russell Okung (73) during the second half at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 21-13. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl without a legitimate offensive line. Now, they face the daunting task of doing so again. Changes are needed…

There’s nothing easier after two straight losses than assigning blame to an NFL team. For the Denver Broncos, you can basically take your pick, but I’m going to start with the offensive line.

Since enjoying great success in the first two weeks of the season running the football, the Broncos have faltered in the running game, lack discipline up front, and are struggling to protect their quarterbacks consistently.

As poorly as the Broncos played as a whole offensively on Thursday night against the Chargers, the errors of the offensive line ruined any chance at a comeback with a variety of fun penalties and missed assignments.

The penalty in the end zone resulting in a safety?

The holding call on C.J. Anderson’s marvelous catch and run for a touchdown?

The sack of Trevor Siemian late in the fourth quarter where the seas were parted and it looked like no one was blocking at all?

While it looked like the line was making some strides, an injury in week two to Donald Stephenson paved the way for Ty Sambrailo’s entrance into the starting lineup, and unfortunately it has gone downhill from there. Sambrailo was pulled after allowing four sacks to Falcons pass rushers, and Michael Schofield — his replacement — has notorious struggles at the right tackle spot.

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These deficiencies can be masked when your team is winning games, but the Broncos lost two in a matter of five days, and something’s got to give up front.

Max Garcia has been playing poorly of late. Even Matt Paradis has struggled some. The only consistency up front seems to be coming from left tackle Russell Okung, who had the critical holding penalty on the C.J. Anderson play that never was, and he left San Diego on Thursday in the concussion protocol, being carted away with an IV on an ambulance.

The Broncos’ offensive line in its current state is a disaster, but when you take inventory, it seems like things are generally okay other than the fact that they need some kind of upgrade.

Good offensive linemen are hard to find in the NFL, which is why Denver is probably going to have to seek an upgrade in the form of a trade unless they are planning on just rolling with what they’ve got.

That certainly wouldn’t be my first choice at this point in time.

My first suggestion was to try and make a trade with the Cleveland Browns for Joel Bitonio, the Pro Bowl guard. That’s no longer a possibility as Bitonio was recently placed on injured reserve.

The Broncos could try and trade for an offensive tackle, put them at right tackle, and move Donald Stephenson inside to one of the guard positions. Whatever they do, they need to do it quickly, as the offensive line appears to be in a shambles.

They don’t have the answer right now, so every option should be on the table.

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