What does all of this mean?
The Broncos are coming off of a tough loss to a good Baltimore Ravens team. Dating back to last season, the Ravens have had one of the toughest defenses in the NFL, and they have proven last year was no fluke, ranking number one in the NFL so far this season in total yards allowed and sixth in the NFL in points allowed.
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The Ravens are a good team, and the Broncos faced difficult odds to go in there and win in the first place. They played a bad game, but I don’t think the Broncos’ struggles against a good Baltimore team are a death sentence for the rest of the 2018 season.
The Broncos have a chance to rebound against Kansas City on Monday night and rebound by sticking to what has been their major strength through the first three games — running the football.
If the Broncos are running the ball efficiently and effectively, they can dominate time of possession. If they are dominating time of possession, it means Patrick Mahomes will be on the field less. They might not be able to stifle Mahomes like they have other top-flight quarterbacks in the past as the secondary just does not appear to be as good as it once was, but the Broncos’ defense can turn some of those throws with a low probability of getting caught into incomplete passes.
They should also be able to get better pressure on Mahomes as he has excelled obviously when he has more time to throw the ball. Mahomes does a great job of making plays that are off-schedule or off-script, much like the player he was compared to coming out of Texas Tech, Brett Favre.
With Mahomes’ rocket arm and gunslinger mentality, the Broncos have to find ways to turn those off-schedule plays into low-percentage throws that fall incomplete rather than dropping into the receivers’ hands.
It might sound unlikely with what we’ve seen so far this season, but the Broncos have a chance coming off of their first loss of the season to re-establish the fact that they are a different — better — team than the 2017 brand.