Denver Broncos start 2020 season with difficult defeat

The Denver Broncos are off to an 0-1 start.

The Broncos had every opportunity to win the season opener against the Tennessee Titans on Monday night, but were unable to hold on for the win. The Titans used Stephen Gostkowski to kick a short field goal with just 20 seconds left in the game, leading to a 16-14 victory.

Gostkowski had missed three field goals and an extra point in the game up until that point, but he was able to finally put one through when it mattered most. Trailing 14-13, the Titans went on a 12-play, 83-yard drive that led to the game-winning field goal.

The Broncos could not get a stop on the drive and the Titans were helped by a critical pass interference call against Michael Ojemudia.

Tennessee Titans
Denver Broncos

There was some poor clock management displayed during the final drive by Vic Fangio as well, as he had all three timeouts and failed to call any of them. Leaving Lock and the offense with more than 20 seconds to work with would have helped.

For the most part, it was a sloppy performance by both teams and the Broncos were only in it because of all of Gostkowski’s miscues. But after a fourth-quarter touchdown run by Melvin Gordon, the Broncos went up 14-13 and looked like they could pull out the win.

But the defense was unable to make a play in the end and for the first time since 2011, the Broncos lost a season-opening home game.

Drew Lock finished the game 22 of 33 passing for 216 yards and one touchdown. Gordon led the team with 78 yards rushing and Noah Fant caught five passes for 81 yards and the team’s first touchdown of the season.

But the Broncos were just 3-of-9 on third down and they ran 19 plays less than the Titans.

The team also had two key players leave with injuries in cornerback A.J. Bouye and running back Phillip Lindsay. Bouye’s absence forced the team to turn to the rookie Ojemudia.

The Broncos will travel to Heinz Field to  face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2. The Steelers played in the first half of the Monday night doubleheader and picked up a win over the New York Giants.