Denver Broncos: 7 takeaways after losing Drew Lock, game to Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 20: Jeff Driskel #9 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 20, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 20: Jeff Driskel #9 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 20, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Sam Martin, Denver Broncos
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 14: Sam Martin #6 of the Denver Broncos punts against the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter of a game at Empower Field at Mile High on September 14, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

4. Not-so-special teams

After week one, it seemed like Tom McMahon may have finally had a competent special teams unit and perhaps that phase of the game had turned a corner for the Denver Broncos.

Unfortunately, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the special teams were pretty atrocious.

Here are some of the lowlights:

  • Missed 58-yard field goal by Brandon McManus
  • Dropped snap by Sam Martin leading to safety
  • Short kickoff return by KJ Hamler leading to bad field position
  • 49-yard kickoff return by Ray-Ray McCloud
  • 18-yard punt return by Diontae Johnson

The coverage units were not as good, the missed field goal by newly re-signed kicker Brandon McManus loomed large, and the dropped punt by Sam Martin was arguably the difference in the game since the Broncos had to go for it on fourth down in a 5-point game instead of kick a game-tying or game-winning field goal.

I guess it’s back to the drawing board for McMahon’s group.