Denver Broncos: No time to panic after ugly Week 4 loss

Denver Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater, WR Tim Patrick. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater, WR Tim Patrick. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos fell to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in ugly fashion.  The team also sustained injuries to Teddy Bridgewater and Patrick Surtain II, but there’s no reason to panic.

As good as the Denver Broncos started the season, they were bound to a rough patch or two.

Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens was a perfect example of the Broncos getting totally outplayed–something every team goes through in a normal season.

The Broncos were never going to go undefeated; they were never going to dominate every opponent, but I think many of us, albeit for a few weeks, forgot what it was like to watch our favorite team play bad football.

Perhaps this is exactly what the Broncos needed.  Either way, there is no reason to hit the panic button even a little bit.

The Denver Broncos don’t need to panic after Ravens loss

Most of us looked at our schedule before the season started and believed the Broncos would be sitting at 3-1 or even 2-2 at the worst.  The first three games were correctly identified as easier matchups, and the Broncos properly took care of business.

We also saw how the schedule got a bit tougher as the season progressed, and the Baltimore Ravens was the first real test for the Broncos this season.

Just think for a second.  In the last two seasons, the Broncos started 0-4 and 1-3.  In 2019 and 2020, the team dug themselves an early-season hole that they couldn’t jump out of.

In 2021, through the first quarter of the season, they’re 3-1, still firmly in the AFC playoff race with 25% of the season gone.

The Denver Broncos are on pace for roughly 12 wins if they can keep this 3-1 pace up for the rest of the season.

As bad as the team got embarrassed on Sunday, they still sit at two games over .500 and, while their schedule does get tougher, they still have some very desirable matchups in the near future.

They play the 1-3 Pittsburgh Steelers next week, a team that is trotting out Ben Roethlisberger, who can hardly walk, and the Washington Football Team a few weeks later, whose defense has wildly underperformed this season.

They also play an Eagles team with a rookie head coach an inexperienced quarterback, and matchup against the rebuilding Lions at home.

I think the mood in Broncos Country would be a lot different if they didn’t get blown out, but they did, so to some, the sky is falling, Teddy Bridgewater should be cut, and the team should fire the entire coaching staff.

The Broncos are off to their best start since 2017 when they also started 3-1, and that puts them in a great spot to make the playoffs, according to this graphic from FiveThirtyEight, which concludes that teams who start 3-1 make the playoffs 63% of the time.

If the Broncos were to win next week against the 1-3 Steelers, their percentage chance to make the playoffs would jump to 77%.  With a loss, they would fall to 50%.

We also can’t forget the team’s mounting injuries.  All three of Ronald Darby, Dalton Risner, and Graham Glasgow have a chance to return this week, and Jerry Jeudy is almost a month recovered from his ankle injury.

While the Broncos are still badly injured, they are getting healthier as well.

Not all is lost in Broncos Country.

I would encourage those who are quick to think negatively about the team after week 4 to reconsider.

The Broncos are a good team with a talented roster and a starting quarterback who has not turned the ball over through 4 games.

I’m not saying the team will do one thing or another, but I am saying that there is no need to panic.