Denver Broncos: Pat Shurmur and Teddy Bridgewater need to step it up

Jul 28, 2021; Englewood, CO, United States; Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur looks on during training camp at UCHealth Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2021; Englewood, CO, United States; Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur looks on during training camp at UCHealth Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

After the Denver Broncos dropped one to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, 19-27, it was evident that there was a huge problem on one side of the ball.

The defense didn’t play up to its’ potential but still made some critical stops as the Broncos were mounting their comeback.

That side of the ball I am referring to is the offense, led by offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and QB1 Teddy Bridgewater.

This game in particular versus the Steelers is what made the whole universe question what is going on with this offense. We all knew that Shurmur wasn’t a great play-caller and was inconsistent, but what happened Sunday was just inexcusable.

Denver Broncos: Pat Shurmur and Teddy Bridgewater NEED to step it up or not some changes will be made.

Where do I start?

Going into Pittsburgh, a lot of people in the media were questioning Shurmur about the lack of play calls for Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, as they should be running the ball when it works.

Against the Ravens, he abandoned the run game when that was the only thing going well for the offense and that led to the first loss of the season.

Now, going into Pittsburgh, it seemed like there was going to be a bit more emphasis on running the ball, and to be fair, they did run the ball a lot. It got to a point that when our run game wasn’t great at any point of the game, Shurmur kept dialing up the run, even as we continued to get down by more and more every drive.

It was like he was so passive-aggressive in terms of showing everyone that he can dial up the run plays that he forgot that he had to win a football game.

The whole first half was wasted on Shurmur constantly running the ball when everyone knew he was running the ball. And that is not the worst part. They were only picking up two yards at most sometimes. Then, he will call it again on 2nd down and do it again.

This leads into a 3rd and long every drive and in the NFL, it’s really hard to convert those types of plays when you go against a great defense. The Denver Broncos are averaging 8.0 yards-to-go per third-down attempt. That is second-worst in the NFL. 

Another frustrating thing with Shurmur and this offense is that there was no half-time adjustment whatsoever. They knew they were getting the ball coming out and they still didn’t put up any points.

It wasn’t until the 4th quarter when it seemed like the playbook opened up a lot more and the Denver Broncos finally decided to put up some points. They abandoned the run game and started to air-it-out and they were having success while doing it.

They were having so much success while throwing the ball on earlier downs that not only did they mount a comeback, they were one play away from forcing the game to go to overtime and scoring 20+ points in just the 4th quarter!

Bridgewater hasn’t played exceptionally well in these two losses but as a captain of this team, he needs to step up.

He has to take action and talk to Shurmur privately and revamp this whole offense and make some big changes. Both of these men have to step up.

Schematically they have to change something because it should not take you three quarters to adjust and mount a big comeback on the road. This offense is too talented to not be putting up a lot of points and a perfect example of this is what just happened in the fourth quarter of the Steelers game.

Bridgewater has to pick it up a bit as well earlier in games to get this offense going and make a statement early in these games.

Shurmur and Bridgewater have a huge test this week versus the divisional rival Las Vegas Raiders. We’re early into the season but it is already a must-win game for the Denver Broncos and they have the luxury of this game being at home too.

If the offense is stagnant again and performs not up to par, some big changes might happen. Shurmur and Bridgewater have to respond in a big way to get this train rolling again.