Broncos grind out Texans, but there are major concerns
The Denver Broncos were able to get their first win of the 2022 season on Sunday, defeating the Houston Texans 16-9.
A win is a win, as the old saying goes, but it’s tough to be too excited about this one. The Broncos were sluggish in all aspects of the game, aside from the rushing attack, which they finally decided to lean and that is the main reason for them winning this game.
But make no mistake, this was the definition of an ugly win. The crowd at Empower Field told you all you needed to know.
Restless throughout the day, the crowd often booed at the team’s choice of play calls and the fact that they had mustered just six points at halftime. This was against the Texans, one of the more inferior teams in the league.
We need to save any excuses for the start this team has had to this season. It has been pathetic, and that’s putting it nicely.
If you missed the concerns I talked about after Monday night’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, none of those really changed and in fact, probably became even bigger issues.
The Broncos are still committing too many penalties
Against Seattle, the Broncos had 12 penalties. Sunday against Houston, they somehow had even more than that, being called for 13 penalties on the day. Having 25 penalties for 206 yards against in two games is completely unacceptable.
This is something the team has to get cleaned up going forward.
What is up with the play-calling?
If you thought this offense was going to be a juggernaut with Russell Wilson, simmer down a bit. The offense has looked lethargic and not threatening in any way, but the play-calling, particularly down near the goal line, has been horrendous.
Nathaniel Hackett, can you please try to line Wilson up under center with one of your running backs directly behind him and just run it right at the defense when you are on the 1-yard line?
Lining up in shotgun and calling these RPO plays down there is just not working. It has looked clunky and to this point, has just been detrimental to what you are trying to do, which is to score points.
Injuries are mounting
In addition to not having K.J. Hamler or Quinn Meinerz at their disposal in this game, the Broncos lost Jerry Jeudy and Patrick Surtain during it, both to shoulder injuries.
The Broncos are not a very deep team and significant injuries will not be something they can overcome, at least not with the way the roster is currently constructed.
Saving the most obvious concern for last, what is the head coach of this team doing? Hackett is young and inexperienced as far as being a head coach goes, but his first two games have been inexcusable.
You thought Vic Fangio was bad with time management? Hackett has said hold my…. whatever beverage he prefers.
His game management has been terrible, the play calls have been bad and the team just does not look very good. When you consider the teams that play in the AFC West, and many of the teams the Broncos will see on their schedule later this season, things don’t look good at all right now.
When the home crowd is having to count down the play clock to help you avoid another delay of game penalty, that tells you all you need to know about this team through two games.
The Broncos will be at home to host the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday. The 49ers will have Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback after Trey Lance went down during their Week 2 game and it is being reported that he will require season-ending surgery.