The Denver Broncos’ recent loss to the Baltimore Ravens proves what we’ve seen all season, which is that Russell Wilson is not the primary issue. The 11th year veteran quarterback could probably play better than he has, but if this Sunday was any indication, Russell Wilson is not the primary issue.
Statistically, Wilson played well Sunday. He went 17/22 for 189 yards and earned a passer rating of over 100. He made some nice throws and showed some serious guts during the Broncos’ last drive before their field goal attempt at the end of the game.
One indication that he’s not the primary issue is shown with the defense. They played well all game but gave up a back-breaking touchdown drive to the Ravens to effectively seal the game. The defense has, on many occasions this year, buckled in crucial situations.
How could the defense let a backup quarterback drive down the field? Both Alex Singleton and Patrick Surtain II also committed some boneheaded penalties during this drive.
The play-calling was also a huge issue. Not counting both of Wilson’s scrambles, the Broncos called 26 rushes to 22 passes. Well, if you’d look at the stats, you’d see that Baltimore is one of the best teams in the NFL at stopping the run and abysmal as a passing defense.
Why didn’t Klint Kubiak dial up more passing plays? Also, some of the runs he called were on long down and distance situations. There were multiple drives of the “run, run, pass” that we were so accustomed to seeing last year from Pat Shurmur.
Injuries also played a big part. The Broncos were without KJ Hamler for this game, Jerry Jeudy was on a pitch count, and Courtland Sutton left the game with a hamstring injury. A professional football team simply cannot rely on Kendall Hinton, Brandon Johnson, Montrell Washington, and Jalen Virgil as passing catching options.
I was also shocked to see Greg Dulcich not getting the ball more. He had six receptions for 85 yards and was consistently able to find the openings in the Ravens’ defense. In fact, after a big Dulcich gain, Kubiak dialed up a schemed touch to Montrell Washington, which went for negative yards.
Also, the Broncos unwillingness to go for it on fourth and short proved to be a mistake as well. Russell Wilson played fine, but is clearly not the biggest issue with the Broncos.