3 key takeaways from Broncos disastrous loss against the Lions

The Broncos got their asses kicked on national TV against the Detroit Lions. What we learned from the game.

Denver Broncos v Detroit Lions
Denver Broncos v Detroit Lions / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos got back to a .500 win-loss record after getting embarrassed on national TV by the Detroit Lions. Former Sean Payton player + assistant coach, and now Lions head coach Dan Campbell mentioned earlier in the week that Sean is a coach who was going to try to embarrass the Lions, but in the end, Detroit destroyed the Broncos.

It was one of those games where nothing goes well, and when it goes well, you are already down by a lot of points ... in both, offense and defense. The good thing ... it was not a conference game, and the Broncos still have a chance to make the playoffs.

With that being said, let's take a look at three key takeaways from the game.

1. Lack of overall effort and physicality:

The Detroit Lions offense crushed Denver's defense, and the Broncos offense was not able to move the chains on their defense (at least when it mattered, and when Detroit did not have a big lead). The Lions were simply fast, rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs was unstoppable, and no one on the defense was able to tackle him. Overall, in the entire game, no one on the Broncos' defense was able to tackle, and Detroit was able to take advantage of it.

The pass rush was non-existent, linebackers were covering the wide receivers, tons of missed tackles, no communication, and confusion in coverage. One of the worst defensive performances of the season. Players struggled, especially linebacker Josey Jewell, cornerback Fabian Moreau, and safety PJ Locke.

Now, regarding the offense, many may think that Russell Wilson is the fault for offensive failures. Yes, he had a fumble in the opening drive that killed the offensive momentum, and yes he needed to protect the ball better on that play, but the offensive line was a big fault of the offensive failure against Detroit. They allowed only two sacks, but they were not able to block, Detroit sent pressure on almost every snap, and they (the OL) were not able to handle it.

2. No defensive turnovers = no success:

Yes, the Broncos are 6-2 in the last eight games (including the one against the Lions), but something really important that helped Denver get those six wins was defensive turnovers. Against Green Bay, they had one interception. Against Kansas City, they had two interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Against Buffalo, they had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Against Minnesota, they had one interception and two fumble recoveries. Against Cleveland, they had three fumble recoveries. Against Los Angeles, they had one interception and one fumble recovery. The Broncos won those six games.

In both losses, against Houston and on Saturday against Detroit, the Broncos defense had zero defensive turnovers. When this defense does not get turnovers, most of the time, they get cooked. Simple.

Jared Goff, and company simply cooked.

3. Points on the first offensive drive of the second half:

  • Week 1 vs LV: Blocked field goal
  • Week 2 vs WAS: Punt (three and out)
  • Week 3 at MIA: Punt
  • Week 4 at CHI: Punt (three and out)
  • Week 5 vs NYJ: Punt (three and out)
  • Week 6 at KC: Interception
  • Week 7 vs GB: Sutton touchdown
  • Week 8 vs KC: Blocked field goal
  • Week 10 at BUF: Punt (three and out)
  • Week 11 vs MIN: Punt (three and out)
  • Week 12 vs CLE: Punt (three and out)
  • Week 13 at HOU: Punt (three and out)
  • Week 14 at LAC: Punt (three and out)

For the SECOND time in the season, first since week 7, the Denver Broncos scored points on their opening drive of the second half. Losing by 21 points, Denver opened the second half with the ball on offense. They produced an 11-play, 75-yard drive that finished with a three-yard touchdown catch by Lil'Jordan Humphrey. A big catch.

The drive was saved by the Lions, as they had a pass interference penalty on rookie receiver Marvin Mims on third down, but in the end, the offense was able to capitalize.


Now, the Broncos must win their last three games (vs NE, vs LAC, at LV) in order to possibly make the playoffs. I personally think that they will make it.