2-4. That’s where we sit after 6 weeks of football for the Denver Broncos. My first thought as I tell myself the season is not over before we even hit the halfway point is; Are the Broncos really that far behind where we thought they’d be? Not many saw them going to Baltimore and winning, nor did they expect them to be the first one to beat (at the time) the undefeated Chiefs on Monday Night Football. And if you didn’t think they could beat KC, then you surely didn’t expect a win over the Rams. The Jets game, by far, was the worst performance and one that most counted as a W. That would have left the Broncos at 3-3, not much better but something about .500 early is much easier to take than 1 game under, especially after 5 wins a season ago. Vance Joseph and his team have given us little reason to believe they can pull themselves out of this mess. In watching the Rams game this past Sunday, my first takeaway? Again, with plenty of opportunities, this team flat out will not commit to the run game. 17 carries….TOTAL. Freeman had 9 and Lyndsay had 4. Your two best weapons, even as rookies, and they run the ball 13 times between them. I did like getting the ball to Lyndsay in space with the RB pass but you have to stick with running the ball, until that happens this team won’t beat anyone else this season. Case Keenum looks absolutely confused out there. 3rd and 3 and you go deep to Sanders with double coverage. That’s just not a smart play. He holds onto the ball too long, is inaccurate and his decision making is questionable to put it nicely. Yes, the offensive line is bad but Case does little to nothing to help his “case” back there. If he struggles on Thursday against AZ, then look for the Chad Kelly talk to heat up. Defensively they have to find a way to stop the run. That’s as simple as I can make it. Their pass coverage is and will continue to be prone to giving up big plays but if they can eliminate SOME of those chunk runs they might be able to get more creative with their calls on D.
The Broncos have a short week ahead of them as they’ll head to Arizona for Thursday Night football. They were roasted by one rooking QB already when they played the Jets and Sam Darnold but it’s the running backs Denver’s D should be concerned with. The Broncos have given up nearly 1,000 yards on the ground this season. Easily the worst in the league. A far cry from the championship team of SB 50. David Johnson has not had a 100 yard game yet and only one with over 70 yards rushing. If Denver let’s Johnson run all over them, then perhaps their issues are uncorrectable this year and we’re in for a disaster.
The good news? Bradley Chubb had 3 sacks against the Rams. If he can draw some attention away from Von we could start to see this design pay off: two monster pass rushers forcing sacks and hopefully, big mistakes. On Defense, I say Von and Chubb have to be the ones to get this back on track. Unfortunately, they don’t have the DB’s outside of Chris Harris Jr. to lock down a halfway descent air attack so it will be on the the two outside linebackers to create pressure. I look for both players to have big games on Thursday Night. Outside of Miller and Chubb the only silver lining throughout the four game losing streak is the rookie running backs. But as good as they are, failure to use them consistently will waste their promising 1st year campaigns. Want to snap the streak? Run the ball…….attack it on Defense. Sounds simple. For Denver’s coaching staff…..apparently not.