By Keith Richards
On Monday night, the Broncos suffered their first loss of the season, but there are definite positives. In their 16-14 loss to the Titans, Denver showed life. Also, there are areas where the team needs to improve. We’re changing the format a little this season because we like to keep it fresh! Instead of covering the full offense and defense, I will discuss the top takeaways from the game. I’m getting down to the nitty-gritty this season. So, let’s get it!
He is Who We Thought He Was
While Drew Lock’s numbers may not command attention, his poise more than compensates for that shortcoming. In the loss, Lock threw for 216 yards on 33 attempts and had one touchdown. One fact to keep in mind is that the Broncos were missing many key players Monday night. Sutton, Miller, and K.J. Hamler were all out before the game started. To further complicate the situation, Lindsay missed much of the second half.
So, for a quarterback who is still essentially a rookie, the losses were devastating. Still, Drew kept his cool. The offensive line limited the opposition to five QB hits and zero sacks, which helps tremendously. Also, Drew avoided committing any turnovers, which also helps tremendously. He’s still a little raw, but when Lock gets all his weapons, he will continue to improve.
Defensive Injury Woes
After losing Von Miller, a crucial loss, the Broncos defense took another significant blow Monday night. Starting defensive back A.J. Bouye dislocated his shoulder and will miss some time. More positively, Bouye will not need surgery. So, Denver expects him only to miss a few weeks. However, missing two cornerstones of the defense will hurt the Broncos in the end. They played well Monday, but they face a different beast next week with the Steelers. At this point, they can only hope for the best and play hard.
In his second year as head coach of the Broncos, Vic Fangio proved he still has much to learn. With the game tied at 14 and about three minutes to play, Fangio refused to use a timeout. He neither used a timeout conserve time with Tennessee driving, nor did he use a timeout to ice the Titans kicker. For the record, Gostkowski had already missed three field goals AND an extra point attempt. You would think that one would make Stephen sweat, but not Fangio.
To his credit, Vic takes full credit for his mis/nonuse of timeouts late. So, at least he’s not making any excuses. Still, Fangio has to do better. The defensive-minded coach will have a lot on his plate this week while game-planning for a talented Steelers team. The Broncos have many injured players, and it will take darn near perfect gameplan to pull it off. However, I have faith in this young team. The Broncos will have a shot.
Be sure to check back later this week when I preview the Broncos and Steelers game!