Is it just me or have we been here before? Something seems familiar about this place. Another Broncos loss in week 4. Hard as I try, I’m running out of nice things to say about this team. Yet, I will give it my best effort. Despite my desire to just lay into them, there are still one or two things they did right in this loss. So, let us discuss this. Here are this week’s five takeaways for why the Broncos stink.
Defense Shows a Little Life
From a QB pressure standpoint, the front seven of the defense did an amazing job! Certainly, this was their best week of the season and guess who they were led by? Von Miller. That’s exactly what they needed. The defense sacked Minshew five times and totaled 12 QB hits. Unfortunately, the team is still lacking a turnover but I feel like they are knocking on the door for that. If they can continue to put pressure on the QB as they did in week 4, they’re bound to get one sooner or later.
Defensive Momentum Immediately Taken Away
To make a tough loss tougher in week 4, the Broncos learned after the game that Bradley Chubb is now out for the season with a torn ACL. This was an announcement that still has the Mile High City in shock. With no Shaq Barrett or Shane Ray, Chubb is the second most important person on this defense outside of Von Miller.
Because of a lack of assets, there’s not much the Broncos can do in the trade market either. This is a huge loss for the defense and the team as a whole. In essence, I think you can put a fork in the Broncos. The season is over. Now, they’re playing for a good draft pick, which is not news that Broncos fans are accustom to hearing. Still, it’s their reality.
Game Recognize Game
For the first time all season, the Broncos did not allow a sack. Still, Flacco managed to throw an idiotic pick but that’s beside the point. If there was another positive from the week 4 loss, it was this. Furthermore, Flacco was only hit three times. You can’t ask for much more from the offensive line. Denver even had a chance to win in week 4, but you can see that did not happen. That brings me to the next takeaway.
Defense Let the Team Down
Firstly, even with the pressure on Minshew, the first seven of the defense was bullied in week 4. How? In the first three weeks of the season, Leonard Fournette gained a total of 179 yards on the ground. In week 4, Fournette gained 225 yards on 29 carries. That’s good for 7.8 yards per carry. Instead of continuing to let Minshew feel it, they were forced to commit more men in the box, which hurt them in the end.
Secondly, with a lead, the defense allowed Minshew to drive his team down the field for the game-winning drive. It was not only inexcusable but it was embarrassing as well. In the preview of the game, we did talk about the legend of Minshew. On that last drive, it almost seemed like the Broncos were afraid of it. Though not the same exact defense, greater quarterbacks than Minshew struggled against this team. Uncle Rico looked like Tom Brady out there on that last drive. That just cannot happen.
Where Do They Go From Here?
With Chubb out for the season, it’s time to blow it up after the week 4 loss. The only true asset this team has is Von Miller. As much as it pains me to say it, it’s time to trade Von Miller for some picks. There is one thing that needs to happen, though, before they make that move. John Elway has to go. The team can load up on as many assets as it wants but if Elway is still leading the team it will make no difference.
We know for a fact that the Broncos caught lightning in a bottle in the Peyton Manning years. Since then, Elway has continuously drafted terribly. They cannot even claim to draft Phillip Lindsay. He was an undrafted rookie. Also, the team has let quality players and coaches fall through the cracks because they’re far too cheap. Thanks for the Super Bowl(s) John, but it’s time to go fam.
With Elway and Miller gone, the team can focus on rebuilding. First, they must get the offensive line together. This is non-negotiable. Second, they must find a quarterback they can ride with. This could be Drew Lock. With him on the IR, he won’t have much time to make his case. College football will soon unleash a hoard of QB talent after the season is over. That will be worth looking at. Last, this team has gone too long without a solid linebacker group. This has to be addressed as well.
That’s all for this week’s recap. We will be back soon to preview the next game against the division rival Chargers. As Bart Scott says, “CAN’T WAIT!” Only, I don’t say it with as much enthusiasm.