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Yet Another Aggressive Disappointment Means The Broncos Drop What's Not Losing Business

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Denver — Overtime began on a perfect early fall night, and some Broncos fans had seen enough, so they strode for the exit.

Enough attacks that I spent most of the night unable to get out of my way. His fourth scattershot performance in five weeks and his 11.3 offensive points per home game this season have a way of doing just that.

An ample red zone offense that had only three of the possible 28 points from four possessions by the end of the night. Of course, this is not breaking news. Across four games, the Broncos offense is more likely to score no points in a red zone series (35.7%) than to find the end zone (21.4%).


And despite the myriad of offseason changes, there are enough teams that look too much like the half-baked outfits that preceded it.

Aside from the 69-degree temperature during the game, the Broncos’ 12-9 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts wasn’t a good thing.

And unlike the team’s loss in Las Vegas four days earlier, the $165 million guaranteed quarterback wasn’t the man who kept hopes alive. In the end, defeat fell at his feet — specifically, rolling the dice against Stephon Gilmore late Thursday night and out Snakeeye.

“At the end of the day, I have to get better. I have to play better,” said Russell Wilson.

However, I shouldn’t have ended up on those two paths.

The Colts flew to Denver with arguably their two best players, LB Shaquille Leonard and RB Jonathan Taylor, injured. Their 15-year veteran his quarterback, Matt his Ryan, is in the potted phase of his career. For most of Thursday night, Ryan was a stationary target, absorbing blow after blow behind his most ineffective line since Maginot.

Denver hit Ryan 12 times, including six sacks. The Broncos lured Ryan to two interceptions, with safety Cayden Stearns looking like the intended receiver.

Still, Ryan finished the night with a higher passer rating than Wilson, despite all his flaws, tendency to fumble and leaky protection.

Per ESPN, Ryan’s EPA (expected extra points) was minus 2.2, but that was still enough to win.

“Isn’t it amazing to win a game like this?” asked Colts manager Frank Reich. “It really is.”

It’s been 36 years since the Broncos failed to concede a touchdown and held opponents to single digits in regulation play. Thursday’s loss sent South Platt his 42nd win streak in that scenario.

Indianapolis won a game it didn’t win in business.

Denver lost the one they had no business to lose.

But sadly, so did Las Vegas. The same goes for the first week.

And while the yard-accumulating offense was a common thread for most of the season, converting them into points consistently was pretty terrible.

“I’m frustrated. I think everyone is frustrated,” said WR KJ Hamler. “We have to stop shooting ourselves in the leg. It’s self-harm.”

After the match, the common refrain was straight out of the Book of Costanza. it’s not you

Or, more specifically, “we”.

“It’s just us. We have to get into a rhythm,” said RB Melvin Gordon. “We have to stop making mistakes and be sharp in the details.

“We’re a better football team offensively than we’ve shown in the last few weeks, and that’s probably what disappoints us more than anything else.

The problem is that miscues are as much part of the offensive DNA as explosive plays. Expect dynamic moments. We also expect offenses to go off schedule due to penalties or execution errors.

That’s why Denver played four times longer than what the Colts gathered on Thursday, but that didn’t hurt either. .


Expectation vs.reality

This is no longer a crime that took a long time to find its shape.

This is a unit that seems to have lost its road map, like Clark Griswold driving a Family Truckster in the Arizona desert.

Like Griswold himself, the Broncos can fly 50 yards in a single flight. So in the third quarter, Wilson hit Courtland Sutton 51 yards on a pass, and Sutton appeared to grab the football from rookie Montrell Washington.

And all tires are blown immediately after landing. After the ensuing first down, the Broncos fell back seven yards in three plays. Indianapolis’ Glover Stewart then blocked a 34-yard McManus field goal attempt.

The Broncos have just six touchdowns this season. Only twice in the team’s history have they made fewer moves to the end zone in five games.

And past seasons can no longer be used in parallel. In recent months, Peyton Manning’s stuttering start to his first Broncos season in 2012 has been a sign that they can and will get better, no matter how struggling things get. Same goes for the first season with Nathaniel Hackett and Aaron Rodgers together in Green Bay.

So let’s see how these crimes compare to this one.

Offensive touchdowns per game:

  • 2012 Broncos: 3.0
  • 2019 packer: 2.8
  • 2022 Broncos 1.2

Attack points per game:

  • 2012 Broncos: 25.4
  • Packers in 2019: 23.8
  • 2022 Broncos: 14.6

Number of first downs per game:

  • 2012 Broncos: 23.2
  • Packers in 2019: 20.8
  • 2022 Broncos: 16.8

Yards per game:

  • 2012 Broncos: 388.4
  • Packers in 2019: 337.2
  • 2022 Broncos: 343.6

QB Passer Rating:

  • 2012 Broncos: 101.0
  • Packers in 2019: 93.4
  • 2022 Broncos: 82.8

These Broncos aren’t the Manning-led versions of the decade ago, nor the ’19 Packers. Because unlike all offenses other than yards, the Broncos need to improve to be moderate.

That sounds all too familiar for a vintage offense these days.

So knowing that teams rarely go from punchless to powerful just by snapping their fingers, the Broncos need to rethink how they find success and the path they take.

And that might require a more pragmatic approach than, say, firing into the end zone with the defense’s No. 1 cornerback at 15th to 3rd and 4th. The offense spent most of the night unable to protect the aging quarterback.

“I wanted to make sure I got the first down,” Hackett said. “So we were trying to give ourselves a play that could help with that.

“We’ve run the ball well there, so we used the play-action pass. In that situation, we obviously don’t want turnovers and want to score points. That would have helped us.”

But in their pursuit of everything, the Broncos came out with nothing when perhaps enough was enough to get away with a win given the havoc the defense created.

The Broncos and their fans dreamed of aggressive fireworks.

But after yet another game in which the offense misfired and was mismanaged into oblivion, this team was forced to fall back on the old algorithm.

And Broncos fans know what that looks like.

No wonder some people didn’t want to see the drudgery of Thursday night work through to the end.