The Denver Broncos started the season 3-1 and were looking like Super Bowl contenders for the first four games. However, they’ve lost their last two contests, and the offense has looked terrible during these losses.
The Broncos dropped the last game 21-0 to the Los Angeles Chargers. The offense was so bad that they didn’t even reach midfield for the first half.
This is Denver’s first shutout loss since 1992. And the team gained just 252 yards of offense while committing three turnovers – all courtesy of quarterback Trevor Siemian.
The good news for the Broncos is that we’re only six games into the season. And their 3-3 record still puts them within striking distance of the AFC West title and a playoff spot.
But a lot has to change before this happens. And we’re going to discuss this matter further below.
Is Siemian the Answer?
Trevor Siemian looked good the first few games of the season. However, he’s been really bad over the last couple games. This has many questioning if the 25-year-old is truly the answer under center.
Siemian Is only in his second year and has time to improve. But the problem is that he’s making the same mistakes he made last year as a rookie.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t get much better beyond Siemian. Brock Osweiler is the backup. Since leaving the Broncos through free agency in the 2016 off-season, Osweiler has bounced between the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns. It’s really sad that he’s a castoff of the Browns because they haven’t had a decent quarterback in years.
The other option is 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch. The second-year player has been hurt all year, and he couldn’t even win the job from Siemian last season.
That said, Denver is in a bind as far as the quarterbacks go this year. And they may have to consider using their first pick in the 2018 draft on a signal caller.
Another problem facing the Broncos is that their schedule only gets tougher. They play the 5-2 Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football in Week 8.
Then they go on the road the following week to play the 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles. They wrap up this brutal stretch with a home game against the New England Patriots.
It’s possible that the team could be 3-6 when they’re finished playing all three opponents. And if Denver thinks it’s bad now, things will only spiral out of control further if they can’t pick up a win or two during their toughest stretch.
The Broncos Haven’t been Great on Any Side of the Ball
Again, Denver’s offense has been really bad during their two-game losing streak. But it’s not like the team as a whole is playing great either.
”Everybody had faults this game,” said linebacker Shaquil Barrett.
As for the offense, they only tallied 69 rushing yards and allowed five sacks. Siemian couldn’t get the ball downfield. When he finally did, tight end A.J. Derby gave up a costly fumble. It didn’t help matters that star receiver Demaryius Thomas had an 81-yard catch called off due to pass interference.
”The past two weeks is not us,” said Thomas.
Nobody should be surprised that the offense was so bad because this is something that’s been going on for weeks. The team has only scored one offensive touchdown in the past three games. The shutout loss to L.A.. tops everything off because the team couldn’t even get a field goal.
Denver Must Get Over Injuries
One thing that can help improve the offense is for the team to get healthy. Wide receiver Emannuel Sanders is hurt and will miss his second straight game. The team was also forced to start rookie left tackle Garrett Bolles and guard Andrew Barbe at right tackle. The fill-ins had a difficult struggle with Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa.
”We’re not blocking well,” said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. “We’re not protecting well. We had some good plays called again today, we had some guys wide open. We’re just not hitting the passes.”
Joseph added that he never thought about benching Siemian, who threw for just 207 yards and had three interceptions.
”He’s our quarterback,” Joseph explained. ”It’s a two-score game for most of the game, so why make a change when we’re still in the game? It wasn’t simply on Trevor. I felt up until five minutes to go it was a game we could have won.”
Thomas also came to his quarterback’s defense, saying that it’s a team effort.
”I got Trevor’s back, I don’t care what nobody say,” he said. ”It’s about what we got to do as a group, as an offense to make us better. Once we do that, then you’ll see people start pointing fingers at something else.”
What Must Denver Do to Win?
First off, the Broncos need to convert on third down, especially when they’re within close range of the first-down marker.
They were just 3-for-14 on third-down conversions, including 1-for-7 from within seven yards or less.
The defense could also help out a little more. This elite defensive unit didn’t give the offense very good field position because four drives started inside their own 10-yard line. The team also has just one interception and no fumble recoveries in the past four games.
”There are so many different ways to get turnovers, and we’re not getting any of them. We got to create a short field for our offense,” said linebacker Von Miller.
The good news is that Miller still believes in the team’s ability to improve and win.
”You can’t lose two games straight and not have any issues, so we obviously got issues that we need to address from the top down,” said Miller. ”I strongly feel we’ll get this corrected.”