Peyton Manning loses to the New England Patriots again. But more importantly the Broncos have fallen below .500 again. This is not the end of the world for the Broncos, but what has to make you worried is the eerie similarities in each loss.
Each of Denver’s three losses play out like a script. Broncos fall behind early, turn the ball over, pick up steam, make the game interesting briefly….lose. They are always behind by 20 points in those games, but somehow the defense starts to play better and the offense starts putting points on the board late, leaving a glimmer of hope before the inevitable loss.
Now Willis McGahee did not play a good game and had two costly fumbles. But how can you run the ball as little as the Broncos did. They had two drives with over seven plays in the first quarter where they did not even have a run attempt. What the hell is that? You are playing right into the hands of Bill Belichick with play calling like that. The Patriots defense is not that good, but they can generate a pass rush, so when all you do is pass the ball you are playing right into the hands of New England. Just because Peyton Manning is at the helm, does not mean running the ball is obsolete.
Demaryius Thomas is a fantasy football player. Not a real one. For every productive play he makes, he counters with an equally unproductive, negative play. Whether it be a fumble or a dropped pass. His fumble yesterday was as bad as it gets, especially on the opening drive. Until this guy matures and reduces the amount of negative plays, I find it hard to praise him for anything he does.
One thing that has become clear about the Broncos defense, is that they struggle mightily against the no huddle offense. The Patriots tore right through them with their no huddle and were rarely placed in third and long situations. The few times they did have to face a third and long they were able to convert them.
For the Broncos to compete with teams like the Patriots they will need to sure things up all over the field. From the play calling, to the turnovers, and pass protection, there is a lot to clean up. However, they will be able to stake their claim as first in the AFC West when they play the San Diego Chargers next week. If they can do that, all ills will be forgotten….for a week.