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Broncos-Packers: The good, the bad and the ugly from Sunday

(Photo by Stacy Revere / Getty Images)

The Broncos have never beaten the Packers at Lambeau Field, and they fell short once again on Sunday. The team remains winless after three games, having lost to Green Bay by a score of 27-16.

Denver head coach Vic Fangio was succinct when talking about the team’s 0-3 start. “Yeah, we’re 0-3, that’s our record, that’s a fact. We’re not doing enough good things that the good teams that win do, which is protect the ball. We’re not getting the ball turned over, as everybody has alluded to. And we’re not stopping them enough, even though our stats might show that. We’re not playing good enough defense,” Fangio said.

The team returns home for a game against the Jaguars in Week 4. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly from Week 3 loss.


The Good

The heart that running back Phillip Lindsay plays with is inspiring to his teammates. With Royce Freeman battling a minor shoulder injury, Lindsay took over and helped the offense move the chains. Lindsay carried the ball 21 times for 81 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns.

One of his touchdowns has to get an “assist” for left guard Dalton Risner. The rookie guard tossing Lindsay into the end zone to ranch work.

I’ve wanted to see more from Lindsay this season and we saw that on Sunday. His season was off to a somewhat slow start as the team’s new offensive coordinator, Rich Scangarello, didn’t quite know how to get Lindsay and Freeman enough touches.

Against the Packers, that riddle was solved. Lindsay gave the offense some life and his energy is infectious for his teammates – just look at the way Risner celebrates after that Lindsay touchdown he helped with. More Lindsay is nothing but a good thing for the Broncos.

It’s the best recipe for success, and one the team has to stay with to get on the winning track.


The Bad

Turnovers are killing any chance this team has to win – especially on the road at a place like Lambeau Field with less-than-ideal conditions. The Broncos aren’t good enough or deep enough to be reckless with the ball and still come out on top. The team turned over the ball three times, setting up the Packers for more scoring opportunities.

Joe Flacco just wants what we all want.

“I’d just like to see us put it all together and have a clean game in terms of penalties, turnovers, assignments. And I think some of those things will stop and we’ll start to be more explosive,” Flacco said after the game.

Flacco had two turnovers himself on Sunday, one was an interception and one was credited as a fumble. Add in a fumble by rookie tight end Noah Fant and that was the icing on the cake.

The Broncos were winless coming into this game, but they didn’t have turnover problems in their games against the Raiders or the Bears. Denver did not turn the ball over against the Raiders in Week 1, and Flacco had one interception against the Bears.

Turning the ball over was not a problem for the Broncos entering this contest against the Packers. It became one they couldn’t afford on Sunday, and this needs to be cleaned up if they hope to win any road game this season.


The Ugly

It was heartbreaking to see defensive end Derek Wolfe carted off the field on Sunday. He left the game with an apparent ankle injury and did not return. After the game, Fangio did not provide any updates.

Hopefully, we get some good news about Wolfe by the time you’re reading this. But on Sunday night, his prognosis does not look good.

As I noted on Twitter, without Wolfe the team turned to DeMarcus Walker.

Walker has appeared in every game this year, after only appearing in three games in all of the 2018 season. A second-round pick out of Florida State in 2017, the defensive lineman has been a disappointment to this point in his career.

This season, Walker has worked his way up the depth chart and has earned the trust of this new coaching staff. He was able to stand strong on the defensive line, but Walker’s play did not get him into the box score in Week 3. If Wolfe has to miss time, guys like Walker and rookie Dre’Mont Jones have to elevate their game.