The Broncos had a shot against the Steelers on Sunday. If something could go wrong, it did against a team that is set to make a deep postseason run. When the team lost starting quarterback Drew Lock to a shoulder injury, they could have easily folded up and gotten trounced by the Steelers. Instead, the Broncos fought hard and ended up falling short by a score of 26-21 in Week 2.
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio talked about keeping his team’s spirit up after such a hard-fought game that didn’t end up going their way.
“We’ve proven we can put ourselves in position to win against two really good teams — two teams that most people have picked to go to the playoffs. We’ve got to avoid the sequences that happen. The first drive of the game, you get a nice drive going and we’re in field goal range. We get pushed out of it and we fumble it. We have the chance to hold them to a field goal, but they convert a third-and-long. We had a chance at an interception that we didn’t make. Instead of being 3-0 in our favor at least, or 3-0 in their favor, we’re down 7-0. Those types of sequences in a game have a major impact on the outcome of a game,” Fangio said.
The Broncos are facing a long and arduous season. Up next, the Broncos return home to take on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 3. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly from the Week 2 loss.
It was difficult to find much for the “good” section of this article early in this contest. However, as the game went on there were a few things that could be categorized as good things for the Broncos.
I believe the play of tight end Noah Fant is one of those good things. The team used Fant early against the Titans and then he didn’t catch a pass in the second half of that game. In this game, Fant didn’t get any looks early and then exploded as the team made their comeback in the second half.
I’d like to see Fant involved from the jump. Tight ends are dangerous weapons in today’s NFL and the Broncos look like they have a potentially great one in Fant.
— NFL (@NFL) September 20, 2020
Fant has looked good in both contests this season. While others are struggling in this offense, Fant is thriving. The Pat Shurmur offense is known to be quite friendly for tight ends, and Fant is taking advantage of his opportunity. Not many things are going right for the Broncos, but it looks like Fant is going to have a breakout season in 2020.
The Broncos have a young secondary, and rookie Michael Ojemudia had a bad day. He dropped an interception, was burned for an 84-yard touchdown by rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool and was picked on often by veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
On the big play to Claypool, Ojemudia felt he was interfered with and the call could have certainly gone that way. However, the rookie stopped chasing Claypool for a fraction of a second to raise his arms in question to the referee on the sideline. He needs to learn instead to keep chasing the play and make the tackle. Get up and complain to the officials after you’ve stopped Claypool from scoring.
— Cecil Lammey (@CecilLammey) September 20, 2020
Ojemudia will have to get better and that should come with time. Sunday’s game was a big learning experience for the young corner. He’ll continue to get a trial by fire as quarterbacks going forward will keep targeting him like Roethlisberger did. Hopefully, Ojemudia can maintain his confidence unlike former Broncos cornerback Isaac Yiadom.
The injury bug is the ugly part of Sunday’s loss. The Broncos are already down superstar linebacker Von Miller, and against the Steelers they lost starting quarterback Drew Lock to an injury. Lock has a shoulder injury to his throwing arm, and this is the second season where he will have to miss time with an injury. Lock was not injury prone in college, so I don’t think that’s the problem here. Instead, I would like to see Lock learn how to fall better because this shoulder injury and his thumb injury come both from him falling awkwardly.
In addition to Lock, wide receiver Courtland Sutton was knocked from this game with an injury. He was already banged up with a shoulder injury of his own, but was able to play in Week 2. Sutton didn’t quite look like himself due to the shoulder injury, and then he injured his knee during the game.
After the game, there was no update. We’ll see what MRIs for the duo reveal on Monday.
Broncos’ QB Drew Lock, who was in a sling after today’s loss to Pittsburgh, sprained his AC and is expected to be sidelined between 2-6 weeks, per me and @Jeff_Legwold. He will undergo an MRI on Monday to help determine extent of damage and how long he will miss.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 20, 2020
We’ll see how this team performs without their starting quarterback in the lineup for at least a couple of weeks. It’s a bad break for the Broncos and one they certainly could not afford. Sutton was a trooper by playing through the shoulder injury, but now with a knee injury as well, the Broncos may have to shut him down for the foreseeable future. Stay tuned.
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