The Broncos had a measuring-stick game against the Chiefs on Sunday. The lost by a score of 43-16 and showed that right now they don’t measure up to one of the best teams in the NFL.
It was beyond a bad day for the Broncos. The Chiefs weren’t even really trying, and they were able to hammer the Broncos in a game that was never that close.
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio pulled no punches after the game.
“It was disappointing, obviously. We just didn’t play well as a team to obviously give us a chance to win the game there. The four turnovers, the kickoff return for a touchdown, you’re not going to beat a team like Kansas City doing that. A couple of the turnovers gave them good field position, but our whole team just got beat today by them. They’re really good and we weren’t up to the challenge today,” Fangio said.
The Broncos need to bounce back next week against another divisional opponent. The team is at home for a game against the Chargers (and rookie quarterback Justin Herbert) next Sunday. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly from the Week 7 loss.
The Broncos defense was able to frustrate the Chiefs offense at times. There are certain metrics that make the Broncos defensive performance look really good. It was not a perfect performance from the defense by any means, but they certainly did enough on their side of the ball to give the team a chance to win.
For example, the Broncos held the Chiefs to just 286 total yards. The Broncos dominated the time of possession by a rate of 33:24 compared to just 26:36 for the Chiefs. The Broncos got 4.0 sacks on Patrick Mahomes and were credited with seven quarterback hits. The Chiefs went a startling 0-for-8 on third down but the Broncos could not take advantage.
Fangio was not as impressed with the Broncos defense as others.
“You’d have to tell me what the other two phases looked like. We didn’t play well enough on defense as a whole unit. We gave up that first-drive touchdown, which was disappointing. We did have a good stretch there defensively, but while that was going on, they got the two not-offensive touchdowns and got some separation there and some other turnovers. The whole team really didn’t play well enough to give us a chance to win that game,” Fangio said.
Drew Lock has a bad habit of trying to make big throws down the field when receivers on underneath routes are wide open. We saw it in the game against the Patriots and that propensity to launch deep passes and ignore wide open guys underneath continued in Week 7.
We all know Lock has a rocket arm and he always wants to make the “kill shot” throw. However, there are times when working the passes underneath and moving the chains is the better call. In fact, that’s the better call most of the time and Lock needs to do a better job of picking and choosing when to launch passes deep downfield.
Lock believes he needs to get better at taking what the defense gives him.
“Yes, 100 percent. There’s a fine line between taking what the defense gives you and then when they don’t give you what you want, trying to make a play. I can make the plays when they’re there, but I’ve just got to get a little better judgment on when it’s time to make that play or say, ‘You know what? They got us.’ Eventually, we’ll stop having this conversation, but it needs to happen faster than later, and it will,” Lock said.
How do you mess up a flea flicker? We saw the Broncos try to throw in a trick play against the Chiefs to catch them off guard, but instead it was Lock who ended up scrambling for help. We haven’t seen much creativity from the Broncos offense and when they tried something wild it went awry.
Running back Melvin Gordon, who already fumbled once before in the game, ended up tossing the ball back to Lock and it was way over the head of his quarterback. Lock then tried to jump on the ball and was unable to do so.
Fangio needs to watch the film before he can have a better option on what happened on that play.
“Obviously, turning the ball over is never good. I’m not sure exactly what happened on the flea-flicker as far as where the breakdown was there, whether it was a bad pitch back or not. We can’t turn the ball over obviously,” Fangio said.
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