Good Morning, Broncos fans. I could try to sugarcoat this, but frankly that would be too difficult - I’m a Mets fan, after all. Some might say it was the referees’ fault, or that a few mistakes were to blame for the Broncos’ 24-16 loss to San Francisco. There’s bad luck, there’s misfortune, and then there’s making glaring mistakes at seemingly every juncture. Yes, the Broncos were perhaps only a big call or mistake or two away from winning the game. However, they made an awful lot of them. The special teams were atrocious, as Britton Colquitt shanked two punts, Matt Prater missed an extra point, and Jarvis Moss negated a would-be Eddie Royal punt-return TD with an unnecessary block in the back. The defense allowed Frank Gore to rack up 125 total yards despite his being the clear focal point of the Niners’ offense, while Andre’ Goodman got torched on a Michael Crabtree TD despite having help over the top, and Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey allowed a Hail Mary completion at their own 1-yard line despite outnumbering the Niners receiver. That same defense failed to take away the ball and came up with zero sacks on the day.
As for the offense, where to begin? Well, there was Kyle Orton, who did not learn from last week that he should put the ball away when he scrambles. While he again racked up big yardage numbers, they were indeed hollow yards, although the refs did take away a long flea-flicker TD to Jabar Gaffney on a phantom chop-block call. The offensive line allowed 4 sacks and plenty more pressure, while the team piled up 8 costly penalties. Josh McDaniels called a strange game, playing conservatively in the first half and again disrupting the offense’s rhythm with an oddly-timed fourth-quarter rush by Tim Tebow.
The worst part of all? The Broncos have two weeks to think about their shortcomings, and it is hard to see them coming up with enough answers to turn their season around against Kansas City on November 14th. Denver is losing the battle along both lines of scrimmage, which only magnifies Josh McDaniels and Brian Xanders’ puzzling decision to go WR/QB in April rather than some combination of Maurkice Pouncey/Mike Iupati/Dan Williams. The team is showing a lack of discipline that would make Al Davis proud, with costly penalties to start several drives per game.
None of this is to say that Josh McDaniels should be fired, or anything of the sort (it’s not happening before the end of next year anyway, according to Adam Schefter). But, this team has a long way to go, and if last week was viewed as an aberration, then now is the time to dial back the expectations. While McDaniels may talk about being competitive every week, what’s shown in the field is clearly now just year two of a rebuilding process. Injuries have hurt the Broncos, but they affect every team - and when two of your defensive starters were late waiver-wire pickups (Vickerson and Hunter), you clearly do not have the depth of a quality football team.
Chris Hall and Broncos TV wrap up the game.
Here are NFL Network’s highlights.
Here is the box score for your perusal.
These were Andrew Mason’s observations from yesterday. Plus, he considers the impact of the seemingly-incorrect chop-block call that brought back what would have been Denver’s second touchdown of the game.
Mason also shares some numbers that stand out from the Broncos’ season thus far.
Mike Klis summarizes the game in his recap.
Notes on the game from the DP. The Broncos reported no injuries.
LJ on the deep pass which somehow eluded both Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey.
Legwold on the clean game Troy Smith played for the Niners.
Klis focuses on Kyle Orton’s untimely late-game turnovers.
Woody piles on.
Kiszla points out that it could be worse - we could be Cowboys fans.
LJ on the tailgating scene at Wembley.
To make matters worse, the rest of the AFC West all managed victories…
Mike Silver covers the day.
Don Banks does the same.