Without a doubt, the Broncos’ season-opening loss to the Raiders was disappointing. And everyone had a hand in it.
“It was a team effort, so to speak,” Head Coach John Fox told 850 KOA right after the game.
Indeed it was. There is no getting around that.
As poorly as the Broncos played, and as disappointing as it was to see, it was only one game. I know everyone knows that one game does not make a season. One game is not a pattern. One game is not a trend. One game, whether it be a bad one or a good one, is not an indication that things will continue in the same way.
Just so no one misunderstands and thinks I am making excuses for the Broncos on Monday night, the Broncos made too many mistakes to beat the Raiders. They could not run the ball. They could not stop Raiders’ running back Darren McFadden. They committed too many penalties and turnovers. They played poorly.
And they still only lost by three points.
Even in the what-have-you-done-lately world of the NFL, perspective is such an important commodity. The Broncos are trying to pick themselves up off the mat. They are trying to come back from the depths of a 4-12 season.
The road back will be bumpy. Consider the Raiders game bump number one.
I see, however, an improved performance this Sunday against the Bengals. While nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, I don’t see a repeat of week one’s systemic breakdown.
Here are a few reasons why.
1 – A BETTER EFFORT AGAINST THE RUN. Right now, Darren McFadden has the Broncos’ number. I don’t see the Bengals having the same success on the ground that the Raiders had on Monday night.
2 – A CLEANER PERFORMANCE ON OFFENSE. Call it season-opening jitters or whatever you want, I don’t think the Broncos will commit as many penalties and drop as many passes this week. Things seemed to get rolling in the wrong direction on Monday and the Broncos could not reverse that. I don’t think that will happen two weeks in a row.
3 – THE LEARNING CURVE. The Broncos just played their first game under a new head coach. There is a learning curve and the Broncos experienced some of that in week one. I have to believe they will get more and more comfortable in John Fox’s systems.
If we are having this same discussion about the Broncos’ consistently poor play in six to eight weeks, then that would clearly be problematic.
For now, I’ll sit back and believe this team can and will play much better.
What will be the key against the Bengals this Sunday?
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.