Sunday’s game against the Chiefs is a prime example of why staying off the emotional roll-coaster is a wise thing to do. Teams have to remain steady, not getting too high after wins and not getting too low after losses. For the first time this year, the Broncos will have the opportunity to see if they can stay on an even keel after a disappointing loss.
I am still a firm believer in the Broncos’ ability to be a good team this year. But they are still a young team. And young teams go through growing pains. Sunday certainly qualifies as that.
Among the issues:
–TURNOVERS. Going into the game, I found it hard to come up with a scenario in which the Chiefs won without getting at least a couple of turnovers. They came up with four and that was more than enough.
–RUN DEFENSE. It wasn’t there. Larry Johnson finds a way to have great games against the Broncos. After 198 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, he had another one. He set the tone with his 64-yard run on the second play from scrimmage. While the Broncos kept him in check at times, he still had a huge day.
–RED ZONE STRUGGLES. The bottom line is that the Broncos could not consistently execute in the red zone. But I’m not concerned this will become a regular occurrence.
–SPECIAL TEAMS BREAKDOWN. After closing the gap to 23-16, the Broncos gave up a 51-yard kickoff return to Dantrell Savage. That set up the Chiefs at the Broncos’ 49 yard line and then went on to kick a field goal and go back up by 10 points. That was a big momentum swing and not the first time it has happened to the Broncos.
–PREPARATION. After the game, cornerback Champ Bailey said he can tell when they have a good week of practice and when they don’t. Last week, he didn’t like what he saw in practice and it apparently showed. Maybe a generally young team simply had to learn from its mistake in order to get better.
–LOCATION. For whatever reason, the Broncos usually do not play well at Arrowhead Stadium. We could discuss the possible reasons all day long but it would accomplish nothing. Mike Shanahan has had only two sub-.500 seasons in 13 years as Broncos’ head coach, but he is now 3-11 at Arrowhead. The Broncos are 13-35 against the Chiefs at Arrowhead. Sometimes you’re up against more than just the opposing team.
I’m actually not that surprised to see the Broncos struggle against Kansas City. I didn’t predict it but it doesn’t shock me, either. I believe the Broncos are a much better team, but they had a bad day. Time will tell if that becomes a trend.
I’m not betting on that happening.
Do you believe the Broncos will rebound this week against Tampa Bay? I’d love to read what you think.
Thanks for reading and have a great week.