Sunday against the Patriots, the Broncos let another opportunity to beat an elite team slip away. At various times against the Falcons, Texans and Patriots—three of the best teams in the NFL—the Broncos played very well. But in the end, the Broncos lost those games.
Let me be completely clear on several points:
1) The Broncos are 2-3 and that is not a good record. They have played three teams that will, in all likelihood, be in the hunt for a Super Bowl title. They have lost each of those games.
2) The Broncos are not playing like an elite team right now.
3) The Broncos have plenty of areas in which to improve. That improvement must start next Monday night against the Chargers.
At the same time, the season is not nearly over. It is just getting started. There is so much football left to be played.
I’ve talked about it before but it is worth another mention: One has to keep perspective. It is entirely too early to make any snap decisions about how the season will unfold. It is entirely too early to assume that the Broncos will not get better. It is entirely too early to believe the Broncos are destined for something akin to mediocrity.
Clearly, the Broncos have to reduce the turnovers. They have to tighten down on defense. They have work to do.
But only five games into the season, the work the Broncos have to do cannot and should not completely negate the positive things they have done. Five games into the season, the work the Broncos have to do should not define who they are.
While they fell behind early to the Falcons, Texans and Patriots, they battled back into each of those games. They played well at times. I know, playing well at times doesn’t cut it in the NFL. But this early in the season, it is worth something.
On offense, the biggest problem has been turnovers. The Broncos are minus-6 in turnover margin and they have lost seven fumbles, the third highest total in the NFL. The primary work the Broncos have to do on offense is clean up the turnovers. I am fully confident they can and will do just that. And when they do, they will have one really, really good offense. Even with the turnovers, the Broncos are averaging 28 points per game.
Defensively, the Broncos must find a way to more consistently stop the run and get off the field on third down. A few more takeaways would help, too.
But let’s cut these a guys a little slack, too. They have played five games under yet another new defensive coordinator. They have faced three extremely talented offenses.
I have no idea what the Broncos’ final record will be this year. I know that the early portion of the schedule looked daunting and has, indeed, proven to be just that. I know they have yet to establish a pattern of consistently good play.
I also know with a win over the Chargers, the Broncos will go into the bye week 3-3 and tied for first place in the AFC West.
I, for one, refuse to pack in the season over some patches of rough play against some of the best teams in the NFL. If I’m making these same points six weeks from now, I’ll be concerned. But it is still only early October and the Broncos still have time to have a quality season.
Don’t count them out just yet.
How concerned are you over the Broncos’ 2-3 start? Are you optimistic they can make necessary improvements?
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.