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The Good, Bad, & Ugly from Broncos' 22-9 Loss to Chiefs

Not enough good and way too much bad and ugly.

The Denver Broncos' lack of offensive firepower and continued special teams snafus cost the team the opportunity to earn the top position in the AFC West on Sunday night. On prime-time television, Broncos Country's hopes were dashed by the team's continued difficulty scoring touchdowns in the red zone. 

On a positive note, though, a star was born on Sunday Night Football as rookie running back Javonte Williams totaled nearly 200 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, carving out a piece of Broncos history in the process. One week removed from his breakout game, rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II picked off a Patrick Mahomes pass on his way to rapidly becoming a household name.

As the Broncos' playoff hopes fade, the coaching staff must begin to reconfigure its game plans around maximizing the talents of these emerging stars. It’s no secret that Vic Fangio and his coaching staff is in a must-win mindset to retain their jobs. 

Player seniority, or where they were selected in the draft, should not factor into playing time. With the 22-9 loss to the Chiefs, the Broncos' back is now firmly against the wall.

Let's get to the good, bad, and ugly from Week 13. 

The Good

Javonte Williams | RB

Williams is the poster child for generating additional yards after contact. The rookie running back gained 83 yards after contact and generated 102 total yards. William’s bulldozer running style, tested the Chiefs' pain tolerance when attempting solo tackles. 

The budding star is also becoming a threat in the passing game. Williams caught six receptions for 76 yards. There is enough body of work that clearly shows he should be the starter and earn most of the carries. His plays give the Broncos' offense the best hope of putting more points on the scoreboard.

The Defense

It wasn’t a perfect game for the defense, but the Broncos did make life difficult for Mahomes and the Chiefs. Although Coach Fangio displayed a serious lapse in judgment throughout the game, he called an effective defensive game plan. 

The Broncos  held Mahomes to under 200 yards passing with zero touchdown passes while speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill was limited to a pair catches for 22 yards. It was good to see Surtain stop a Chiefs' drive with a timely interception. It was a fine outing for a defense that had to work to compensate for its offensive counterpart's lack of production.

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The Bad

Teddy Bridgewater & The Offense

Let’s start with a positive. By leveraging the power running style of Williams the Broncos' offense controlled the clock and kept Mahomes on the sidelines. Besides thaT component, under the bright lights of SNF, the offense wilted. 

Bridgewater continues to struggle when defenses blitz. Bridgewater threw for 257 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. One of those interceptions came from a tipped ball that created a pick-six. 

The Broncos continue to struggle to create deep-threat opportunities. Getting the ball to the Broncos' talented, and now well-paid, receing corps in space will create more scoring opportunities.

Special Teams

The special team unit continues to make mistakes that cost the team valuable momentum. Errors in execution, missed assignments, and just bad luck plague Tom McMahon’s crew. 

Returner Diontae Spencer’s fumbled punt return is a perfect example of the state of the Broncos' special teams. Considering we're in December, don’t expect substantial improvement.

The Ugly

Nine Points

The Denver Broncos have a 6-6 record. As former Superbowl-winning coach Bill Parcells said, “You are what your record says you are." 

The Orange and Blue have displayed spasms of quality play against the Cowboys and Chargers while displaying a lack of execution, energy, and at times, feeble coaching proficiency against teams like the Browns. To break free of this middling performance, the team is going to have to remain laser-focused on the offense producing at least 24 points per game. 

You aren’t going to win many games in the NFL scoring nine points.

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