5 Things That Went Wildly Wrong for the Broncos in Week 7
Going into Week 7's tilt, I spotlighted the Kansas City Chiefs' weaknesses the Denver Broncos would have to exploit in order to walk away with a win.
However, that didn’t happen, as the Broncos fell 30-6, and I am left questioning what high school football team Denver convinced to play in their place.
All joking aside, despite some obvious weaknesses for the Chiefs, the Broncos obviously failed to exploit them.
Each week I break down how the Broncos can exploit their opponents, and every week I go back and watch to see if they exploited those weaknesses or not. That got me wondering why not turn it into an article and here we are. '
This article will be analyzing what happened and what the Broncos did, or didn’t, do to exploit the vulnerabilities of their opponent
A Failure to Establish the Run
Entering the game. the Chiefs had a horrible run defense, and that is something I still think is the case. Despite this being an exploitable weakness, the Broncos ran 21 times — 11 carries for Phillip Lindsay and 10 for Royce Freeman — for a total of 71 yards.
That's over 100 yards less than what the Chiefs were relinquishing per game going into Week 7, so what happened?
It's actually simple. There was no respect for the Broncos passing game and the Chiefs sold out to stop the run. Joe Flacco is a bad quarterback, but he needs a run game to really have any form of success and when that is gone, he's significantly worse.
The Chiefs sold out to shut down the run and the Broncos got away from it quickly. Denver was not able to make the Chiefs pay for selling out to stop the run, which allowed the opponent to continue to key in on it. It didn’t help that the Broncos offensive line was atrocious.
Held up Solidly in Coverage & but Didn't Blitz
The Broncos, for the most part, found ways to play solid in coverage with a mix of zone and man coverage. Of course, losing Patrick Mahomes helped the Broncos defense limit the Chiefs' passing game.
As for blitzing, that isn’t a big part of Vic Fangio’s defense and not doing it enough hurt the Broncos a few times against Kansas City.
A Failure to Attack Chiefs' Secondary
This is something the Broncos actually tried to do, at times. Some of the time they tried, it was actually successful. Denver managed to make a few big plays and they took some shots downfield.
So what was the issue here? The Chiefs got a pass rush going.
Part of what got Kansas City going was their game-plan that so effectively put pressure on all of Denver's vulnerabilities, but the Broncos offensive line helped the Chiefs out a lot, as did Flacco.
Denver struggled to protect their quarterback, and he struggled to protect himself. When you are giving up almost half a dozen sacks in one half and a pressure every time you call a pass play, it makes it difficult to really attack the opposing secondary.
A Failure to Exploit Kansas City's Beleaguered O-Line
The Chiefs are banged up on their offensive line, which was supposed to lead to a good matchup for the Broncos. The Broncos front seven beat up on a bad Titans and a bad Chargers O-line, so it was reasonable to expect them to get after the Chiefs. That didn’t happen, though.
Andy Reid is an expert offensive mind and he found ways to cover up for the shortcomings of his offensive line. The Chiefs' unit also found a way to step up.
Kansas City did a good job of shutting down the Broncos' pass rush, and created some decent running lanes, especially when Denver was in smaller packages. Mitchell Schwartz, one of the best right tackles in the NFL, completely shut down Von Miller.
Too Few Players Stepped Up
As for the players that needed to step up, offensively, Lindsay and Freeman did their best but the O-line was so bad. Noah Fant was atrocious out there, and the calls of him being a bust are only going to get greater.
Of course, there is the right tackle Elijah Wilkinson. Garett Bolles was awful out there, but Wilkinson managed to be worse and continues to give up pressures and sacks at a un-NFL-worthy rate.
On the defensive side of the ball, Chris Harris, Jr. played a bad game, especially in the second half, bottling up Tyreek Hill outside of one play. There was Justin Simmons, who played a good game, but he was one of the few who managed to step up along with Malik Reed.
Denver didn’t move Reed and Miller around, which pitted Miller against Schwartz and as said above, he got shut out.