In all walks of life, you have a moment that the penny finally drops. In upstate New York, that moment arrived in grand style for the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
The Broncos fell to the Buffalo Bills 20-3. The bitter reality that the Broncos are a poor team hit home like a slap to the face with an avalanche of missed tackles and desperately poor coaching, mixing with awful execution.
For all of Vic Fangio’s “we have to rectify things” post-game remarks, he is putting his players into positions wherein they can’t be successful. Fans can only feel sorry for quarterback Brandon Allen, who is out of his depth badly.
Trying to gain any positives out of this loss is hard work, as only Justin Simmons truly brought any kind of proper football out of his bag on Sunday. Simmons finished with eight tackles on the day (seven solo) and also picked off his third pass of the season.
It's difficult to find anything positive to write home about following Sunday's loss, besides Simmons. It was almost all bad for Denver in Buffalo.
As disadvantaged as this Broncos squad is, they simply are running out of excuses, especially when they played so flat in Buffalo, and without any inspiration or innovation being provided by the coaches as a collective unit.
Extremely windy conditions made the gameplan for both sides fairly self-evident. It was a day for grinding out plays and playing sensible, basic complementary football. During the duration of a scoreless first half, that message was certainly not received by Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.
Brandon Allen is drowning in this offense, as his offensive line is unable to hold up to give him much of a shot at getting the ball any distance down the field. Scoring only one field goal and failing to register a fourth-quarter touchdown for the sixth-straight game is a statistic so stunning, it's difficult to process.
As poor as the Broncos were on offense, the defense looks to have taken significant steps backward in consecutive weeks. Denver's defense was gashed on the ground with a comedy of missed tackles that allowed Bills rookie RB Devin Singletary eclipse 100 yards for the first time in his young NFL career. A general inability to cover, tackle, and apply pressure is committing defensive suicide for Fangio.
This was as uncompetitive as the Broncos have been in a while and should finally force the hand of GM John Elway to bring rookie QB Drew Lock into the fold. With eight losses accumulated, it makes it crystal clear that there is no logic or proper reasoning to continue to sit and bubble wrap the rookie second-rounder until next season. If the Broncos played Lock only to decide on what the draft strategy will be next April. it’d make it a slam-dunk necessity to pull the trigger now.
That being said, it will be no walk in the park if the young passer does hit the starting line up soon. Playing behind the Broncos' current offensive line should come with a government health warning and would test any of the game’s elite QBs, let alone a rookie.
If Elway continues to dither over his plans for Lock, it will only invite more sustained and vocal criticism as the season limps towards its tame conclusion.