LAS VEGAS — Somehow, the Broncos were in a position to take a lead into halftime Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders despite poor field position, an inability to contain running back Josh Jacobs, a non-existent pass rush and more special teams foibles.
But two plays both derailed the Broncos’ chances and summarized the state of their broken offense.
Trailing 10-6 with first-and-goal from 5, quarterback Drew Lock’s designed run to the left for a touchdown was negated by a needless holding penalty on tight end Noah Fant. Moved back 10 yards, Lock tried to throw a fastball over the middle to receiver Jerry Jeudy, but safety Jeff Heath cut in front of him for the back-breaking interception.
It was the Broncos’ last and only chance to make their first trip to Vegas successful or interesting.
Las Vegas turned a four-point halftime lead into a 37-12 rout that showed the Broncos just aren’t chasing Kansas City in the AFC West. They now look way up at the Raiders (6-3).
Denver is 3-6 for the fourth consecutive season. And now it can’t stop anybody, having allowed at least 30 points in four consecutive games for the first time since, gulp, 1968. But that is on the entire operation, not just the defense.
“The second half was unacceptable,” coach Vic Fangio said. “We didn’t play or coach good enough to stay in a game that was a four-point game at halftime.”
Didn’t play good enough: The Broncos were minus 5 in turnover differential for the first time in exactly five years (loss to the Chiefs). … They committed seven penalties, many of the costly variety (chiefly the one on Fant). … They were gashed for 203 yards rushing. … And Lock is regressing.
Didn’t coach good enough: If Fangio isn’t at the biggest crisis point of his two-year tenure, it’s close.
The Broncos are steamrolling toward a fifth consecutive year out of the playoffs. They aren’t good enough and their schedule is too tough to think they can have some kind of rapid turnaround.
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That leaves Lock’s development as the last remaining storyline.
Over the next seven games, the Broncos must decide if Lock is their guy moving forward. Can he be smarter …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports