The Denver Broncos came off their worst performance of the year against the Ravens. Then laid an even bigger egg in week 4 until Pittsburgh went to prevent in the 4th quarter of a 27-19 loss.
That final score does not tell the story of just how inept and out-coached this Denver Broncos squad was Sunday morning. The Pittsburgh Steelers were coming off 3 consecutive losses and Big Ben had more INTs than TDs. All of that changed over the course of 60 minutes on Heinz Field. The Broncos would go down by 7 after an early dime from Big Ben to Diontae Johnson for 50 yards and a TD put them up 7-0 at the 12:09 mark in the first quarter. The Denver Broncos would never threaten that lead, never getting to within more than 4 points the rest of the game.Embed from Getty Images
The Broncos were so inept on offense they didn’t score their first TD until the 10:19 mark in the 4th quarter. Even that would take a bigger screw-up by the Steelers D (blowing over-the-top coverage) and an absolutely ridiculous catch by Sutton to bail out his quarterback than anything the Broncos did right. Before the 3 final drives for the Broncos, Teddy Bridgewater had less than 60 net yards and only 83 passing. Look at this tweet I put out about it:
Every Teddy Troll has tried to grill Drew Lock for his 55 net yards in 1+ quarters against the 4-game win streak Ravens who stayed blitzing against a weakened O-line. But want to give a pass to Teddy who had just as low a net yard total through 3+ quarters against a much worse Pittsburgh defense that had lost 3 in a row.
The only mistake Drew made in his half of play was a meaningless INT with 3 ticks on the clock. Teddy throws a pick in the same place in the end zone, to the same player, with the same throw, but it actually lost the game as the Broncos had a chance to tie the game with a TD and 2-point conversion. I keep hearing that “he brought them all the way back”. But he didn’t, unless they resumed the game after the INT that even the NFL record keepers missed, the Broncos are still listed at 3-2, not 4-1.Embed from Getty Images
It’s amazing to me that Teddy can lose and be called a “winner”. But Drew does better in a worse situation, and he’s a definitive bust? This is what Robert Downey Jr.’s character in Tropical Thunder meant by “you never go full retard.” I need to know why the double standard? I obviously need to be clear because people have trouble with words. I do not sit in the camp that Drew Lock is the second coming of John Elway. What I am saying is nobody knows, nobody. Eighteen, that’s the total number of starts Lock has in his career, is barely enough to fill the weeks in this year’s entire schedule. But somehow people that have never so much as seen Drew practice somehow just know he is not the man because he is sitting on the bench.
Have we all forgotten Rich Gannon and Brad Johnson? Where when they finally got into the right system (one we will not mention) they went on MVP tears or won a Super Bowl. Drew Lock is more talented than both of those men by leaps and bounds. Yet you “experts” sit here and say that Teddy had a “great game” and Drew is a scrub. Give me a break. I don’t want this to be a pure Teddy bashing session, I really have no ill will towards the player. But his fans are insufferable and idiotic.
Let’s move on from the QB position though as it was not completely Teddy’s fault. This vaunted Broncos defense has looked more like a doormat the last 2 weeks. After giving up Lamar Jackson’s 2nd ever 300-yard game last week. Big Ben found a fountain of youth and after 5 INTs in the first 4 games, gave up nothing but a lost fumble that lead to an FG by Brandon McManus in the 2nd quarter. He ended the day 15/25 for 253 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs. I know that’s not a flashy stat line. But when you allow the 32nd ranked running game (55 YPG) to go off for 147 yards. Najee Harris had 122 all by himself, the first 100-yard game for the rookie. After that, Big Ben doesn’t need to light it up, just not screw it up.Embed from Getty Images
I still don’t understand why the best pass rusher on the team was covering Chase Claypool from the slot instead of, you know, pass-rushing, is beyond me. Justin Strnad’s hesitancy in coverage and attacking the LOS during run-plays is concerning as well. If Mike Purcell misses anytime or is limited due to a back injury he suffered trying to make an insane interception in the first half. This run-D will fall off a cliff. The depth behind Purcell is light, figuratively obviously. The Denver Broncos front-7 was manhandled by a Pittsburgh O-line that was ranked dead-last in the NFL during the pre-season and has done nothing to change that before Sunday.
The Broncos have a little reprieve with the reeling Raiders coming into Denver this Sunday after the insanity that is the Jon Gruden scandal. If you would like to hear our takes on that, as well as how we feel about Javonte Williams and this Broncos rushing offense. You can listen to the Breakin’ Broncos podcast here.Embed from Getty Images
So for the second week in a row, we saw Shurmur sabotage himself by abondoning from the running game with just a 4-point deficit despite his running backs averaging more than 6 yards per carry. You saw the Pittsburgh Steelers put. on a clinic of the use of 2 and 3 TE sets. It’s amazing to see a coach look across the sidelines and say “see what you could do” and the coach on the receiving end going “but I don’t wanna!”
The Steelers have far inferior talent at the TE position when compared to the Broncos, yet their use in Denver is like a giant squid. We know they’re out there somewhere, we just don’t know exactly where. Also, can someone explain how Javonte Wiliams has 0 rushes inside the 5? This offense with Teddy looks absolutely identical to 2020 with Lock who had no offseason to prepare. Teddy has had a full offseason with the team and looked just OK when playing inferior teams.
As I have said since week 1 in this article and everywhere since. Teddy would give a lot of fools gold through the first month, then Broncos Country will claim the sky is falling by the time they played the Raiders. It didn’t even take that long. And here we stand, right where scared money gets you, desperation and people under the bus. Things will get much worse in Dove Valley before they get better.