The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Denver Broncos by a score of 28-10 this afternoon in the Mile High City. Tom Brady threw for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns for Tampa, while Jeff Driskel only tallied 176-yards, one touchdown, and one interception all while being benched in the fourth quarter.
These are three takeaways from the ugly Denver loss.
- The Denver offense needs to be better.
The Broncos were only able to muster 226 yards of total offense while turning the ball over twice and conceding a safety in the third quarter. The bottom line is that the depleted Denver offense needs to be more productive than they were today, especially the offensive line.
Last week, Denver quarterbacks were sacked seven times by an elite Steelers defense. This week the Buccaneers copied many of the stunts and blitzes the Steelers used last week and the offensive line was not prepared. Driskel and Rypien were sacked a total of six times.
Skill position wise, Denver needs to involve Melvin Gordon and Noah Fant in the offense more. Gordon only had 8 carries for 26 yards, while Fant caught 5 passes for 46 yards. Granted, while it is hard to get the run game going while trailing big and Fant was targeted 10 times, it is still unacceptable that they were not used more.
In their week one loss, Gordon and Fant each had over 75 yards and a touchdown. If the Broncos want to be successful in the coming weeks, then they need to utilize their best two offensive weapons more than they currently are.
- Brett Rypien looked better than Jeff Driskel.
Jeff Driskel was benched in the fourth quarter in favor of rookie quarterback Brett Rypien. Rypien, who is in his first season out of Boise State, looked sharp on the Broncos’ final drive of the game. He went 8/9 for 53 yards and marched Denver into the red zone.
Even though his ninth attempt was intercepted, it was not a bad throw. On fourth and one, Rypien threw a bullet to a seemingly open Jerry Jeudy in the endzone, but the route was jumped by Tampa Bay corner Mike Edwards.
Vic Fangio has what appears to be a difficult decision to make regarding who his starting quarterback is on Thursday at the New York Jets.
- The major issues on special teams need to be fixed.
The Broncos have had a punt blocked in two consecutive games and both have led to points for their opponent. Last week Derek Watt’s block sent the ball through the endzone for a safety that put the Broncos down by five instead of three. This would cost them a chance at a game-tying field goal later in the game.
This week, the pressure once again came right up the middle and resulted in the punt being blocked and downed at the Denver 10-yardline. Tom Brady would only need three plays to cash in and give the Buccaneers the early 7-0 lead.
Once again, if Denver wants to be successful in the coming weeks, they have to clean up the special team mistakes.
The Broncos travel to the east coast to take on the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. Denver has opened as a 2.5-point favorite.