The Broncos fell to the Las Vegas Raiders by a score of 37-12 yesterday afternoon. The day was filled with Denver mistakes on both sides of the ball. The Raiders powered their way to 203 rushing yards as Josh Jacobs and Devontae Booker each had two touchdowns. The Broncos were unable to finish most of their drives and made their weekly special teams mistakes. These are my three takeaways for yesterday’s game.
- Drew Lock needs to take care of the football.
Drew Lock completed 23 out of 47 passes for 257 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions. Three of Lock’s four interceptions proved extremely costly for the Broncos. His second pick came at the end of the first half inside the Raider 10-yard line. If Lock would have been able to find the endzone, then the Broncos would have taken a 13-10 lead at the half. This was a major momentum swing going into the second half. Lock’s third interception was after a Las Vegas touchdown and directly led to three more points for the Raiders. Lock’s fourth interception came in garbage time, but it was once again deep inside Las Vegas territory.
If the Broncos are going to maintain long-term success, then the young quarterback needs to take care of the ball. Not to mention that the offense itself needs to show up before the fourth quarter of every game. Obviously, young players will have games like this, but if it starts to happen every week, then there will be cause for concern.
- Denver needs to clean up the overall mistakes.
The interception issues have already been addressed, but the Broncos have other problems. It seems like every week there is at least one special teams mistake. This week’s special teams mistake came as the Broncos took multiple penalties in the return game that backed up their starting field position by an average of 13 yards per penalty. The Broncos also need to give their defense proper rest by creating long offensive possessions. Every week the Denver defense is dead tired by the end of the first half because of the early offensive struggles.
- The future is still bright in Denver
The bottom line is that the Broncos are a young team with a bright future. These “growing pains” are expected throughout the course of a season. Denver has had an injury plagued season that has not gone anywhere close to their preseason expectations. The next few weeks will be a good sign of things to come for one of the youngest teams in the NFL. The Broncos host the 6-3 Miami Dolphins this week. After Miami, Denver will host the New Orleans Saints and then travel to Kansas City on Sunday night, December 6.