When the Denver Broncos played the San Diego Chargers Thursday night, they had redemption on their mind. Their defense wanted to show that the beating it took in week 5, at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons, was just a fluke. However, they were not able to rebound against the Chargers. Here are 3 things that we learned in Thursday’s loss.
Denver’s defense is vulnerable over the middle
The Denver Broncos defense is very vulnerable between the tackles and over the middle. If you have a solid pass-catching tight end and strong middle offensive line, you should be able to be very competitive against this team. That has been proven the last 2 weeks. In week 5, the Atlanta Falcons were able to run all over the middle of the defense. Last night was a different aspect. The Chargers were able to entertain the middle of the Broncos defense by utilizing their 2 TEs Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates. I said this at the beginning of the years that this is where Denver is most vulnerable on defense. It is starting to show.
Denver missed Gary Kubiak
It was evident, by the lack of downfield shots, that the Denver Bronco’s offense missed Gary Kubiak. Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison was not aggressive with his play calling. The lack of downfield shots against a weak Chargers secondary allowed the Chargers to gain increased confidence in their coverage. QB Trevor Siemian has the ability to make the throws when given the chance. Last night, he was not given any chance to unleash. I am not sure if they were trying to play it safe after the injury or if the short game was the plan. But whatever it was, it did not work.
Speed hurt the offensive line
The speed of the San Diego Chargers hurt the offensive line of the Denver Broncos. It was evident that the tackles of the Broncos were not ready for the Chargers pass rush. This happened in week 5 to with Vic Beasley. If the Broncos do not fix his, Trevor Siemian could see a lot of pressure from teams with this kind of pass rush. The Broncos face the Chargers again in 2 weeks and they also have 2 games upcoming against the Oakland Raiders, who also have a speedy pass rush. If the Denver Broncos don’t, chip or leave a tight end into help, they could see problems again in the future.
If the Denver Broncos want to stay legitimate contenders in the AFC West they will need to fix the issues at hand. I understand that the Kubiak issue will be taken care of come Monday when the return to work. The offensive and defensive issues will definitely need to be addressed before Houston comes to town on August 24th.