With 5 weeks remaining in the NFL season, the Denver Broncos find themselves in unfamiliar territory. They are now fighting for their playoff lives. The Broncos are currently 3rd in the AFC West and 7th in the AFC after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Will the Broncos make the playoffs? Here are 3 observation from the loss to the Chiefs.
Offensive line is a mess
The offensive line for the Denver Broncos is an absolute mess. They went out during the off-season and acquired 2 tackles that they thought would sure up last year’s issues. They still have those issues. Russell Okung has been more stable of the 2 tackles. They also signed Donald Stephenson away from the Chiefs in the off-season. He was recently benched in favor or Ty Sambrailo. How did that work out on Sunday? Chiefs’ rushers were all over Trevor Siemian early in the game. If the Denver Broncos do not do something about the offensive line, especially the outside, they will most surely miss the playoffs.
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Tough call to make
With 1 minute left in the game and the game tied, Denver Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak had to make a decision. Does he attempt a 62 yard FG or punt the ball and play defense? Kubiak attempted the FG knowing that if his kicker, Brandon McMannus missed he would be giving the Chiefs the ball in Denver territory. It is a tough decision. In my opinion, I would have punted the ball and pinned the Chiefs deep in their own end. Let your top 5 defense take over and see if they can make a play or a stop. Your team may even get the ball back with a shot at another field goal. Kubiak stated in his post-game presser, “We are here to win ball games!” This was definitely a move for the win.
Siemian looked healthy
Back on October 2, 2016, Trevor Siemian was injured in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He suffered a sprain to the AC joint of his non-throwing shoulder. He missed the following game against the Atlanta Falcons. However, since his return in week 6 he has not looked like he did to start the season. There were reports in recent weeks that the shoulder may still be affecting the Broncos QB. That was not the case last night. Siemian looked like the QB that was selected as the starter for the Denver Broncos. He was on time with his throws, he hit the deep ball, and was even getting out of the pocket. Getting out of the pocket was something that you did not see him do as much since the injury. Siemian is one key for the Broncos success, and it looked like it was put back into the ignition.
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With the Denver Broncos on the outside looking in there will be a sense of urgency over the next 5 weeks. The one thing they cannot do is succumb to pressure and fold the season away. There is going to be some calling for rookie QB Paxton Lynch to play. Gary Kubiak will need to push that aside and stay with the mission. Fix the o-line issues and you could see better success. On to Jacksonville.