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When it comes to the AFC West and the Denver Broncos one thing is clear, they will be contenders. This is even after the loss they suffered Sunday Night to the Oakland Raiders. However, there are a few things that are clear from the loss. Here are my 3 observations from the loss to the Raiders. Beef kills the D-line During the 3 losses that the Denver Broncos have had, there is a common theme. They have been defeated with a solid running game up the middle. Teams that have beef on their offensive line, especially at guard and center, have been able to control the middle of the Broncos defensive line. This is because of the lack of size on that side of the ball. If Denver expects to get back to the playoffs and farther they will need to figure out some beef in the middle. The only size they have is Sylvester Williams. I think they miss the presence of the departed Malik Jackson. [embedit snippet=”Sean ads”] Aqib Talib is better than Chris Harris Jr The Denver Broncos are hoping that they get Aqib Talib back from his back injury this week. If not it could be a long day in their secondary with having to face the likes of Drew Brees. This comes on the heels of what Raiders QB Derek Carr was able to do to them. The Oakland Raiders were able to exploit the Broncos “No Fly Zone.” Chris Harris Jr and the rest of the secondary did not show up Sunday Night. The only person that had any amount of worth was Safety TJ Ward. If the Broncos plan on shutting down Brees and company they will hope that they get the return of Aqib Talib on Sunday. No run = no offense! The Denver Broncos offense is predicated on being successful in the run game. If they are not, then they cannot throw. Teams have been able to shut down the run making Trevor Siemian beat them. Although Siemian is a worthy and capable NFL QB, he still needs help from other aspects of his offense in order to be successful. This should be a different story next week, but Sunday Night against the Raiders, Denver could not run the ball leading to an offensive struggle. There are going to be many teams that model this play moving forward. If the Denver Broncos do not find a way to run the ball in those games, the second half of the season could be a stretch that many will want to forget. [embedit snippet=”Sean ads”] The Denver Broncos are just one game out of the lead for the AFC West. If they can get these 3 things fixed they will be right there fighting at the end. If not, this could become a 2 team race that does include this horse. It is tough being the defending champs.  

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