When the NFL week five slate started, the Denver Broncos looked to put a stranglehold on the AFC West. That is if the San Diego Chargers could help them by beating the Oakland Raiders. The Broncos knew they would have a tough game without their starting quarterback and facing the league’s number one offense. When it was said and done the Broncos fell from the undefeated ranks. Here are three things we learned in the loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Paxton Lynch is not ready
Yes, Lynch looked good last week in Tampa Bay. However, the Falcons defense is better than the Buccaneers. It did not help that his offensive line got abused as well. But there were many times that the rookie showed he needs more study time. He often held the ball too long and took many sacks. Today showed that he is not ready to go a full game. He did make some good throws, one especially that was dropped by Demaryius Thomas. Denver may have a star in the future, but right now and today that star did not shine brightly.
Denver defense is vulnerable.
The often called, vaunted, Denver Broncos defense showed a major weakness. They showed that they are vulnerable between the tackles. We know about their tremendous speed on the outside with Von Miller and company. However, the area between the tackles was beaten up by the Falcons run game today. They surely showed that the miss the likes of Malik Jackson in the middle. If the Broncos do not make the adjustment here, there will be other teams that will use it against them as well.
Denver needs a run game
The Broncos offense is set up in such a way that if they are not successful in running the ball, their offense may fail. Especially with a young QB. You could see the struggles on the offensive line when it came to pass protection. This was because the Falcons defense could just pin their ears back and rush Paxton Lynch. Denver needs to be able to run the football to set up the play action pass and take the pressure off of the offensive line and quarterback.
The Denver Broncos do not have time to ponder this loss. They have a short week with a game Thursday night in San Diego against the Chargers. See what adjustments Denver makes if they have to stay with the rookie QB. Also keep an eye on the middle defensive adjustments. This now becomes an important week for the Denver Broncos.