The Good and the Bad in the Denver Broncos Loss to the St. Louis Rams


The Denver Broncos chances for home-field advantage through the AFC Playoffs vaporized on Sunday afternoon with a terrible loss to the St. Louis Rams. Give the Rams credit, the played an excellent game, but the Broncos looked uninterested from the opening kickoff.

Things can change over the last five weeks of the season but right now the Broncos are not a Super Bowl caliber team. They will have to work extremely hard to even win the AFC West, the Kansas City Chiefs are now tied with the Broncos for first place in the division.

What I liked:

Not a thing.

What I didn’t like:

The Broncos were not prepared to play: For the third straight week, the Broncos came out flat and looked like they hadn’t practiced all week. Some of that is obviously on the players but the coaches have to take their share of the blame too. The game in the beginning of the game seems to be set up not to make mistakes and the gets the Broncos in trouble. The Broncos should be jumping on teams with the talent they have and the coaches are holding them back.

Offensive line play: Although the Rams only got a couple sacks, they completely disrupted the timing of the Broncos offense and forced Manning into some bad throws. The Broncos were also unable to run the ball at all. They need to re-visit the idea of signing Richie Incognito this week. They have to do something because they can’t win anything with the way the offensive line is playing right now.

Running game: This goes hand in hand with the play of the offensive line but the Broncos can’t run the ball to save their lives. I’m at the point now where I cringe every time they run the ball because I know it’s a waste of a play. The scary part is at this point in the season, there’s not much they can do about it. The Broncos are going to go as far as their passing game will take them.

Defense: I’m not going to go crazy on the defense, they weren’t great but they play well enough to win the football game. However this was the type of game where the Broncos needed the defense to come up with a big play to change the momentum of the game, and there were unable to get it. Great defenses are great because they make big plays, and the Broncos just haven’t had enough of those on defense.

Special teams: Why Andre Caldwell is returning kickoffs or even active for that matter is beyond me. He hesitates on every return and looks scared. His poor decisions and lack of return ability is costing the Broncos in the field position battle.

Peyton Manning: He’s not often on this list but he wasn’t good on Sunday. Some of it was due to the pressure applied by the Rams and some of it was due to two of his weapons missing, but Manning has to play better than he played on Sunday.

Lack of a pass rush: The strength of the Broncos defense was supposed to be the pass rush and it was non-existent versus the Rams. If that doesn’t get better going forward then this defense will continue to get exposed, especially by the better quarterbacks.

The Injuries: To add insult to injury, the Broncos lost two key players on offense. If Julius Thomas and/or Emmanuel Sanders are out for any period of time, the offense will continue to struggle.

Maybe the good news for Broncos’ fans is that they won’t have to worry about another loss in the Super Bowl because they are a long way from playing in that game.