Broncos Start their Regular Season off with a Bang 1-0

Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43) celebrates with teammates after a missed field goal attempt by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43) celebrates with teammates after a missed field goal attempt by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos kicked off the regular season at home by taking on the Carolina Panthers. It was a Superbowl rematch, and was a great way to start off the 2016 NFL regular season.

What a game! At home in the Mile High City, the Denver Broncos kicked off, not only their season, but the rest of the NFL’s season as well. The game was spectacular. There were few ways that it could have been any better.

To say that this game was spectacular or stunning is an understatement. There was so much give and take between the Broncos and the Panthers all game long. It had the worlds eyes glued to the television as everyone watched it unfold.

In the end, the Denver Broncos came out on top 21-20 and for a game with all the drama leading up to it, it ended dramatically. A missed field goal for the win by Carolina. This came after hitting a field goal, but Denver had called a timeout.

It is unfortunate that this game will be marred by some questionable officiating, which happens in every game. Fans of the winning team will act like it was fine officiating, while fans of the losing team will disagree. Simple fact is, refereeing was questionable.

Multiple calls and no calls will make one really question the officiating. From a hands to the face call, to no holding penalties call and even no hands to the head, these calls were either bad, or missed. It sucks that a great game will be tainted by such.

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As for the players, it wasn’t a very good night for the Broncos passing game. Now, it wasn’t all bad for their quarterback Trevor Siemian. He mad a handful of awe-inspiring throws, and it ended up being enough, but barely. There was stuff to like from his game, but a lot to hate.

His ball placement continues to be an issue. Siemian has to get better with his placement to help out his receivers after the catch, or even make it easier on them to make the catch. There were a lot of low, or wide passes when there was no need for them.

Continuing with the negatives, his pocket awareness was hard to read. Few plays it was extraordinary, then others where he looked lost, uncomfortable and couldn’t sense pressure. Clearly, Siemian has no natural feel in the pocket.

All in all, it was a mediocre night for Siemian. He went 18 of 26 for 178 yards a touchdown and two interceptions. His touchdown pass wasn’t anything special, just a screen play that any QB should be able to make. As for those interceptions, both are very concerning. Trying to force throws when he shouldn’t have tried to force them.

What helped the young quarterback was the run game. Andy Janovich and Michael Schofield were fantastic in helping spring C.J. Anderson for some big runs. Janovich added a big run of his own on his first carry, which was for a touchdown. Rookie running back Devontae Booker was on the other end of the spectrum with his first career carry. A fumble.

The big boys upfront did their job for the most part. Schofield, as stated, was fantastic. Matt Paradis, Donald Stephenson and Russell Okung were really good as well. For everyone who worried about Schofield at guard, they were worrying about the wrong guard. Max Garcia struggled all night.

Defensively, well, they didn’t look like the defense they were last year. That should’ve been expected. They suffered some losses in free agency and it is their first game back. Many of those defenders played little to no snaps in the preseason. So getting into game shape is something they are still dealing with.

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The biggest concerns were depth on the defensive line, and ability to get off the field on third down. That was an area the Broncos excelled at last year. Low third down conversion rate against that defense. They started off poor against the Panthers, but they improved.

As said the depth on the defensive line is a concern, and one that is going to be hard to fix at this point. They have one great player, a good player and some depth/rotational guys who are seeing a lot of snaps. One of them have to step up between Billy Winn, Adam Gotsis and Jared Crick.

One of the five broncos players needing big games ended up being the whole outside linebacker group, and they answered. The whole group looked the most ready to play on that defense. Miller was exceptional, despite obvious planning to stop him. Which teams can’t do. Miller will find a way.

DeMarcus Ware, Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett all put in great games, but Ray takes the game ball for the group. He was exceptional from start to finish. He made many of his biggest doubters question their thoughts on him. There were very few mistakes made by him all game long. It truely was exceptional.

Finally, special teams was a let down. Punter Riley Dixon is leading many fans to question why he got the nod over Britton Colquitt. Colquitts punting was bad, but not Dixon bad. Although, Dixon is a rookie and can get better, improvements are needed ASAP.

Next: Broncos: Five Players Needing Big Games to Win

An exceptional game coming down to a field goal. Lot to like with the Broncos performance and a lot to dislike. Fans can only hope that they improve.