Broncos Offensive Line Plays Poorly on the Road Despite Victory

Sep 25, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) gives instruction prior to the snap against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) gives instruction prior to the snap against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos came away with the win against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. However, there were many issues for them as a team. Their biggest? The offensive line play.

It wasn’t pretty for the Denver Broncos offensive line. They really had their issues all game long against the Cincinnati Bengals. What really sparked the poor play was an injury. That caused a lot of movement and then the issues were obvious.

Before the injury, the unit struggled to get push in the run game. This really took a lot away from the Broncos offense, which relies on the run. Of course, the Cincinnati Bengals have a big, strong defensive line. It wasn’t going to be easy to run the ball anyways.

Then the left tackle went down. Russel Okung hurt his lower back and missed some time. This caused Darrion Weems to be inserted at right guard and starting right guard Michael Schofield to move to left tackle. Thats when the Bengals defensive line really looked like they would be taking over the game.

Michael Schofield has been fantastic at guard this season. Few pressures allowed and opened up some huge holes in the running game. At guard he doesn’t have to deal with speed, which has been his kryptonite. So being moved to left tackle was concerning.

His play there wasn’t bad, but not as good as it was at right guard. He struggled to get push in the run game and allowed a few pressures as well. Then when Okung re-entered the game, Shcofield moved back to right guard and continued to struggle. It was like playing left tackle threw him out of rhythm.

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As for Okung, before his injury he was playing well as a pass protector. His run blocking was poor and a big reason they struggled to run on the left side. After his injury his play, understandably, got worse. Okung was allowing more pressure and doing even less as a run blocker.

All that said about Okung and Schofield, they biggest issues came from right tackle Ty Sambrailo and left guard Max Garcia. Only offensive linemen who played well all game was the center Matt Paradis.

Garcia is quickly approaching the bench with his play. He was really bad against the Panthers, and even worse today. Consistent pressure from his defenders in the pass game really made life hard for Trevor Siemian. There wasn’t anything Garcia could do to slow down the pass rush.

In regards to his run blocking, it was the worst of his young career so far. There was no push from Garcia and one run in particular showed that. C.J. Anderson was following Garcia, but there was no push and Anderson got tackled behind the line of scrimmage.

When asked to pull, Garcia looks like he has cement feet. In college he moved pretty well, but he hasn’t shown it yet this year. His rookie year he showed it as a rotational player. To remain starter, Garcia has to improve his play. There isn’t much time for Garcia to start improving, either. Connor McGovern is coming along nicely and could be ready within two-three weeks.

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Right tackle Ty Sambrailo was a mess. There were plays where he got beat and just stopped. He would give up on the play, and one of these almost ended in an interception. That is unacceptable no matter the circumstances.

Rust was expected from Sambrailo, after all he hasn’t played since week three last year. He got hurt and landed on injured reserve. Then this off-season he was practicing at guard. It wasn’t until three-four weeks ago he was moved back to tackle. On top of that, he has dealt with injuries since early August.

Although it was expected to some degree, Sambrailo’s struggles were even worse than they should have been. It got to the point where head coach Gary Kubiak should have considered Schofield at right tackle and Darrion Weems at guard after Okung came back.

Sambrailo allowed multiple pressures and got no push in the run game. As a former second round pick, the clock is ticking. Sambrailo has to improve and has to get healthy. Once healthy, he has to stay healthy.

Next: Broncos Win After Big 4th Quarter from Siemian

Despite the offensive line play, the Denver Broncos still managed to win this game. It was much like their games last year, except the offense played well, besides the line. One thing is for sure, Okung getting hurt proved that the depth on the line is still a mess.