Denver Broncos Lose to Houston Texans but Show Improvement

Denver Broncos (Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Denver Broncos (Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos dropped another close game to a quality opponent, losing 19-17 to the Houston Texans.

We’re going to start by saying; Do NOT @ us.  We know we’ve been all over John Elway and his Broncos this season and we don’t apologize for holding Elway responsible for the state of this team.  This is probably the last place anyone expects to see positivity out of a Denver Broncos loss but here we go:

The Broncos looked pretty good on Sunday.  Case Keenum was solid for the most part but deserves high praise for two throws he made.  The first was a laser into triple coverage to Jeff Heuerman.  It was a huge play and gave the Broncos a 17-16 lead with 6:00 left in the third.

After Houston answered with a field goal, the Broncos played from behind for the rest of the game. Brandon McManus‘ second miss of the day, (62, 51) as time expired has been hotly debated in the aftermath but something that deserves remembering was Keenum’s fourth-down throw to Emmanuel Sanders that set the stage for the field goal attempt.

Keenum was under pressure and  let go a half-sidearm rope to Sanders at the Houston 37 for a first down and to put the Broncos within McManus’ range.

We aren’t going to get drug into the mud of the Vance Joseph debate other than to note that John Elway said on Monday that he had seen improvement, felt this year was better than last year and had no intention of making personnel changes for the rest of the season.  So, for better-or-worse, Joseph is the Broncos coach for the balance of this season.

What we do want to point out from Sunday’s tilt is that the Broncos got through the game with just the Devontae Booker fumble (for which he atoned with a touchdown on the ensuing drive) for turnovers .  Even better, there was only one penalty flag thrown on the Denver offensive line and that was newly returned Jared Veldheer for a false start.

Phillip Lindsay shook off some big hits and ground out 60 yards. Jeff Heuerman looked like he was channeling Rob Gronkowski with some slick post-catch moves.  Bradley Roby and Chris Harris Jr. played well, Su’a Cravens made his Broncos debut and made a couple of tackles.

Adam Jones was crafty from the punt return spot, his being active probably once again spelled doom for Isaiah McKenzieCourtland Sutton is making us reluctantly admit that while we will miss Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos are stacked at receiver.

Speaking of Demaryius, we got to see him make a nice, 30-yard play on the opening drive, we got a tribute and the sign outside the stadium.  At least we got to celebrate his contributions to the Broncos while he’s still active.

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That may have been the best news of all on a Sunday that almost turned the Broncos way, there’s no need for ill feelings, everyone involved is going to be fine and maybe that’s a good way to view the rest of this season.  Whatever happens, everyone is going to be fine.