Denver Broncos: Grading our 3 Keys to Victory over the Chargers

Denver Broncos (Photo by Terry Pierson/Digital First Media/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images)
Denver Broncos (Photo by Terry Pierson/Digital First Media/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

How long has it been since we felt good about a Denver Broncos performance?  Sunday wasn’t perfect but it was Denver’s first AFC West road win since 2015.

Let’s give three cheers for the Denver Broncos 23-22 win in Los Angeles!

There were questionable things like Phillip Lindsay on fourth-and-1.  That particular play was interesting because it prompted some pretty solid analysis from Dan Fouts.  Perhaps Case Keenum should have recognized the gap in front of him and kept the ball for the first.  Maybe on the previous play, Royce Freeman should have followed his blockers instead of cutting back.  Maybe Lindsay wasn’t the right back to grind out a tough yard up-the-middle.

Maybe we should’ve kicked a field goal.

When a team is down and the coach has been hot-seated, these types of questions are everywhere.  For our part, the only thing we question is Freeman’s cutback.  Otherwise, those plays should have worked.  Regardless, it was just one play and the Broncos did win the game.

There was the two-point conversion that upon review looks a lot like Keenum broke the plane of the goal-line before any of his body hit the ground.  Coach Vance Joseph explained that the ruling on the field was a failed conversion.  The Broncos didn’t feel they had a replay angle that would overturn that and the loss of a timeout was too much of a gamble.  For what it’s worth, we agree that NFL referees should get that call right in the first place rather than putting the burden on coaches while the other team is scrambling to get a play off.

It should have prompted an automatic review.  It didn’t (because of the ruling on the field) but the Broncos still won.

There were also some really good things.

Before having to check-out with concussion symptoms, Bradley Roby was having a heck of a game.  In particular, there was a second-half play in which Roby was matched up outside.  Before the snap, Todd Davis called Roby in to the slot receiver, who at the snap ran a shallow slant and was targeted by Philip Rivers.  Roby avoided the “pick” across the middle, kept up with the receiver without  touching him and made a perfect play on the ball to knock it away.  It’s those type of plays that must have made John Elway comfortable with moving Aqib Talib.

So, let’s evaluate how Denver did against our expectations coming in: