By Rick Brown
The Denver Broncos (3-4) were unable to overcome a fast start by the Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) on Monday Night Football. A couple of first quarter turnovers by the Broncos made it easy for the Chiefs to get out to a 14-0 start. The Broncos offense continued to struggle to move the ball, even against the porous Chiefs defense. Against the Broncos offensive line, the Chiefs were able to get multiple sacks and wreak havoc. The Broncos committed a number of mistakes, turnovers and penalties, and were unable to score a lot of points. In the end, the Broncos lost to the Chiefs, 29-19.
The Broncos and Trevor Siemian continued to struggle, with the team starting the game with a three and out in the first series. The return of Jamaal Charles to Kansas City was short lived as he fumbled the ball on his third carry of the game. Marcus Peters was able to return the fumble for a touchdown and the Broncos were unable to find a good rhythm for the rest of the game. Siemian continued to make poor decisions and threw three interceptions. Issues in the red zone continued to plague the Broncos, and the team scored only 10 points in four trips to the red zone. The Broncos offensive line gave up three sacks to the Chiefs defense.
The Broncos tried to stay the course and managed to finally punch the ball into the end zone when Devontae Booker scored on a rushing touchdown, but it was not enough. Siemian was just not able to get the Broncos offense over the hump.
The defense continued to carry the Broncos on Monday night. The secondary finally created a turnover when Darian Stewart intercepted Tyreek Hill after attempting a trick play early in the first quarter. The Broncos defense showed up to play and created another turnover in the red zone when Shaq Barrett sacked Alex Smith and caused a fumble. Kareem Hunt’s streak of 100-yard games came to an end against the Broncos defense. Denver did a good job of stopping Hunt and held him to only 46 yards of rushing.
The Broncos secondary was not able to stop Travis Kelce, as he caught 7 balls for 133 yards and one touchdown. Smith had a good game and threw for 197 yards and one touchdown. The defensive unit needs some support from the offense in order to win games. Hopefully, the coaching staff can figure out a way to give a boost to the offense.
Special Teams: C
Broncos punter Riley Dixon continued to punt to Hill and the first huge return in the game was negated because of a Chiefs penalty. The return team had its share of issues, as Isaiah McKenzie muffed a punt in the third quarter and set up the Chiefs up with a short field. Broncos kicker Brandon McManus did a good job of converting on all of his attempts to put points on the board. He was 2-2 in field goal attempts and 1-1 in extra point attempts.
The Broncos’ coaching staff looked a bit of out of sync in the beginning of the game. The team did a good job of staying vigilant and took the Chiefs down to the fourth quarter. The coaches need to emphasize the importance of holding onto the ball, as the Broncos turned the ball over five times. Only the Cleveland Browns (0-8) have more turnovers. The offense continued to struggle while the defense was able to force some turnovers. The Broncos were able to stay in the game through the end, but the Chiefs were too much for Denver. Things do not look any better for the Broncos as the team travels to Philadelphia to play the Eagles in Week 9, and then plays the New England Patriots (6-2) at home the following week.
The Broncos’ last stop on their three-game road trip ends with a game against the Philadelphia Eagles (7-1). After a fast start, the Broncos have fallen to 3-4 and are in real danger of earning another loss. It will be interesting to see which direction the Broncos coaching staff takes in the next couple of weeks.