DENVER (AP) – The Denver Broncos don’t have much time to wallow in their misery this week.
“The great thing about it is we have a game on Thursday, so we can’t get caught up in this game,” Von Miller said after the Broncos lost their fourth straight , 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday when Todd Gurley ran over them for a career-high 208 yards and two TDs on 28 carries.
The battered Broncos (2-4) visit ailing Arizona (1-5) on Thursday night in a matchup of two of the NFL’s worst teams.
“It’s tough, but that’s the perfect cure for us,” embattled Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “We’ve lost four in a row, have a chance to play in four days and get a win. That’s important for our team.”
There were nearly 10,000 no-shows on a frigid afternoon at Mile High with a game-time temperature of 25 degrees following an overnight snowstorm, and it was the “sunny L.A. boys ” as Broncos nose tackle Domata Peko called them last week, who handled the wintry weather better than the Broncos.
“It goes to show you that we can come and play in different elements,” Rams receiver Brandin Cooks said. “I think that is a huge confidence boost for our team, to come out here in the snow and do what we did.”
Those who were in attendance let the home team have it after another mistake-filled performance in which cornerback Bradley Roby got burned again and left tackle Garett Bolles squelched yet another scoring opportunity with yet another holding call.
The Broncos were booed off the field in the first half following Bolles’ NFL-worst sixth hold of the season — he led the league last year with 10 of them.
Quarterback Case Keenum drew the fans’ ire after his eighth interception and a 14-yard sack by Aaron Donald when he had plenty of time to throw the ball away after leaving the pocket.
The crowd cheered wildly when his backup, Chad Kelly, made his NFL debut, going in for a kneel-down at the end of the first half while Keenum was being checked out for a possible concussion.
“Yeah, I’ve heard it. It’s not the first time that the crowd’s been unhappy with what’s going on on the field,” said Keenum, who was cleared and played the entire second half. “They should be (ticked). I’m (ticked). We have to do better.”
Keenum has already thrown one more interception than he did last season in Minnesota and he’s the only quarterback in the league who has had a pass picked off every game so far.
Don’t expect Kelly to supplant Keenum anytime soon, though.
“No. Case is our quarterback,” Joseph insisted. “He did some good things today. It wasn’t obviously perfect, but he moved the ball. Again, we had a chance to get 10 more points there. We got two holding penalties, and Emmanuel (Sanders)’ penalty. We all can play better. It’s been four in a row. We can all play better.”
Other takeaways from the Broncos’ continued foibles and the Rams’ first 6-0 start since 2001:
Emmanuel Sanders’ taunting call on what he thought was a 44-yard TD catch hurt the Broncos when a review showed he was actually down at the 1. The 15-yard penalty, instead of being enforced on the kickoff, pushed the Broncos back to the 16. They ended up with a field goal instead of seven points — which would have made all the difference.
“I guess this loss is on me,” Sanders said.
Rams receiver Cooper Kupp was carted off the field with a left knee injury after being taken down on a horse-collar tackle by Broncos safety Darian Stewart in the second quarter. Kupp, however, made a surprising return in the second half.
“It is one of those things where you look at that and get worried real quick,” Cooks said. “I just said a prayer.”
Kupp said he didn’t begrudge Stewart, either.
“I know he wasn’t doing it with any kind of malice or anything like that,” Kupp said. “He checked on me during the game, and when I came out there in the second half he asked if I was good.”
Rams coach Sean McVay said Kupp and guard Roger Saffold III (knee) would be re-evaluated Monday.
Rams QB Jared Goff went with gloves on both hands in the chilly conditions. He completed 14 of 28 passes for 201 yards and an interception on his 24th birthday.
“It’s kind of a give-and-take and I felt more comfortable with them,” Goff said.
Goff was sacked five times, including three by rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb.
By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
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