ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– The Denver Broncos are looking to get off to a faster start against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, but that might be easier said than done. Denver’s offense has been outscored 121-64, or by 57 points in the first half of games this season.
Their average of eight points in the first half is the third-fewest in the NFL. Denver has also been outscored by 38 points in the 2nd quarter and averages a meager 4.9 points in the quarter, which is second fewest in football.
“We do need to get off to better starts. That’s obvious to us in the last three weeks that’s happened to us and some previous games also. We need to be able to make first downs, first and foremost, and then hopefully that leads to points,” Vic Fangio said on Monday.
Not surprisingly, the low scoring output often has the team playing from behind. In the Broncos eight games, they have only scored first three times (Titans, Patriots, and Chargers). They have also led at halftime twice (Jets and Patriots). In the two games they led at half, they’ve won.
One way to help put points on the board is to convert on third downs, but the Broncos convert on only 37.3 % of their third downs, which is the 29th in the NFL.
“We don’t get enough yards at the beginning of the drives to make it manageable. We don’t make it third-and-two, third-and-three, third-and-four. We’re making it third-and-10, third-and-seven, penalties, that right there kills drives and after a while you can’t expect your defense to continue to hold up when you keep going three and out. I think that’s the biggest thing, then it’s about executing,” Phillip Lindsay said.
It’s a different story for the Broncos offense in the fourth quarter. In the last three games, Denver has averaged 16.3 points in the final quarter, which is the most in the NFL.
Drew Lock has been front and center on the rollercoaster ride. In the past two weeks, he’s thrown for just 98 and 58 first-half yards without a touchdown, but in the fourth quarter has thrown for 151 and 153 yards with five touchdowns total.
“We can have a cleaner first half, that’s bottom line what it is,” Drew Lock said.
The Broncos (3-5) hope to get their first win on the road against the Raiders (5-3) since 2015 at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday.