Can the Broncos Rebound from a Rough Start?

  • 2020 NFL Schedule
  • Bradley Chubb
  • Courtland Sutton
  • Denver Broncos
  • Drew Lock
  • Vic Fangio
  • Von Miller
By Noahsmith391 September 22, 2020 0 Comment
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The Denver Broncos start the 2020 NFL Season 0-2, just the fourth time in franchise history

The first two weeks have historically been good to the Denver Broncos’ fanbase. After a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Broncos drop to last place in the AFC West with an 0-2 record. The loss to Pittsburgh also saw the Broncos lose many notable players to injury, including quarterback Drew Lock. After a nightmarish start to the season, can the Broncos rebound from a rough start?

It all starts with coaching

The Broncos have now lost two winnable games this season, with both games ending in a difference of less than seven points. After losing four games last year by the same margin, questions are beginning to rise about the team’s ability to close games. Head coach Vic Fangio has to be a huge part of turning the team culture around, and will help the Broncos rebound from a rough start.

Additionally, we’ve seen clock management be an issue the Broncos have dealt with. The management issues reared their head again in Denver’s loss to the Titans. As Tennessee drove down the field, burning time off the clock, the Broncos elected to not use their timeouts. Tennessee went on to kick the game-winning field goal, and left Denver with seventeen seconds to get into field goal range.

Fangio would later state that he “had too much thought into what I was going to call next on defense and I missed it.”

Injuries Mounting

The Broncos have had a devastating start to the year on the injury front. Before the Broncos kicked off their season opener, All-Pro Von Miller tweaked his ankle, and was ruled out for the season. This put pressure on Denver’s backups Malik Reed and Jeremiah Attaochu, as star Bradley Chubb is still recovering from a torn ACL.

In the first two weeks, the Broncos have lost key starters on offense and defense to injury. None is as impactful, however, as losing Drew Lock to a shoulder injury. While not season ending, the Broncos will be without their young signal caller for some time.

To go along with Lock, Pro-Bowlers Phillip Lindsay, A.J. Bouye and Courtland Sutton have all been injured. Second year breakout-candidate Dre’Mont Jones is injured, along with rotational lineman DeMarcus Walker.

How can the Broncos rebound after a rough start with injuries?

Fortunately, the Broncos have plenty of young pieces in place. Rookies Michael Ojemudia and Essang Bassey have played well in relief of Bouye. The Broncos drafted rookie McTelvin Agim in the third round out of Arkansas as a project on the defensive line. However, Agim received high praise from the Broncos offensive lineman in training camp, and will be ready to fill in.

On offense, rookie Jerry Jeudy has seen plenty of time on the field. The bigger surprises of the first two weeks have been the other receivers taken by the Broncos. Rookie Tyrie Cleveland saw playing time in week one against the Titans and played well in his limited time. 2nd round pick K.J. Hamler made his debut against the Steelers, and looked like an instant impact player for the Broncos.

The one piece the Broncos cannot replace is Drew Lock. This season was about the development of Lock, development that he will miss as he heads to the bench dealing with a shoulder injury. The Broncos will likely rely on Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien over veteran backups on the free-agent market. Regardless of how well the backups play, the loss of Lock is a huge blow to the Broncos 2020 season goals.

So, can the Broncos rebound from a rough start and finish strong?

The Broncos have proved one thing so far: despite everything that has gone wrong, they are a resilient group. Credit Vic Fangio for keeping the group together when everything fell apart against the Steelers. Fangio has the respect of the locker room, and is ready to fight to keep the Broncos competitive. Despite everything that has come their way, the Broncos are in position to rebound after a rough start.

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