Denver week 3 takeaways

Denver Week Three Takeaways: Another QB Battle?

  • 2020 NFL Season
  • Denver Broncos
  • Jeff Driskel
  • Vic Fangio
By Noahsmith391 September 29, 2020 0 Comment

The Broncos rough start to the season continues with a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here are some week three takeaways from the Broncos

The Denver Broncos fall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and start their season 0-3. With a roster decimated by injuries, Denver looked mostly non-competitive against Tom Brady‘s Buccaneers. Here are some week three takeaways from the 28-10 loss against the Buccaneers.

Broncos O-Line continues to struggle

Optimism was abounding for the Broncos offensive line after week one against the Tennessee Titans. The Broncos offensive line allowed only five pressures to the Titans. Specifically, the tackles held up well against star pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney. The Broncos’ inability to protect the quarterback is one of the biggest week three takeaways.

The Broncos’ pass blocking unit fell apart against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week two however, allowing twenty pressures, and sending quarterback Drew Lock to the bench with a shoulder injury. The Steelers have a lethal edge-rush duo with T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, who both dominated against the Broncos. Heading into week three, the Broncos hoped that their offensive line would bounce back against the Buccaneers.

Instead, the Broncos were helpless to the Tampa Bay pass-rush led by Shaquille Barrett. The Broncos offensive line allowed twelve pressures, which was exacerbated by quarterback Jeff Driskel‘s inability to unload the football. Quarterback Brett Rypien came in for a single drive to end the game, and played on schedule, throwing to the open receiver right on time. If the Broncos are going to have any success moving forward, protecting the quarterback must be a priority for this young offensive line.

Special Teams’ Miscues

The Broncos’ struggles on special teams are one of the key week three takeaways. After back-to-back weeks of inept special teams play, Tom McMahon’s seat is starting to heat up. After an empty possession to start the game, the Broncos allow a blocked punt, giving T0m Brady a short field to start his first drive. The Buccaneers scored a touchdown, and never looked back against the Broncos.

One week prior, the Broncos suffered on special teams against the Pittsburgh Steelers. A missed field goal, to go with a safety on punter Sam Martin cost the Broncos a chance to steal a victory in Pittsburgh. Tom McMahon is quickly running out of excuses after multiple years of below average special teams’ play.

Another Quarterback Controversy?

Many questioned general manager John Elway‘s decision to roll with Jeff Driskel as the team’s backup quarterback. Against Tampa Bay, that decision came back to bite Elway. With no time to survey the defense, Driskel looked completely inept against the Buccaneers. The team sent in second year quarterback Brett Rypien. He showed flashes of potential before ending his only drive with an interception. With a Thursday-night game against the struggling New York Jets, who will be the starter for the Broncos?

Vic Fangio has said that his decision will be made by Tuesday. Fangio hasn’t ruled out playing both quarterbacks, saying “Pulling quarterbacks in and out unless you have a good reason to isn’t something you want to do a whole lot of. But yes, in this situation, it could be a mix of the guys.”

Injury Woes Continue for the Broncos

On Monday, the Broncos announced that veterans Jurrell Casey and Austin Calitro are placed on injured reserve. Casey is done for the year with a torn biceps injury, while Calitro will be out for at least three weeks with an undisclosed injury.

 

Despite the concerning week three takeaways, can the Broncos get back on track?

If there is any week for the Broncos to get back on track, this is it. The New York Jets are off to a rough start the the 2020 NFL Season, and head coach Adam Gase is playing for his “coaching life”. The Jets have struggled to establish a consistent pass rush, which will give the Broncos quarterback plenty of time to read the defense. Denver’s defense should have no problem slowing Sam Darnold and the Jets down.

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