By Julie Dixon // @ABroncoNole
New offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave drew up a game plan that was better than we’d seen in a while. It was aimed to take advantage of every weakness Miami has.
Unfortunately, our quarterback was bad; 1.8 QBR bad. Plus, the receivers didn’t help much. Our offensive line often gave quarterback Trevor Siemian time to throw, but the longer the game went on, the more Miami saw there was no deep threat, so they started rushing/blitzing often. 7 vs 5 isn’t going to end well.
The defense played their hearts and guts out. Literally, as defensive end Shane Ray was seen throwing up after a play. Defensive tackles Domata Peko, Derek Wolfe, and defensive back Aqib Talib didn’t dress.
As a result, Denver played a 4-3 base with nose tackle Zach Kerr and defensive tackle Adam Gotsis on the inside, and often a rotation of linebackers Von Miller and Shaq Barrett, and defensive end Shane Ray on the outside. This wasn’t great as they allowed Miami’s running back Kenyan Drake 120 yards and a TD. Peko was missed! Since Talib was out, cornerback Chris Harris moved from slot to outside.
While the offense was putrid, special teams weren’t far behind. The line isn’t blocking well for punter Riley Dixon, who in turn is about five yards a punt below his average. Special teams aren’t rushing opposing punters, and they’re not fielding the ball well, either. They handed Miami a safety. Its not good.
With cornerback Bradley Roby starting, safety Justin Simmons played more cover as a result. They each made great plays and got burned. It was encouraging though because overall, each young guy showed they have the talent to be pro bowlers in the very near future. They notched a strip sack and a pick-six.
Running backs C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles, and Devontae Booker all had good days running and as backfield receivers. Despite this, and I know Anderson wants it so badly, I don’t think he’ll be on the team next season, same for Charles. Booker showed he’s learning to read defenses and pick up the blitz, he has good hands and is a nice open field runner, that makes him leading RB next season.
When your RBs are better catchers than your wide receivers and tight ends, it’s time for an overhaul. Its clear quarterback play is some of the reason; however, we don’t even have a good kick or punt returner and that goes to talent.
Jay Cutler was Jay, makes some jaw-dropping passes that the best CBs would get burned on, and then some boneheaded ones. For most of the game, that’s how it went.
The day was once again one where the offense let the defense down, Denver gave Miami 8 points and only scored 3. The coaching decision to leave a floundering quarterback in who had two interceptions, plus a pick-six and had big accuracy issues, is head scratching.
In his press conference, head coach Vance Joseph said it wouldn’t have been fair to pull him and not let him have a chance to battle back. When an announcer, who was pro-Siemian for two years asks if he was right-handed, you’ve reached critical mass.
What wasn’t fair, was what that did to our defense. It sent a message, we don’t care about winning, all your effort was for naught. What wasn’t fair was choosing the QB who got us into this mess. Sending in quarterback Brock Osweiler, even if he stunk, would’ve at least shown you wanted to win instead of caring about the feelings of Siemian, especially when you don’t have that same sentiment for the other two.
There was a strange call made for a timeout and when Joseph was asked about it, he didn’t recall doing it. That sums up that game and this head coach. Clueless.
Talk Broncos with Julie on Twitter / @ABroncoNole