By Julie Dixon // @ABroncoNole
Bills 26 – 16 Broncos
The perfect trap game? We won’t know until Denver plays a few more. A trap game implies or infers, depending on if you’re reading or hearing it said, that a bad team surprises a good team.
Whether Denver got out played by a better team, or shot themselves in the foot, we will know soon enough. For me, it was about being out coached.
Rick Dennison knew exactly how to beat Trevor Siemian and Mike McCoy either had more faith in his quarterback than it warranted or he got out coached. In my keys to the game with our Buffalo Bills reporter Mary Pesarchick, it was exactly what Buffalo needed to do. They loaded the box and made Siemian throw where he’s not comfortable. The loaded box stopped the run (sort of), but also stopped the short pass game because the receivers couldn’t get YAC (yards after catch). This forced Siemian to take chances that weren’t successful.
They also gave him Emmanuel Sanders for much of the game until he became Siemian’s first read and then starting jumping his routes. The result was two interceptions, as well as two dropped ones, but Siemian was also off on most of his throws all day. This could be because they played Zone and kept giving him one look pre-snap and then changed it post snap.
As I’ve written on my Denver Broncos Zone site for the past three weeks, Siemian isn’t good in the pocket. He drifts and doesn’t step up. By doing that, he makes it harder on the tackles, plus it makes it easy to get pressure on him.
Going into the game, he was 50% under pressure. This week’s data (per PFF), when under pressure, he finished 2-of-8 for 28 yards and an interception for a passer rating of 2.9 under duress. If he even gets a whiff of a defender coming near, he backs away.
I chalk this up to his injury history which makes him gun shy. Combine that with a poor offensive line last season and he drifts, then gets hit. Which makes him not trust his line, which is pretty good this year, and the cycle continues. If he doesn’t stop this now, he won’t last the year. QB coach Bill Musgrave needs to work on this.
On defense, they came to stop the run and they did, but in doing so, I think underestimated Tyrod Taylor actually having some tools to throw to. Who knew? With that said, just like on offense, an adjustment should’ve been made and strangely wasn’t.
Our younger members of the No Fly Zone had some costly errors ranging from a bad flag to two missed tackles on third down. Even All Pro corner Chris Harris, Jr., made a mistake. I’m still not sure if that’s from a lack of communication or not. He’s used to Darian Stewart playing behind him, but Stew was moved over behind Aqib Talib for most snaps and I’m thinking maybe Justin Simmons and he haven’t gotten in sync, yet.
Von Miller had a good sack day and also a BS flag thrown against him which some feel was the reason we lost (I disagree). The flag was horrible, Miller has done the fake hand thing in many games and Tyrod knew and laughed. But it did not cost us the game. Our play did. We were down seven points and weren’t doing squat, so to think we’d have stormed back with ten points if Buffalo punted, is unrealistic.
We just had a sloppy day. Bad flags, at bad times, on both sides of the ball. Neither side could lift up the other. With that said, the sole Bills’ touchdown was from a deflected ball, so besides that, holding your opponent to field goals should be enough to win.
Next, Denver takes on the nasty Oakland Raiders, who cannot stop the run which should give Denver all they need to bounce back.
Talk Broncos with Julie on Twitter // @ABroncoNole