The Broncos get a desperately needed victory as underdogs at home against the 49ers. As many say; a win is a win in the National Football League. While this game may not have appeased the current-day football fan, it was the definition of a hard-earned victory.
FEELS GREAT, BABY. pic.twitter.com/EDYEEQ9L8g — Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 26, 2022
Small Result But Huge Improvement In Red-Zone
Sunday night, it didn’t matter who it was, the Broncos just needed to get a TD in the red zone. And that is exactly what the Broncos did in the fourth quarter to take the lead with 4:10 left in the game. Why Melvin Gordon was in at such a crucial moment of the game after he had already had two fumbles, I have no idea.
For now, it doesn’t matter as he punched it in from the one-yard line for six. While it isn’t great, they only made it to the red zone once, which means the Broncos went 100% there on Sunday Night. It is a building block for this offense’s confidence.
How Bad Is This Offense
The excuses aren’t living long with Broncos Country, mainly because we have been force-fed them for six years. The reasons are legit, they need time to gel in live gameplay for it to click. However, usually, coaches use the preseason for that, and coach Hackett selected not to play any of the starters during those three games. It also is questionable if he used that time properly for the coaches to click as well.
This offense faced 19 third down situations against San Francisco and converted on only six of them. Being in a third-down situation 19 times isn’t necessarily unusual but it certainly isn’t ideal. On 70 plays for the offense, they only had an astonishing 261 yards. That means they average 3.7 yards per play. Against the Texans, they averaged 5.4 yards per play.
The game against the Texans was outrageous offensively. Being two whole yards behind that against the 49ers shows just how bad it was on prime-time football. Give the 49ers defense some credit. But in modern-day football, 11 points rarely gets the job done.
Is It Too Early To Mention 2015?
We covered it in the pregame about Jimmy Garoppolo being a solid middle-of-the-road QB in the NFL, but this Broncos Defense made him look like Drew Lock Sunday. The stats may show that Garoppolo outplayed Wilson having 27 more yards and a touchdown. Well, the difference was Wilson making plays when Denver needed them. Garoppolo barely had the chance to make them and when he was given the slight opportunity, he couldn’t make the best of it.
Quite frankly, this defense shut down Kyle Shanahan’s rushing attack and made the offense run through Garoppolo. The 49ers couldn’t even do that because Randy Gregory and company ran right through their O-line. With Broncos Country creating havoc screaming at the top of their lungs in the stands, they had no chance on third down. The 49ers went one for ten on third down.
P.J. Locke icing the game with a clutch peanut punch was the perfect ending to this defensive battle. It felt like a 2015 victory with the defense carrying a struggling offense to victory. In my opinion, it is too early to be comparing this defense to that all-time dominant no-fly zone. However, opponent’s offensive coordinator’s certainly have been woken up and will most likely be having a rough week of sleep when game planning for the Denver D.
Game Ball Goes To Unlikely Hero
Was this a defensive battle or two offenses that need to live at the drawing board? We will soon find out, but it certainly was a special teams duel. After his craft had been called “Sickening” by his own special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes, Corliss Waitman showed his case for being the choice over Sam Martin. He punted for a ridiculous 476 yards averaging 47.6 net yards. One game will not define him, but he certainly earned the game ball after he downed the 49ers inside their ten several times setting up the defense for success.