The Denver Broncos looked vulnerable in a 26-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. After eking by the Chargers and then blasting the Cowboys at home, Denver struggled in its first road game of the season.
The Broncos lost the turnover battle, drew double-digit penalties and let the Bills do just enough on offense to get by.
“You have to come out and be your best every week,” wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said. “And I don’t think we were the better team today.”
Here’s a look at the Week 3 loss by the numbers.
I hope you held off on anointing Trevor Siemian Denver’s savior after he played well in the first two games of the season, because Siemian was bad in Week 3. The second-year quarterback tossed two head-scratching interceptions. Siemian’s second pick, which came early in the fourth quarter and with Denver trailing by seven, was particularly brutal.
You’ve got to throw that one away. Siemian struggled all day when faced with pressure. He completed 2 of 8 passes, tossed the interception seen above and posted a 2.9 passer rating under duress, according to Pro Football Focus. Yikes.
Siemian was bad, and it didn’t help that the rest of the team was sloppy. Denver committed 10 penalties for 79 yards. Von Miller drew an unsportsmanlike conduct call late in the fourth quarter for his “help you up, help you up, NOPE” maneuver that allowed the Bills to keep their drive alive and eventually kick the game-sealing field goal. Miller took the blame for it afterward, but it was a questionable call to say the least.
Tyrod Taylor balled when he had a clean pocket to work with. Under those circumstances, Taylor completed 15 of 17 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He posted a 137.0 quarterback rating with a clean pocket, per Pro Football Focus.
I wasn’t sure Jamaal Charles had anything left in the tank when he signed with the Broncos in May. The Chiefs, who he spent the first nine seasons of his career with, decided it was time to part ways after Charles had surgeries on both knees in November.
But Charles appears to have some gas left in the tank. Sunday, he carried the football six times for 56 yards — a 6.2 yards per carry average. This touchdown run from 12 yards out was a thing of beauty.
On Friday, President Donald Trump criticized professional football players who kneeled during the national anthem as a way to protest racial inequality in America.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now,'” Trump said.
On Sunday, 32 Broncos players kneeled during the national anthem including Von Miller, who rarely discusses political or social issues.
“Me and my teammates, we felt like President Trump’s speech was an assault on our most cherished right, freedom of speech,” Miller said afterward. “And collectively, we felt like we had to do something for this game. If not any other game — not in the past, not in the future — at this moment in time, we felt like as a team that we had to do something. We couldn’t just let things go.
“I have a huge respect for the military and our protective services. I’ve been to Afghanistan. I’ve met real-life superheroes. It wasn’t any disrespect to them. It was for my brothers that had been attacked for things that they do during the game. I felt like I had to join them.”
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