The Broncos head into their bye week sitting pretty, firmly in AFC West contention, after their defence dominated the Oakland Raiders to pull off a 16-10 win. 3-0 at home and 2-0 in the division, yesterday’s win solidified the Broncos as a firm contender for the 2017 AFC West crown. This is what we learnt from yesterday’s win.
1) Denver has the best defence in the league
If there was ever any doubt, the Broncos defence solidified their position as the best in the league this year after Sunday’s performance. The run defence has gone from below average to the best in the league, allowing just 203 yards on the ground through four games. And it hasn’t just been any running backs the Broncos have shut down, but some of the most explosive in the league in Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy and Marshawn Lynch. While Derek Carr was in the game, the Raiders were restricted to just seven points, and negative offensive yards in the second half. Amari Cooper had just two catches for nine yards, and the game was wrapped up by a Justin Simmons interception from EJ Manuel. You know, the guy who replaced TJ Ward. This defence is ’lit’. And nobody’s flying in Denver.
2)No turnovers mean a Broncos win
Yes, the Broncos offence was poor yesterday, which will be discussed in point three. However, there was one thing that Siemian can’t do, and that’s turn the ball over. He was sloppy against the Bills, and it allowed Buffalo to take the win. But on Sunday, despite not excelling, Siemian didn’t turn the ball over once, and with some excellent special teams plays, meant Oakland never had a short field. If as a minimum Siemian can take care of the football, he will give this defence a chance to win the game. They did just that against the Raiders.
3) There is a lot of room for this offence to improve
The defence won Sunday’s game for Denver, plain and simple. Siemian held onto the ball too long at times, and took too many hits. He was fortunate not to fumble the ball when sacked by Khalil Mack. The play calling was often conservative, and the Broncos failed to finish drives. On four red zone trips Denver had three field goals and one missed field goal. Siemian needs to convert these drives and put up more points if Denver are to be successful this season. It’s not often you win a game with 16 points as last week showed, even with a defence of the Broncos’ calibre. There were signs of promise through the first two games, but Siemian and the offence need to be regularly putting up 24 points and more.