Looking up and down the Denver Broncos roster, it’s hard to complain about any one player. In fact, all of Denver’s star power has shown up to play and for the most part has done a tremendous job. Champ Bailey has shut down opposing receivers, Von Miller is getting to the quarterback, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are catching passes and racking up yardage, and Peyton Manning has thrown for over 300 yard in each of the last three games picking up eight touchdowns.
Yet the Broncos still sit at 2-3, one game back of the division leading San Diego Chargers, who they play next week on Monday Night Football. It begs the question: Just where has Denver gone wrong this season? The answer is that they have simply made too many mistakes.
Despite stellar performances from both sides of the football, the Broncos have let some costly mistakes get between them and a winning record. Willis McGahee’s fumble against the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter, and the defenses giving up a third and 17 to a Danny Woodhead run was a huge part of the reason Denver wasn’t able to keep pace with Tom Brady’s offense. Add to that the three first quarter interceptions thrown by Manning against the Atlanta Falcons (coincidentally the only three he’s thrown all year), in a game which the Broncos only lost by six points, and you have a very thin line separating them from a winning record.
This Monday night the division lead will be up for grabs, and it’s a game that Denver needs tremendously in order to keep pace with San Diego. If they’re going to challenge what many believe to be a more reliable and “proven” Chargers team, Denver will need to keep mistakes at a minimum and avoid costly turnovers and inopportune times.
The Broncos have all their pieces in play and if they can work out the last few kinks and get themselves dusted off, they’ll make a case for more than just leading a weakened AFC West division.