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Broncos lose fourth straight

Henry Chisholm Avatar
October 15, 2018

Mother Nature did all she could to stop the Broncos’ losing streak at three on Sunday, but sub-freezing weather and snow flurries weren’t enough to halt the Rams’ star-studded offense.

The Denver Broncos lost 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams at Mile High, but they put together one of their best performances in recent weeks. With their fourth-consecutive loss, Denver falls to 2-4 on the season. The Rams remain undefeated at 6-0.

Denver got off to another slow start this week. They scored a field goal on their second drive, but the rest of their first-half possessions resulted in punts outside of a turnover on downs. Their defense allowed 13 points, and 200 yards, on the Rams’ first three possessions.

Outside of a few big plays, including when Brandin Cooks burned Bradley Roby for 44 yards two minutes into the game, the Broncos’ secondary and pass rush largely kept the Rams’ passing attack at bay. The problem was Todd Gurley.

Gurley was a five-yard run machine. He totaled a career-high 208 yards on 28 attempts, but his longest run of the day was only 29 yards. The Rams’ fed him the rock and he consistently produced. This is the second-straight week Denver has allowed a 200-yard rusher.

Down 13-3, the Broncos made a run in the second half. They scored on three of five drives, and the two that didn’t result in points garnered a total of 75 yards. But after the Broncos settled for a field goal to pull within seven, following two incompletions from the six-yard line with under nine minutes left in the game, the Rams breezed downfield with a 13-play, 72-yard field goal drive.

The Broncos had a chance to respond. They took over at their own 23 with 3:15 on the clock and no timeouts. Case Keenum led a nine-play touchdown drive, capped by a touch pass to Demaryius Thomas in the back of the end zone from one yard out.

But in order to force overtime, Denver would need another field goal. They attempted the onside kick, but a Ram tipped the ball out of bounds, effectively sealing Los Angeles’ win.

Case Keenum completed 25 of 41 passes for 322 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but the biggest cheer of the day came when Chad Kelly entered the game to kneel out the end of the first half. Keenum was being evaluated for a concussion, but passed, and returned for the start of the third quarter.

Emmanuel Sanders caught seven passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. He almost had another score but landed just outside of the end zone after catching a 43-yard bomb. He taunted the defensive back and Denver was pushed back from the one-yard line to the 16, and eventually settled for a field goal.

Von Miller ended his three-game sack drought, with 1.5 sacks and half a tackle for loss.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Bradley Chubb, the Broncos’ fifth overall pick in April’s draft, finally broke free on Sunday. After a modest, and possibly disappointing, start to his rookie year, that produced just 1.5 sacks in five games, the 6-foot-4 pass rusher dominated the Rams’ offensive line, offering a secondary pass rush option opposite Von Miller.

Chubb notched three sacks—raising his season total to 4.5—three tackles for loss and three quarterback hits.

PLAY OF THE GAME

Late in the third quarter, the Rams faced a 3rd-and-6 deep in their own territory. Goff dropped back to pass and slung a bullet toward Josh Reynolds on the right sideline. But Tramaine Brock got a hand on the ball, tipping it into the receiver’s face mask, and it ricocheted into the hands of Darian Stewart.

Denver has had trouble forcing turnovers early in the season—entering this week, they were tied for 23rd through 30th in the league with five takeaways—leaving the Broncos’ with few short-field opportunities. On the play after Stewart’s interception, the Broncos scored a touchdown to pull within 10 points.

QUOTE OF THE GAME

“We keep beating ourselves every week. It’s hard to win like that.” – Chris Harris Jr.

BY THE NUMBERS

13 — Rushing first downs by the Rams, 10 more than Denver

55 — Rushing yards by Broncos’ running backs, who averaged 3.7 yards per carry

208 — Rushing yards for Todd Gurley, the most ever in a single game in his career

WHAT’S NEXT

The Broncos will travel to Arizona this week to take on the Cardinals (1-5) in a Thursday Night Football matchup. Denver will see their second rookie quarterback in three weeks, as Josh Rosen takes the field with one win and three starts under his belt. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:20.

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