The Broncos dropped another game this week, this time to the Carolina Panthers in a 23-10 blowout loss on the road. Denver is now 3-8 this season and has lost seven of its last eight games. The Panthers are now 4-8.

Here’s what went down…

The Broncos can’t keep up

In a rare turn of events, the Broncos weren’t close to winning on Sunday.

Although Denver has struggled all year, they’ve been within four points in the fourth quarter in all but one game. This time, though, the Broncos were blown out. The Panthers outgained the Broncos by 100 yards and held the ball for more than 60% of the game.

Carolina took a 17-3 lead in the third quarter, which evenutually grew to a 23-3 lead in the fourth. To be frank, the second half wasn’t competitive.

If the Broncos hadn’t been able to keep up with the Chiefs, nobody would’ve been surprised. To be blown out by a three-win team is embarrassing.

Russell Wilson struggles

The Broncos’ star quarterback couldn’t get much going again on Sunday.

Russell Wilson completed 19 of his 35 pass attempts for 142 yards, the fewest of his Broncos career, and a touchdown. His 73.7 passer rating was his fourth-worst of the season.

In Wilson’s defense, he was under pressure all day. He was sacked three times, one of which resulted in a fumble. He was hit on 10 of his other pass attempts. Some of the pressure was the result of Wilson holding onto the ball for too long, or panicking in th epocket before it collapsed and stepping into pressure. Still, he didn’t get much help from his line.

He didn’t get much help from the rest of the offense either. His patchwork group of receivers dropped a few balls, including one in the end zone and another on fourth down. His running game couldn’t get much going on the ground, outside of a 52-yard run from Latavius Murray. That play was the first 20-yard run of the Broncos’ season.

The defense can’t stop the run

The Broncos’ defense has been one of the best in the NFL this season, but the run defense has fallen apart on a couple of occassions. That happened again on Sunday, when the Panthers torched the Broncos on the ground.

D’Onta Foreman led the was with 113 yards on 24 carries. Chuba Hubbard spelled him and gained 65 yards on 17 carries. The 4.0 yards per carry average is nothing special but pounding away for 185 yards on the ground is always impressive.

The Panthers were so good running the ball that they didn’t ask Sam Darnold to throw the rock much in his first start of the season. The Panthers threw the ball 19 times and ran it 46 times.

Pat Surtain isn’t perfect

After giving up the game-winning touchdown to Davante Adams a week ago, Pat Surtain wasn’t himself again on Sunday.

Surtain gave up a touchdown to DJ Moore on a crossing route in man coverage in the first quarter. Shortly after, he gave up a 52-yard catch down the sideline to Moore.

There were some bright spots, like a PBU on the sidline and a great tackle short of the sticks on a third-and-short run, but Surtain made two mistakes, which is more than expected.

The Broncos don’t get hurt

For the most part, the Broncos left the game about as healthy as they entered.

Linebacker Dakota Allen, who joined the team from the Browns’ practice squad this week, hurt his hamstring and didn’t return.

Cornerback Darius Phillips was evaluated for a concussion but returned to the field.

Author

Henry was born in Columbia Falls, Montana and graduated from Columbia Falls High School in 2015. He earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Montana in 2019. After graduation, he joined DNVR. He spent three years covering the University of Colorado before moving to the Broncos beat ahead of the 2022 season. Henry joined DNVR as a remote staff writer in 2017, providing support to BSN's Broncos beat reporters. He interned at DNVR headquarters in the summer of 2018 and accepted a full-time position after graduating from UM. Follow Henry on Twitter - @HenryChisholm

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