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Postgame Cold Snacks: More of the same for Broncos as they tumble to 0-4

Andrew Mason Avatar
September 29, 2019

DENVER — The problem for the Broncos is that the same things keep happening to them.

Sunday’s 26-24 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars seemed like a novel in a series that gathered plot points from its predecessors.

Leonard Fournette’s explosion for a career-high 225 rushing yards? We’ve seen that before. There have been four 200-yard rushing games in the last two seasons, and the Broncos have allowed three of them.

Key turnovers stopping momentum? Check. Joe Flacco’s game-turning second-quarter interception marked the second consecutive week in which the Broncos began unraveling after a giveaway, something that has happened repeatedly in the last two seasons.

Even the false dawn that came from a late drive to take the lead — that was straight from the Week 2 loss to the Bears, right down to a subsequent comeback by the opponent aided by a roughing-the-passer call.

“It was pretty much identical to the Bears game — a roughing [the passer penalty] and then a field goal,” nose tackle Shelby Harris said. “It’s on us. The offense did big; they went down and scored. So we’ve just got to set the tone and stop them, and we failed to do that.”

It’s all so familiar, and for the Broncos, so painful. They’re 0-4, which is unusual. But they lost, which isn’t, as they now carry the anvil of their second eight-game losing streak in the last 24 months.

FINALLY — THE PASS RUSH POUNCES

The Broncos were due for some regression to the mean in the pass rush. They got it against Gardner Minshew II and the Jaguars, collecting five sacks after posting none in the first three games of the regular season.

Von Miller opened the floodgates in the first quarter and Bradley Chubb, DeMarcus Walker and Malik Reed followed. Each posted one sack, with Miller adding a second.

But the Broncos were also left bemoaning the sacks that got away — particularly on the Jaguars’ 16-play, 75-yard third-quarter march, when Minshew escaped the Broncos’ pass rush twice.

QUICK BITES

  • Jacksonville’s 10-minute, 24-second drive in the third quarter was the longest allowed by the Broncos in 12 years.
  • Josey Jewell’s hamstring issues popped up again in the first half, as he was ruled out immediately after apparently aggravating the hamstring injury that put him on the injury report this week. FIve-year veteran Corey Nelson and rookie Justin Hollins took his place in the lineup, with Nelson working most base-package snaps and Hollins handling sub-package work.
  • Miller’s two sacks took him to 100 for his career. He is the fourth-fastest player in NFL history to 100 sacks.
  • Noah Fant’s 25-yard first-quarter touchdown catch-and-run was not only the first score of his career, but the longest touchdown by a Broncos tight end since Week 15 of the 2017 season, when Jeff Heuerman hauled in a 54-yard touchdown catch.

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