When is a double-digit lead within the second half not secure? While you’re the Broncos and the general offensive ineptitude is magnified.
Displays A-C had been squandered halftime leads of 17-6 (Jacksonville), 13-Three (Indianapolis) and 20-Zero (Minnesota).
And Exhibit D practically arrived final week, when the Broncos raced to a 17-Three lead over the Los Angeles Chargers late within the first half, however wanted a Brandon McManus area objective as time expired to win 23-20.
So what provides? We all know the Broncos are offensively challenged normally — their 16.5-point common is 30th within the NFL. Is it the youth? Is it offensive coordinator Wealthy Scangarello’s play-calling? Is it coach Vic Fangio’s occasional conservative sport managing?
Heading into Sunday’s sport at Houston, we select the entire above. Rookies typically do rookie issues. Scangarello’s first NFL play-calling journey has left him open to criticism. And Fangio’s mitts are undoubtedly on a few of the play-safe choices, though he went for the regulation win in opposition to the Chargers as a substitute of taking part in for time beyond regulation.
The frequent theme is it has been a season-long challenge. A have a look at the statistics:
* Within the second half, the Broncos’ 79 factors are second-fewest within the league (Cincinnati 75) and their level differential of minus-64 is third-worst (Oakland minus-72 and Miami minus-104).
* On 67 second-half possessions (together with kneel-downs), the Broncos are averaging a measly 1.2 factors per drive; the primary half isn’t a lot better (1.Eight).
* The Broncos have 22 three-and-punt possessions within the second half.
*The Broncos and Cincinnati are the one two groups to not attain 25 factors in a sport this yr. Even Miami, Washington and the Giants (mixed report of Eight-28) have all reached 25 factors in three video games apiece.
The Broncos’ lack of second half manufacturing has been obvious in wins and losses.
Towards the Jaguars in Week four, the Broncos’ lead was lower to 17-13 on a 16-play drive. How did the offense reply? An unblocked defender stopped operating again Phillip Lindsay for a one-yard loss, tight finish Noah Fant caught a six-yard go and left deal with Garett Bolles allowed stress that compelled Joe Flacco to throw it away. The Jaguars marched proper down the sector to take a 20-17 lead and finally received on the buzzer.
At Indianapolis in Week Eight, a 75-yard landing drive to begin the third quarter staked the Broncos to a 13-Three lead. They punted on their subsequent 5 possessions (gained a complete of 63 yards), together with a too-close-to-the-vest technique whereas main 13-12 that drew Flacco’s ire in his post-game press convention.
At Minnesota in Week 11, an extravaganza of play-calling and execution helped the Broncos lead by 20 at halftime. Their second-half possessions: Discipline objective, punt, missed area objective and finish of sport. Essential turning factors had been a failed third-and-1 when Fant misplaced 5 yards on a dashing try and a way-too-cautious run name (Devontae Booker) on third-and-7.
And final week in opposition to the Chargers, the Broncos received regardless of gaining 36 yards of offense within the second half and failing on one other third-and-1.
“I think we can go back to those three-and-outs and find one or two little things that would’ve extended the drive regardless of the play call,” quarterback Drew Lock mentioned.
In his first begin, Lock threw two first-half touchdowns to Courtland Sutton however largely had the soccer taken out of his palms within the second half (6-of-9 passing for 11 yards).
Fangio’s evaluation earlier than follow Wednesday started with third down.
“We can’t miss third-and-1s and third-and-2s,” he mentioned. “I think that’s the big thing — converting your third downs so drives can keep going.”
Throughout the aforementioned 4 video games, the Broncos went a mixed Three of 23 on third down (13%) within the second half.
The primary half hasn’t been all unhealthy — 119 factors (tied for 22nd) and a plus-25 level differential (ninth-best). The time to match post-halftime has lengthy since handed.
“I think that we come out really strong,” Lindsay mentioned. “Somewhere in the third quarter, we fall off. I just think it’s about being consistent and for us, it’s about being aggressive. We can’t let our foot off the gas just yet.”