With the Broncos losing key players, the Broncos are not playing too well. Through five games, the Broncos were tied for 11th but in the last 3 games, the Broncos have sunk to 22nd.
Six projected Week 1 starters are out or have missed significant time: Outside linebacker Von Miller (ankle), nose tackle Mike Purcell (foot) and defensive end Jurrell Casey (biceps) are out for the year, and defensive end Shelby Harris (COVID-19 list) and cornerbacks A.J. Bouye (concussion) and Bryce Callahan (ankle) missed the loss to Atlanta. Bouye has played only three games.
The cracks weren’t visible when beating the Jets’ Sam Darnold/Joe Flacco and New England’s Cam Newton, but they have appeared in games against Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, the Chargers’ Justin Herbert, and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. Too many key players on the sideline. Too many young players/journeymen being counted on.
“To put it all into one (thing), it’s consistency and being able to play the whole game,” inside linebacker Josey Jewell said. “We’ve had good games in the first half and we’ve had some terrible games in the first half. At this level, everybody is talented and everybody is good at what they do.”
Consistency will be critical in the season’s second half because the Broncos will face offenses that rank second (Kansas City), fourth (New Orleans), ninth (Miami), and 11th (Las Vegas) in most points per game.