The good vibrations are now gone.
They’ve been replaced with Groundhog Day.
And while the wheels haven’t completely fallen off, when it comes to the 2021 Denver Broncos bus, the lasts remaining lug nuts are frighteningly close to popping off and parking the season.
The Broncos’ last two games are the culprit. After the flogging at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, some may have said it was a one-off. After Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, this is a theme.
There is a lack of execution and preparation.
Denver has been outplayed and outcoached.
Up next for the Broncos (3-2) is the Las Vegas Raiders who are on a similar path and now don’t have a head coach. Like Denver, the Raiders (3-2) started 3-0 and have now lost two straight.
Raiders vs Broncos odds
To make matters worse for Las Vegas, Derek Carr left Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bears early in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders quarterback attempted to get a first down on a QB sneak but took a hard hit from Bears linebacker Roquan Smith. Carr stayed down for a few minutes but jogged off the field without assistance. Las Vegas third-string QB Nathan Peterman did play a few snaps while Carr was in the medical blue tent but Carr did return to the field. On Friday’s final injury report, Carr wasn’t even listed so he’s good to go on Sunday.
As for the Broncos betting odds, the Broncos are somehow the current -point favorite over their rivals. That probably says more about the Raiders at this point than it does Denver.
Of course, the Broncos are also playing at home, so that may factor into the current line.
Jon Gruden out as head coach of the Raiders
On Monday night, it was announced that head coach Jon Gruden and the Raiders have mutually agreed to part ways. The odds shifted between .5 and 1 point after the news to what they are now.
The betting market most may lean towards for this game is the total. The over/number sits at . For what it’s worth, the over hit for the first time this season in a Broncos game against Pittsburgh.
How Denver gets back on track
It’s obvious the first three games for the Broncos were a mirage brought forth by football teams worse than them.
The last two games have been more realistic to what Denver truly is as a team.
To start, it would help to have coaches who put forth a game plan that actually puts the team in a position to have success. That means not having Von Miller not line up as a slot cornerback on a speed receiver.
That also means an offensive coordinator who has some semblance of a clue as to what his offense does and does well. At this point, most have closed that door on Pat Shurmur ever figuring it out.
But it’s not just coaching, it’s execution from the players. Denver sleepwalked through the first half in Pittsburgh, and by the time the team woke up, it was still severely drowsy.
These aren’t issues that magically go away in a week, but it starts with preparation during the week. This goes without saying, but the coaches and players have to be on the same page. In the last two weeks, no one can say that’s the case.
Control the line of scrimmage
On defense, the Broncos have to stop the run and limit the big plays. Given what the Steelers just did to this defense, by the way they were dead last in rushing yards per game entering the game, Raiders running back Josh Jacobs could have himself a day. By now, just about anyone who watches this team, or partakes in NFL betting, knows they can’t cover tight ends. If you have Raiders tight end Darren Waller on your fantasy team, you’re about to get a ton of points.
For Denver’s offense, run the ball and do so out of two-tight end sets. When the Broncos do this, they move the ball and have success. It also puts Teddy Bridgewater in a better to have to success since he can utilize play action. Perhaps someone could get the memo to the guy who should know.
At 3-2 on the season, Denver is on the precipice of derailment.
The last remaining lug nuts holding this bus together are about to pop off. If the Broncos lose to Las Vegas, you can park the 2021 season because, once again, they’re not going anywhere.