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Missed Opportunities

Posted Sep 25, 2011

The Broncos left Tennessee disappointed after a 17-14 loss to the Titans.

NASHVILLE -- The disappointment in the locker room was palpable.

After a 17-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Broncos players sat at their lockers, speechless.

Some were angry. Some were upset. All were unhappy to leave Nashville without a W.

"The locker room, right now we're sick to our stomachs," Wesley Woodyard said. "We let one get away that we know we had a chance to win and we should've won. So it hurts."

The Broncos entered the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at LP Field with a 14-10 lead and the ball inside the Tennessee 10-yard line. But momentum swung the Titans' way after a goal-line stand, and the home team scored the go-ahead touchdown just about 10 minutes of game time later.

"It’s real frustrating," Brian Dawkins said. "It needs to be real frustrating. Hopefully everybody is just as frustrated as I am or even more that we allowed (the Titans) to stay around.

"We had our opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them."

That phrase was echoed in virtually every interview that took place after the game.

The offense was hard on itself for not converting a fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line, something Eric Decker said the unit would convert "99 out of 100 times."

The defense was hard on itself for allowing the Titans to orchestrate a 95-yard drive that culminated with the game-winning touchdown grab by tight end Daniel Graham.

All-in-all, the team was upset that it left plays on the field and let some dominating run defense go for naught.

The Broncos held Tennessee running back Chris Johnson to just 21 yards -- 1.6 yards per carry -- and limited his teammate in the backfield, Javon Ringer, to negative 6 yards -- an average of minus-1 yards every carry.

But veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck continued to make plays for the Titans to help make up for the lack of a run game. And a Broncos pass batted at the line, which resulted in the game-sealing interception, helped a hard-fought road contest get away.

“They all sting," Head Coach John Fox said of losses. "You fight your rear ends off in a game and our guys did. This is a tough place to play -– always has been and always will be. We knew what kind of game it was going to be, so you like to get the rewards of that, and we came up short."

Even with the tough loss, Jason Hunter said the players "battled their hearts out," and Kyle Orton said he thought the team "did a lot of good things and played hard and played for each other."

So while there was plenty of disappointment after the game, Von Miller confirmed the team isn't down on itself.

Miller -- who notched his second career sack and forced a fumble in the game -- said that the club will learn from the loss, and remember the feeling in that locker room.

"We’re not going to let this stop our work habits or slow us down," Miller said. "We are going to get back in the lab tomorrow and analyze the film and keep taking steps to be the team that we want to be."