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Offense Struggles in Loss

Posted Oct 30, 2011

The Broncos found it difficult to move the ball in the team's 45-10 loss to Detroit.

DENVER -- After a successful end to their game last week, the Broncos offense was optimistic as it hoped to use that momentum to play a complete game at home against Detroit.
 
Denver started out with a promising opening drive -- settling for a field goal after nearly scoring a touchdown -- but didn't score again until Detroit already had a commanding lead.
 
"We had a great week of preparation and practice," running back Knowshon Moreno said. "We came into this game fired up and ready to win. But at the same time, unfortunately we didn't make those plays we needed to to come out with a win."
 
Following the opening-drive field goal, the Broncos recorded just one first down until late in the third quarter. By then, Detroit had a commanding 38-3 lead.
 
Overall, the offense failed to convert a first down on nine of their 15 drives in the game. Without a first down, the Broncos weren't able to get into any rhythm.
 
"We weren't able to get that first first down to get us going in drives," quarterback Tim Tebow said. "Every time we've done that (started with a first down), drives just kind of roll for us. When you start slowly in drives and put yourself in tough situations, you're not always going to convert."
 
The Broncos offense struggled throughout the game. Tebow finished 18-for-39 for 172 yards  with one touchdown and one interception. The Lions also scored two touchdowns directly off Broncos turnovers, one on a 24-yard fumble return and one on a 100-yard interception return.
 
Head Coach John Fox said he wasn't surprised at the outcome based on the offense's performance.
 
"Not really for exactly how it went down -- (seven) straight three-and-outs, three turnovers, two for touchdowns. That's what it looks like," Fox said. "It's unfortunate, but that's kind of what happened."
 
Afterwards in the locker room, the entire team took responsibility for the loss.
 
"It's not just one guy, it's collectively as a group. Offensively we haven't done enough to move the chains, to get some momentum going, to get in a rhythm," receiver Eric Decker said. "Obviously every position we've struggled, done stuff wrong, and we need to figure out a way where we can be confident enough in ourselves to make plays and to know that we can go down on anybody and score."
 
With the offense struggling to gain first downs and sustain drives, the defense repeatedly took the field with little rest. But that didn't bother them as they didn't blame the offense for their own struggles, saying that they should've stopped the Lions regardless.
 
"Our job responsibility is one thing, and that's to get off the football field," safety Brian Dawkins said. "If we ever start buying into the fact that the offense is on the field and all that stuff, that doesn't matter. Our job is to get off the field, go three-and-out, get the offense back the ball. If (our offense goes) three-and-out, then we give it right back to them three-and-out. That's what we have to do as a defense, period."
 
From here, the Broncos will take the practice field this week as they prepare to head on the road to face the Oakland Raiders. Moreno said that even with the offensive problems, the team never lost confidence. He knows the team will take that attitude through the week into Sunday's game.
 
"We're going to always fight -- no matter the score, what part of the season it is -- we're going to fight to the end and that's the character of this team," Moreno said. "We've just got to keep on moving."