LANDOVER, Md. —** For Brock Osweiler, one statistic defined the Broncos' 27-11 loss to the Redskins.
In the first half, Osweiler and the offense marched into Washington territory five times, but they only got three points out those drives. Of the four scoreless drives, two ended in punts from at the Washington 40- and 35-yard line, one ended in an interception and one ended when time ran out at the end of the half.
"The bottom line is that's just unacceptable," Osweiler said. "That's not capitalizing on the field position. I think we had a chance to definitely get an early jump with those five possessions in their territory, and we didn't get the job done. That's very disappointing, and there's no excuse for it. As an offense, if you get that short of a field, you need to finish with touchdowns. You need to put teams away. You need to have that killer instinct, and we didn't have it today."
The missed opportunities didn't doom the Broncos to an insurmountable halftime deficit, but they did prove quite costly when the Redskins began to build their lead in the second half. Scoring a touchdown instead of a field goal, or a field goal instead of scoreless possessions could have changed how each team approached the second half.
"You only get so many opportunities to score touchdowns in this league," Osweiler said. "Defenses are too good. Defensive coordinators are too good. So if you're on their side of the field that many times in the first half and you don't get touchdowns, eventually the other team is going to heat up and make you pay for it, and they did today."
The way Washington made Osweiler pay in the second half was with a brutal pass rush that was able to pin its ears back as the Broncos chased from behind. Osweiler was taken down behind the line of scrimmage four times, three of which were in the second half.
"Unfortunately, that's completely out of my control," Osweiler said. "This is the ultimate team sport. That's the beauty of football. It takes all 11 guys to be doing their job on one specific play. It takes a play caller to put you in position to be successful on that given play. And if all 12 of those people — the coordinator and 11 guys on the field — aren't jelling, then it's going to be a tough day at the office."
It became evident that it was going to be that tough day when the offense began to break down after its promising first half. During the second half, the Broncos gained just three first downs on five drives, excluding the 75-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes.
As frustration grew, Osweiler tried to motivate his teammates to get out of the funk.
"I was trying to ignite the offense," Osweiler said. "I felt we were leaving too much out there. Like I just talked about, we had five possessions on their side of the field in the first half and we had three points to show for it. It's embarrassing. It's unacceptable. That's not high-level National Football League football. I'm a very passionate player. I love this organization, I love the game of football, and I just expressed that."
Ultimately, the offense could not escape its troubles, and it fell to Washington in a way that was reminiscent of the team's previous losses.
"In order to have success as an offense in this league, you need to have a playcaller putting players in position to have success and then the 11 guys on the field need to make the playcaller right, and all 11 guys need to do their job," Osweiler said. "Unfortunately, all 11 guys haven't done their job this year."
Photos of game action from the Broncos' Week 16 game against Washington. (Photos by Gabriel Christus unless noted)