In Sunday's narrow road loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City, it was easy to see some promising signs in the way the Broncos performed. But as Denver prepares for its season finale vs. the Chargers, the team is not satisfied simply with encouraging moments.
Against Los Angeles, the Broncos will aim to improve on both sides of the ball, including limiting explosive plays on defense. A week ago, the Chiefs completed seven passes for gains of at least 17 yards.
"I would say that if you go out and lose a football game, you better not stand pat," Interim Head Coach Jerry Rosburg said. "You better do something different. You watch that last game, and what was the difference in the game? Well, I saw some things on offense that I liked. Our run defense remained strong, and our ability to run the ball was pretty good. They beat us with explosive plays. They had, like, six explosive plays, I think. We had two, and one of them was unfortunately readjusted. In order to play against the team that I see on tape ... we need to do a better job than we did a week ago of fitting the pieces together."
The key for Denver's offense, Rosburg noted, will be to consistently get the ball to wide receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. On defense, he said that improving in the red zone is the primary goal.
"We need to get the ball in our playmakers' hands," Rosburg said. "I think I mentioned this earlier. I love the way Courtland Sutton plays his game. Jerry Jeudy has had a really good couple of weeks. We need to find a way to not play this game in a box. Defensively, we did a lot of good things. The three three-and-outs that we had in the second half — we used to call that a knockout back in a previous position. That's hard to overcome, but their offense overcame that with explosive plays, and they beat us in the red zone. We didn't play very well in the red zone on defense, and I know our coaches are working on that. So, change? Yeah, we lost. We better change something, we better improve."
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The cardiac arrest that Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered during "Monday Night Football" has deeply affected NFL players around the league — including defensive lineman DeShawn Williams, who knows Hamlin personally.
Williams met Hamlin two years ago while they both participated in offseason conditioning workouts with Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, a University of Pittsburgh alum, and some other NFL players. Seeing his friend and fellow football player suffer such a terrifying injury has put the game into perspective for him, Williams noted Wednesday.
"[What went through my mind was] just never taking another day for granted," Williams said. "... We had all seen people tear their ACL, Achilles, get knocked [down], come back, but to see this, it's kind of scary. It puts things in perspective. I think it made people realize, we're only human too. People just see us as football players going out there, doing our job ... but at that time, football was the last thing on people's minds."