ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos aim to snap a three-game losing streak, Head Coach Vance Joseph said that all options are on the table.
Joseph, who was asked Monday about potential changes to the starting lineup and play-calling responsibilities, said he was still evaluating how to move forward in the wake of a 34-16 loss to the Jets.
“Everything’s being considered,” Joseph said. “It’s all being considered. We’re still watching tape and figuring out what’s the best course of action. It’s all being considered."
After the Broncos’ 11th loss in their last 12 road games, though, it’s clear something needs to change. So while Joseph wasn’t ready to share specifics Monday, he vowed the Broncos would play differently on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.
“We’re not going to play how we played yesterday,” Joseph said. “We’re not going to do that. So something’s got to change. You don’t play that brand of football and keep it all the same. I won’t share what we’re going to change, but there’s going to be changes.”
Joseph said he still believes his team will be able to turn their season around and ensure that these three losses don’t spiral into another streak like the eight-game skid that plagued last season.
But before the Broncos can look ahead to the Rams, Joseph wants his team to look inward and rediscover the identity it showed during the first four weeks of the season.
“We have to fix ourselves first before we can talk about beating the Rams,” Joseph said. "We have to go back to the drawing board and fix our football team here. … I believe in our football team. But right now, we’ve got to play a better brand of football. We did not play good yesterday. Obviously, the Kansas City game we did some good stuff, but we didn’t make enough plays toward the end. [We] didn’t play with great detail in critical moments and the Baltimore game, we felt the same way. But yesterday felt different because of the grit that we have played with.
“I didn’t see the same grit. So we have to get back to that first. Fixing the Broncos first.”
That must happen quickly if the Broncos are going to rebound from a 2-3 start to compete for a playoff berth.
“We have to get it fixed now,” Joseph said. “It can’t linger.”
ROBY’S NEED FOR RESILIENCE
After cornerback Bradley Roby allowed a pair of touchdowns receptions, including a 76-yard pass to Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson, Joseph spoke about the difficulty of Roby’s transition from third cornerback to starter.
“It’s tough when you’re the starter,” Joseph said. “When you’re the starter, you have to obviously make the routine plays. A routine play for a corner can be a 70-yard touchdown at any play. As a third corner, when you’re the slot nickel or the third corner on third downs, that’s probably a one-play sequence and you’re off the field. If you get beat, you’re off the field. As a starting corner, every play can be a big play. That makes it a difficult position in this league, because it’s a passing league, obviously. If you’re not making plays on the ball, every play can be a big play for you. That’s the pressure of playing as a starting corner in this league.”
Two of the Rams’ top three receivers are in the concussion protocol, as Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp both left Sunday’s game against Seattle. Still, Roby will need to rebound whether he’s facing Cooks, Kupp or the capable Robert Woods. The Jared Goff-led offense will certainly look to take shots down the field, which means Roby must play better if the Broncos want to pull the upset on Sunday.
FROM THE OUTSIDE, IN
The Broncos allowed the fifth-highest single-game rushing yard total in franchise history when they allowed the Jets to rush for 323 yards on Sunday.
Seventy-seven of those yards came on one play in the second quarter when Isaiah Crowell broke free for a long touchdown run, and Joseph pointed to that moment as one that was reflective of the Jets scheming their way to success.
“They had a pretty good scheme where they were pushing the scheme to the outside corner,” Joseph said. “We’ve got to tackle better there. On the first touchdown, we had two guys unblocked, we didn’t tackle the guy, he goes for 70-plus yards. They ran the same scheme three or four times, we adjusted our end to push the ball inside [and] it still bounced to the corner. They had a good scheme to make the corners tackle, and that play is designed to do that. So we’ve got to tackle better at corner and obviously keep the ball inside of the defense.”
For the Broncos’ defense to completely regain its form against the rush, though, Joseph knows individual players must make plays when it matters most.
“We can help those guys schematically also,” Joseph said, “but at the end of the day, one on one with a halfback in this league, you’ve got to tackle him."
Joseph said both Adam Jones (hamstring) and Garett Bolles (ankle) will be day to day as the Broncos approach their Week 6 game against the Rams.
Tackle Jared Veldheer may miss his second consecutive game with a bone bruise.
“He’s probably a week away from actually playing again for us,” Joseph said.