BRONCOS

Pick Six: Who is up and who is down after the Broncos loss in Week 6

Oct 19, 2021, 12:41 PM
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 17: Noah Fant (87) of the Denver Broncos sits on the grass after narrowly miss...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Broncos 3-0 start seems like it was in the distant past. In the span of 14 days, they saw it erased, falling to 3-3 with a loss last Sunday to the Raiders.

Now, it’s all about saving the season, saving jobs and saving some respectability. That’s how much things have changed in the blink of an eye.

While the coaching staff is on the hot seat this week, they aren’t the only problem. Far too many Broncos aren’t playing up to the level expected, while only a few are playing well.

Who fell into each category? Here’s this week’s “Pick Six:”

***

Noah Fant – Up

One of the few bright spots for the Broncos on Sunday was the performance of their third-year tight end. While Fant may still struggle in the running game, he’s proven to be an effective receiver when called upon. Against the Raiders, the former first-round pick had nine catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.

***

Ronald Darby – Down

After missing four games with a hamstring injury, the Broncos prized free-agent signing returned against the Raiders. He was immediately torched for a long touchdown by Henry Ruggs. Later in the game, Darby was beaten deep again the the speedy wideout.

***

Teddy Bridgewater – Down

The veteran quarterback won the starting job over Drew Lock largely because he was considered the “safer” option. He wouldn’t turn the ball over as much, giving his team a better chance to win. On Sunday, that wasn’t the case, as Bridgewater threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in a forgettable performance.

***

Courtland Sutton – Down

On paper, the wide receiver had a decent day, hauling in eight passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. But that’s not what is getting attention this week. Instead, it’s his effort, or lack of it, after one of Bridgewater’s interceptions that raised eyebrows. It wasn’t a good look for the wideout.

***

Von Miller – Down

Since recording 4.0 sacks in the first three games of the season, the Broncos pass rusher has gone into hiding. The disappearing act continued against Las Vegas, as Miller didn’t get to Derek Carr and only recorded two tackles on the day. The highest-paid player on the roster was nowhere to be found.

***

Justin Simmons – Down

Simmons is another highly paid player who isn’t living up to his contract. Against the Raiders, he was beaten repeatedly, including on another deep ball where he seemed to be late to cover his deep zone. Overall, the All-Pro safety has had an underwhelming season, which continued on Sunday.

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Pick Six: Who is up and who is down after the Broncos loss in Week 6