BRONCOS

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Why is Melvin Gordon still on the Broncos?

Nov 13, 2022, 4:17 PM | Updated: 4:19 pm
Melvin Gordon...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

It’s the nightmare we can’t wake up from.

The Broncos season continues to circle the toilet after a brutal 17-10 loss to the Titans on Sunday.

After jumping out to a 10-0 lead, the Denver offense couldn’t do squat the rest of the way. A late drive looked promising to possibly tie the game and send it to overtime, then stalled out and ultimately ended in a Russell Wilson interception. Same old, same old.

How did it happen and what were the biggest takeaways? Let’s dive into it with our ninth edition of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good

The Broncos defense was stout, particularly when it came to shutting down monster Tennessee running back Derrick Henry. Maybe the best rusher in the NFL, Denver held Henry to just 53 yards on the ground on 19 carries. That’s only 2.8 yards per attempt for those scoring at home.

On a day where many thought Henry would be the difference, he was a non-factor. Even without star safety Justin Simmons, or edge-rushers Randy Gregory and Baron Browning, the Denver defense didn’t miss a beat. Coordinator Ejiro Evero is a favorite to land a head coaching job this offseason for a reason. No matter the personnel, his group is excellent every week.

Outside of a tough drive to end the first half and getting fooled on a flea-flicker, the Broncos defense was once again special. However, like usual, the offense didn’t do its part.

The Bad

37 minutes and 23 seconds.

That’s how long the Denver offense went without scoring a point the rest of the game after Brandon McManus split the uprights to put them ahead 10-0 late in the first half. In the second half, the Broncos offense went punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, interception on their possessions to end the game. You really can’t make up how bad this group is. The play-calling isn’t creative, Wilson has no time to throw and the “stars” aren’t making any plays.

Wilson was under constant pressure against the Titans, getting sacked six times and escaping a handful of others. Yes, the offensive line is insanely beat up, but these guys are still NFL players. They should be able to block someone, not act like a turnstile. That happened far too often in Nashville.

As has been mentioned time and again, Wilson isn’t going anywhere. So head coach Nathaniel Hackett and offensive coordinator Justin Outten better figure it out, or leave town.

The Ugly

Melvin Gordon fumbled again on Sunday. The Broncos got lucky (twice) that it didn’t count.

First of all, the referees blew their whistles way too early and ruled him down by contact. The ball was clearly coming out when Gordon was hit, and Denver was fortunate the zebras missed it.

Second, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was asleep at the wheel. How did he not throw his red challenge flag and at least have the replay officials take a look? It was in the first half. Worst case he loses a timeout, which we all know are not nearly as critical as second half timeouts.

But the larger issue here remains, why is Gordon still on the Broncos? He’s a fumbling machine and has been his whole tenure in Denver. And even though he’s “corrected” the issue the last few weeks, he’s simply not an effective running back any more. He had just seven carries for 24 yards on Sunday, a paltry 3.4 yards per attempt. That number was inflated by an 11-yard scamper.

This is on GM George Paton for re-signing Gordon this offseason and then not cutting him after his four early season fumbles. It’s also on Hackett, who inexplicably gave Gordon his starting job back after pouting against the Chargers. Hackett is playing with fire every time he gives Gordon the football, and it nearly burned him again on Sunday.

It’s on Paton to fix this. Today. Now. Cut Gordon. And if he won’t, it’s time for CEO Greg Penner to get involved. Gordon is far too much of a liability, without any of the explosiveness that once made him a good NFL back.

***

Broncos

Mike Boone...
Andrew Mason

Broncos injury update: Mike Boone nears return

Mike Boone could be back this week, as he nears a return from a high-ankle sprain.
1 day ago
Sam Danold...
Andrew Mason

Three numbers that tell the story of Broncos-Panthers

Denver hasn't had much of a pass rush since trading Bradley Chubb.
1 day ago
Nathaniel Hackett...
Cecil Lammey

Orange and Blue Today – November 28, 2022

In This Episode: Cecil Lammey and Andrew Mason break down the latest news and notes for the Denver Broncos. Follow @CecilLammey
1 day ago
Nathaniel Hackett...
Will Petersen

Hackett says nobody’s as frustrated as him when asked about Broncos fans

"It starts with me from the practice, preparation, every single thing that we do. I'm the most frustrated," Hackett told reporters about the 3-8 Broncos
1 day ago
Melvin Gordon...
Jake Shapiro

Fumblin’ Melvin Gordon finds new home with one of Broncos biggest rivals

NFL Network is reporting that Melvin Gordon will sign with the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad
1 day ago
Justin Tucker...
Jake Shapiro

Oddsmakers pick Broncos as big underdogs on the road in Baltimore

The Denver Broncos are expected to lose again on the road in a low-scoring game
1 day ago
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Why is Melvin Gordon still on the Broncos?