‘It’s on us to go make a play’: Broncos tired of wasting opportunities as they suffer fourth consecutive loss


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Via DenverBroncos.com

DENVER — The Broncos have been in every game this season.

In a 2-5 start, they’ve had a chance in the fourth quarter to grab a win in each of their losses.

Ahead of Sunday’s loss to the Jets, the Broncos had lost three games by a total of seven points. And in losing a 16-9 decision in Week 7, they secured their fourth one-possession loss of the season.

Yes, they’ve had their chances.

And they’re tired of it.

“I’m sick of being up here saying the same thing over and over again,” Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said. “The opportunities are there. At some point we have to take it; there’s no excuses. We’ve been in every single game. We have to win these games. As a team, as an offense, defense, everybody. We’ve had these opportunities, we have been in these situations. It’s frustrating being up here having to say the same thing because, like I said, those opportunities are there. We have to make them. It’s that simple: It’s the NFL. It’s going to be hard. Especially close games, which we’ve been in, you have to come through and win those games.”

Similar to many of the Broncos’ six previous games, the Denver defense did its part. Outside of a 62-yard Breece Hall touchdown run, Denver limited quarterback Zach Wilson and the offense. The Jets recorded seven three-and-outs in the game and were just 3-of-14 on third down. The Broncos held the Jets to a pair of field goals in the second half, and they harassed Wilson for much of the afternoon.

It still wasn’t enough, as the Broncos managed just nine points.

“When your defense is playing as well as our defense is, you shouldn’t be losing games,” Rypien said. “That’s just point-blank, period, a fact. We have to figure out what we can do to turn this thing around because I still think we have a good team. We have to figure out what are our best plays on offense. Everybody has to be on the same page as far as what we’re trying to do, how we’re trying to attack defenses [and] go into each week and have conviction and a plan.”

The Broncos found success in the first half, as they pieced together a 13-play touchdown drive that featured nine runs.

In the second half, though, the Broncos began with six consecutive passes — and Rypien ended up with 46 attempts on the afternoon.

“The first half I thought I was in a good rhythm,” Rypien said. “We were getting the ball out quick. I was able to take off and get their pass rush frustrated a bit. You could tell they were getting a little bit frustrated, because I was getting the ball out quick and moving around. The run game was getting after them. Obviously, in the second half, I thought we had some good plays called and we executed some good plays [but] we just came up a yard short a couple of times. The first drive, we had a great shallow route run to Courtland [Sutton] right there and it comes up fourth-and-1 [so] we had to punt. Same thing to Latavius [Murray]; I can remember in the fourth quarter, I threw him a little check-down right there on third-and-2, they went to a zone coverage [and] we were short. I don’t know what the answer is. We just have to find a way to be more detailed and make plays.”

The Broncos had an opportunity to tie the score, but Sutton couldn’t haul in a pass on fourth-and-3 to the end zone that featured tight coverage from Sauce Gardner.

“That play, it’s on me to go make that play,” Sutton said. “You’re giving me the opportunity to go make a play. The O-line sat in there and did their job. Everybody did their job for me to be able to go make a play, and I just didn’t come down with it. The DB made a good play, but it’s on me to figure out a way to go make a play. I have to be perfect for the team. I’m going to find a way to fix that and be as perfect as I possibly can be for this offense [and] this team moving forward. We’ve been struggling as an offense over the past few weeks — any opportunity we get a chance to make a play, it’s on us to go make a play and find a way to make a play. That’s what we have to do moving forward.”

The defense gave the Broncos one more chance, but Rypien’s fourth-down pass to KJ Hamler also fell incomplete.

Again, an opportunity passed Denver by. And as the Broncos head to London with a 2-5 record, they must find a way to change that trend.

“At the end of the day, we just have to win,” safety Justin Simmons said. “I am going to sound like a broken record, but that is all that matters. That is all that anyone cares about. We always are falling short. We have to find a way to win those games.”

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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