Initial thoughts from Broncos’ 19-16 loss overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6 at SoFi Stadium:
1. You see that, Greg Penner? You listening, George Paton?: It’s not early anymore. Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett go together like jazz and death metal. Elmo and Freddie Krueger. They. Don’t. Work. This Broncos defense has carried more than its fair share of the water already this season, and it’s being wasted on one of the worst offenses in franchise history. Eleven days off, a half-bye, didn’t fix the problem. If things don’t change against the Jets at home, it might be time to make a more permanent change when the real bye week comes around. Opening possession in overtime, score or go home, on third-and-1, you’re throwing from the 34-yard line? As Joe Buck put it in overtime, this stuff is truly, painfully, hard to watch.
2. Pouty Melvin Gordon: … is now a meme. It’s a kinder meme than “Fumbling Melvin Gordon,” or “Butterfingers Melvin Gordon,” but not by much. Whenever the cameras found our pal No. 25 on the sideline, his helmet was off and he looked as if someone just stole his kitten. The better Latavius Murray did — and better, we mean basically holding on to the football while falling forward — the sadder Mel G looked. It was a terrible look. Love ya, 25, but when you’re benched in favor of Murray and Mike Boone in the second half of a tight game, that’s not on them, buddy. It’s on you.
3. Pat Surtain II > Mike Williams: Man, we love PS2, but Surtain II needs another, more menacing nickname, doesn’t he?. “The Eraser?” Because whenever No. 2 comes out to play, he seemingly wipes out one half of the field for the opposing quarterback. Williams went into Monday night averaging 5.6 catches and 8.8 targets over his first five games. At the start of the fourth quarter, with PS2 draped all over his back all night long, Williams managed to rack up just three targets, one reception and eight yards through the air.
4. False starts = false hope: Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry got whistled for a hold on the offense’s first play — boom, first-and-20. Tackle Cam Fleming was called for a false start on the unit’s first third-down opportunity — bang, third-and-14. Denver now ranks second in the league in offensive holding calls with 10 (trailing Seattle’s 11) and moved to No. 1 all by themselves in false starts with 12. It’s hard to beat somebody on the road in this league when you spend so much time moving backward.