One of these days, it is going to happen. One of these days the Denver Broncos stellar defense simply will not be enough to bail out their anemic offense. Sunday was not that day.
The Broncos suffocating defense once again secured the win for Denver, forcing two critical turnovers, including a fourth quarter pick-six by cornerback Chris Harris, Jr.
The Denver defense brought Raiders second-year gunslinger Derek Carr to the ground four times. Von Miller, who has struggled to get on the stat sheet thus far this season, had a sack and a forced fumble after literally swiping the ball from Carr’s hands, as if he were a bear reaching for a honey pot.
However, the Broncos offense has yet to find a rhythm. Heck, they have yet to find an instrument. Thus far this season, the offense has accounted for just 20 percent of Denver’s points. The defense, and kicker Brandon McManus, account for the other 80.
Denver’s offense, led by five-time MVP Peyton Manning, accumulated just nine points on 296 total yards. Manning went 22-of-35 for 266 yards and two interceptions, both to fellow 1998 first round pick Charles Woodson.
While those passes were unfortunate, the offense's real struggles continue to be in the running game. Denver’s top two running backs, Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson, put up a combined 43 yards rushing on just 18 carries—an average of just 2.4 yards per rush.
So, for the fifth straight week, the Denver Broncos top-ranked defense bailed out an sputtering offense. At some point in the near future, those roles may have to be reversed, and there are serious questions about whether the Bronco offense is capable of winning a game if their defense falls flat. Their next test will come on the road in an early game next week in Cleveland.
Jake Marsing is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. Find him on Twitter @JakeDMarsing.