Sure the stadium is nice and the town has been real receptive to the twelve-year veteran, but the problem that bothered Lynch most was the Broncos defensive performance Friday night, a lackluster effort that yielded a 76-yard touchdown drive to the Houston Texans on their initial possession.
Playing before a cold and wet hometown crowd, Denver's defense allowed an average 7.3-yards per carry to a Texans' squad that one week prior had failed to even score a touchdown in an embarrassing 31-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The man responsible for most of the damage was Houston running back Dominic Davis, who continued to evade tackles and sprint past defenders en route to the games first score.
Ironically it was Davis' first appearance of the preseason after suffering ankle injuries during the Texans' training camp.
"He's a playmaker," said
Houston head coach Dom Capers. "You don't have to look at him very long
to see that he makes things happen. We
certainly like what he gives us and we think he adds to our skills positions.
After a few of his plays I had seen enough and wanted to get him out of
After a few plays Lynch and the rest of the Broncos first team defense wanted him out of there as well.
"I think we were a little sloppy at tackling early on in the game," said Lynch. "Obviously, that is a fundamental that we have to master, and consistently make sure we're doing. To be special, you've got to do it week in and week out, today I think we were average at best."
While average may acceptable in the preseason, it comes as a huge disappointment after the teams' strong showing during their first three games.
Against Washington, Buffalo and Seattle the Broncos defense had been the lone bright spot for Denver, helping keep the team in contention while Jake Plummer and first team offense continued to struggle. Experts were amazed at the cohesiveness displayed by the group of veterans, many of which like Lynch, were assembled during the NFL's free agency period.
Friday night brought it all back down to earth.
They're not great and they're not invincible, at least at this stage, but Lynch and company are confident that they have what it takes to get the job done once the regular season rolls around.
"I think once we go back
and look at the film, we'll look at it and say, ‘That's not good
enough.' We are going to see what
we need to do, and we are going to fix it."