For the second week in a row, the Denver Broncos gave up a touchdown on the opening drive of the game. And for the second week in a row, the Broncos were unable to overcome the slow start.
Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers opened Thursday night’s upset by marching down the field against Denver’s vaunted defense, using 12 plays to score a touchdown on the first drive of the game.
“We’ve got to fix that,” Broncos safety T.J. Ward, via Mike Klis of 9News in Denver. “We’ve got to get back to work. We’ve got to do something, play harder in the beginning or … I don’t know what it is, I can’t my finger on it, but it’s got to stop.’’
A week earlier, Matt Ryan drove the Atlanta Falcons 75 yards for an opening touchdown in Denver. The march set the tone for Atlanta’s 23-16 win over the defending Super Bowl champions.
Once 4-0, the Broncos are now 4-2 and looking for answers.
The defense can’t be solely blame. Denver’s offense has only scored a pair of field goals in the first half the last two weeks.
“We’re fighting but it’s been a little too late these past two games,” said Broncos guard Max Garcia. “We need to start fast. There’s been too many three and outs in the first half. We’ve been keeping our defense on the field and it’s really hurting us. We’ve got to be better at the end of the day.’’
Denver led at half time three times during the team’s four-game winning streak to start the season.
There’s no reason for the Broncos to panic. The defending champions just need to find a way to start faster, and they know it.