Von Miller and Justin Simmons both feel each player should be accountable for the Denver Broncos current predicament. A three-week win streak dissolved into a three-week streak in the opposite direction, and questions are flying over who is to blame. The scene was set for Denver to deliver a loss to their biggest rivals, which seemed an easy task following the drama that rocked the Las Vegas Raiders just days before. However, the opposite happened, and the Broncos know they need to make a change, fast.
Von Miller, Justin Simmons Accept Blame for Denver Broncos Struggles
Who Should Be Accountable?
The criticism from Denver’s own fanbase has been harsh and rightfully so. Sports Illustrated’s Luke Patterson describes the Broncos as having “hit a new low,” and it’s true. The Raiders are a franchise distracted by recent events centering around their former head coach. Yet on the back of that chaos, they couldn’t be stopped.
Vic Fangio, once a defensive genius whose system was adopted by at least four other teams, has been unable to bring Denver’s defense back to life. Before the season began, there had been high expectations of the unit from all corners of the NFL. They have not been able to live up to those expectations. This time, defense gave up a season-high 34 points. Patterson feels that the head coach and team’s captains must hold themselves accountable, or expect to see miserable results.
Meanwhile, Von Miller believes each and every one of the Broncos is responsible for their losing streak. “We’re not doing enough to win. It’s nobody’s fault — we’ve got to point the finger at ourselves… I’ve got to lead better, do a better job rushing the passer… I’m confident I can get myself fixed.”
On the same sentiment, Justin Simmons is vowing to improve himself too. “We got to play better, I definitely have to play better… At a certain point, you can’t just say it — it has to be fixed.”
Pat Shurmur Is Not Making the Offense Better
The offense has the talent but it’s not just injuries at several positions that are the problem. There hasn’t been any creative spark – whether individually or as a unit. Even without guys like Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, the offense is just flat. It doesn’t help that offensive coordinator Shurmur is misusing tight end Noah Fant as a run blocker. Against the Raiders, he was penalized twice for holding calls on his run-blocking assignments.
Obviously, firings are coming, and it’s likely that Shurmur and special teams coordinator Tom McMahon will be among the personnel making an exit. Second-year quarterbacks coach Mike Shula would be a fine choice to run the offense.
Bryce Callahan Is One of the Few Consistencies
He was injured for much of his first two seasons, but hours of relentless rehab are paying off for Callahan. Going into the 2021 season, Pro Football Focus named Callahan second best slot cornerback in the NFL. He has been the most consistent shut-down defender on the team. The position is one of the most undervalued, but Callahan has been effectively playing slot cornerback, locking down multiple receivers and tackling ball-carriers. His 2.8 yards allowed per target ranks in the top five among defensive backs.
Broncos Country has been dreading a repeat of the past several years. It doesn’t look good at this moment, but there is one difference – this time, the team has the tools to turn their season around.