The Broncos got eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday night just like the Panthers did on Christmas eve. There will be no repeat winner in the NFL this season. The biggest question is, what happened to them? The Panthers did not get a repeat performance from Cam Newton and their defense struggled without Josh Norman and an injury that kept Luke Kuechly out for 6 games. For the Broncos you have to dig deep to see the problem.
Naturally, all fingers point to the quarterback but Trevor Siemian was not the problem this year. The offense did struggle. They went from 16th in the league in yards per game to 27th. Was that Siemian’s fault? No. He may have had a part to do with it because he did have weapons around him to succeed but Peyton Manning was way below average last season and he led the team to Super Bowl 50. Manning’s total quarterback rating (QBR) last season was 47 while Siemian’s this season was about 55.
The real reason behind the Bronco’s struggle to make the postseason was the defense. Yes the defense was great this year but it was unable to recreate the magic it did in 2015. This season they gave up 4.4 yards per carry (YPC) compared to last seasons 4.4. That is a pretty big difference that may be due to Malik Jackson’s departure to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Their own rushing attack has decreased in efficiency going from 4.2 YPC to 3.6. C.J. Anderson’s injury and rookie Devontae Booker’s inability to step up. The offense has been worse and the defense has been worse. Next season will be better for the Broncos but it just was not meant to be a repeat season from the start.