Posted Sun Oct 12th by Monty
Broncos DT Kenny Peterson nearly sacks Jaguars QB David Garrard. The Jaguars would hold on for a 24-17 win in Denver. (Getty Images)
The Denver Broncos (4-2) came into this game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) full of confidence. Last year, these two teams squared off for a game in which Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan said the Broncos were “manhandled.” The Broncos were hoping their improved squad would fare better in 2008.
They weren’t manhandled this time, but they blew opportunity after opportunity. QB Jay Cutler had another shaky performance, RB Maurice Jones-Drew scored two touchdowns, and the Jaguars got a little help to hold on to a 24-17 victory in Mile High.
With the loss, the Broncos’ league-leading six-game winning streak at home comes to an end.
The defense did its part; I place the blame on another lackluster offensive showing… and, hate to say it, awful officiating. Let’s break down where the opportunities were blown.
THE OPPORTUNITY - The Broncos were enjoying a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when LB Nate Webster delivered a huge hit on Jags RB Fred Taylor, knocking the ball to the ground. Broncos recovered, with the opportunity to go up two scores on the Jaguars.
THE MELTDOWN - Cutler fumbles the ball right back, and the play the defense just made is negated. Jaguars would score three points.
THE OPPORTUNITY - The Broncos are threatening deep in Jaguars territory in the second quarter. This offense is clicking after the early Cutler fumble, ready to make amends and go up 14-3.
THE MELTDOWN - WR Brandon Marshall fumbles the football at the 5-yard line. The Jaguars would march down the field 75 yards in 6:29 and take a 10-7 lead.
THE OPPORTUNITY - Huge third down play for the Jaguars, and the Broncos defense makes the stop at the Jaguars’ 28-yard line. Broncos should get excellent field position.
THE MELTDOWN - The refs caused this one. Out of nowhere, the yellow flag flies. Illegal contact on Dre Bly. Replay after replay shows how bogus this call really is. Bly was literally tackled by a Jaguars “blocker.” The late flag didn’t help any, either. The Jaguars extended their drive to take a commanding 24-10 lead.
THE OPPORTUNITY - Down by seven with a few minutes left, the defense was asked to step up again. Garrard throws to double coverage, incomplete.
THE MELTDOWN - The refs are just making stuff up now. Pass interference call on Marlon McCree, leaving everyone scratching their heads. Just bogus.
Personally, I’m livid at this officiating. Most will brush it off as a ref karma, but I’m still disgusted. These weren’t missed calls or bad calls – they were plain made-up calls. Out of thin air. The officials closed their eyes and pointed at a random penalty on their cheat sheets then threw the flag.
That being said… this loss is on the Broncos. They didn’t play well enough to overcome bad officiating, especially on offense. Brandon Stokley joined Eddie Royal and Tony Scheffler on the sideline after a first half injury, and the offense never quite recovered from its lack of weapons.
The Broncos will face the Patriots on Monday Night Football, who play the second place Chargers tonight. Let’s regroup and pull out a win in Foxboro. Go Broncos!