Starting the season 0-3 most likely means playoff hopes are over for any NFL team. Unfortunately for the Broncos, that just happened after a hard-fought 27-16 loss in Lambeau field.

Since 1980, there have only been six out of 176 teams (around 3.4 percent) make the playoffs after dropping their first three games. The only silver lining is one of those teams actually did it last year when the Houston Texans rallied to the playoffs despite a rough start. Here are three observations from the Broncos third straight loss in the 2019 campaign.

  1. It’s not just Garett Bolles; the OL is awful

Despite out rushing the Packers 149 to 77, putting up 20 first downs, and finally converting two touchdowns in the red zone, it was the Broncos’ horrid offensive line that held the offense back once again. Joe Flacco was consistently under duress all game as he got sacked six times and was hit throughout the contest. Yes, Garett Bolles gave up his share of sacks, but Elijah Wilkinson and Ron Leary struggled throughout the game as well. The pressure also caused two of Denver’s three turnovers.

The bad thing is that this problem doesn’t seem like it will be fixed any time soon with the lack of depth to the o-line is already an issue and the trade market isn’t for teams that are 0-3. At this rate, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to believe with the way starting quarterbacks are getting injured, Flacco might not make it through all 16 games.

  1. It’s time to start questioning Vic Fangio’s defense after no sacks or turnovers through 3 games  The media, fans, and the team itself have lauded Fangio and his defensive schemes, systems, and success throughout his time as a defensive coordinator. However, through three games as the Broncos head coach, there has still not been a turnover or a sack by this talented defense. Perhaps the loss of Bryce Callahan was too much to force a turnover in the secondary, but having the monster rush duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb (who combined for 26.5 sacks in 2018) should result in pressure to the QB through 180 minutes of play. The defense actually performed well enough to keep the Broncos in the game as the Packers were 2-9 on 3rd down conversions. But being -3 in the turnover battle and -6 in sacks was the difference in the ball game. If Fangio can’t get to Jaguars’ rookie phenom Gardner Minshew at home next week, the attention needs to be turned to the rookie head coach for why the defense can’t get to the QB.
  2. The debate of Lindsay or Freeman has been answered
    There were numerous negatives to point out in the loss, but the one positive takeaway is the running back debate has been answered with an outstanding game from Phillip Lindsay. This is not a knock on Royce Freeman, who had 15 carries for 63 yards along with four catches for 10 yards. But the former undrafted product out of CU finally showed up after being a nonfactor in the first two games. Lindsay showed that flash and explosiveness in both the run and the passing game that got him to a Pro Bowl last year. He accounted for both of Denver’s TDs on the ground along with 81 yards on 21 carries with 4 rec for 49 yards. If he can contribute this way moving forward, there should be no question who the main back for this offense for the rest of the season.