The last three halves of football have been nothing short of miserable for Broncos Country. Against the Bills and in the second half against the Vikings the Denver Broncos have been outscored 47-6.

It’s hard to find any positives sifting through that mess, but here are the three biggest stars and disappointments for the Broncos.

3 Up

Red Zone Defense

This already ugly game would’ve been much uglier had the Broncos’ red zone defense not been lights out.

The Bills were able to march down the field for more than 70 yards on back-to-back drives, yet only came away with six points because of how stingy the Broncos were in the red zone, as they refused to break.k

They finally reached that breaking point in the second half, when the Bills scored an 18-yard touchdown. That being said, against the league’s third-best red-zone offense, which was converting a touchdown on 65% of red-zone possessions, they allowed just one red-zone touchdown on three attempts.

Justin Simmons

The Broncos must make sure to re-sign Justin Simmons who is primed to become the new face of Denver’s secondary.

He came up with another interception today against the Bills, which had been few and far between. Simmons’ interception broke Josh Allen‘s streak of passes without a pick, which was the second-longest active streak in the league.

He also came away with a few big tackles and a pass breakup on third downs. It seems that whenever Denver’s defense needs a big play, Simmons is the one making it.

Brandon McManus

With how bad the Broncos were in Buffalo, Brandon McManus has to be one of the bright spots. That, as much as anything, should be a referendum on where this team is right now.

The 2019 season has been a rocky one for McManus, and last week was no different as he missed a key field goal against the Vikings.

He bounced back against the Bills though in brutal conditions. With the temperature at 40 degrees and the Buffalo wind blowing against him at nearly 20 miles per hour, McManus drilled a 45-yarder to give the Broncos their lone points of the day.

3 Down

Run Defense

Denver’s run defense, which has been much improved since their Week 5 victory over the Chargers, was dreadful on Sunday against the Bills.

Coming into the game, the top priority for the Broncos’ defense should have been suffocating the Buffalo ground game and they were woefully ineffective. They allowed the Bills to gain 93 rushing yards through the first 20 minutes of the game, and by the half, that figure was up to 144.

Things didn’t get better through the second half, as Denver allowed 63 more yards in the third quarter to bring the total to 207 before bringing the final tally to 244.

Brandon Allen

Can we finally stop with all the Brandon Allen buzz?

Through three quarters the Broncos’ offense had gained just 135 yards, and 78 of those were rushing. Through the first 18 minutes of the second half, the Broncos gained -16 passing yards. When the Broncos tried to mount a comeback late, Allen led them to five straight three and outs.

Allen’s merely an ok backup that, unlike Joe Flacco, wasn’t a complete statue in the pocket. That doesn’t mean he’s the quarterback of the future or that Drew Lock should sit the rest of the season.

Earlier this week, Vic Fangio stated he didn’t think it wasn’t “vitally important” that Lock plays this season. He couldn’t be more wrong. Denver’s top priority the rest of this season is to find out if Lock is a quarterback to build around. If not, they need to take one in next year’s draft.


Denver’s secondary struggled mightily for the second straight week on Sunday.

Davontae Harris and Kareem Jackson each turned in arguably their worst performance as Broncos allowed Allen to complete 60 percent of his passes and throw for two touchdowns while averaging over seven yards an attempt.

To make matters worse, for the second straight week, Chris Harris Jr. got scorched deep. Are we starting to see the decline of Harris, and if so, should the Broncos think twice about re-signing him?

If it wasn’t for Simmons, Denver’s secondary would have been up a certain creek without a paddle.