The Denver Broncos suffered their second straight loss on Thursday night and quite frankly looked like a team without a head coach. I am sure Joe DeCamillis did everything he could in Gary Kubiak’s absence. However, sometimes the task is just too much. And, winning a division road game on three days’ rest without their head coach was for the Broncos.

Denver just did things that they normally do not do. The wide receivers turned the ball over twice in the game. The Broncos committed 12 penalties for 103 yards, which included major penalties by every starting offensive lineman. Turnovers were not cashed in, big plays came back, a field goal was missed and most importantly Denver showed no offensive urgency during any point of the football game.

The defense is not to blame. After struggling early when they were spread out by the San Diego Chargers, Denver’s defense settled in nicely. In fact, you really cannot ask anything more out of the defense given the situations they were put in all night by the offense.

Denver’s offense must get better if this team is going to do anything this season. CJ Anderson is on pace to lose the starting job again this season. Demaryius Thomas is back to dropping passes and has added turning the ball over to his arsenal. The offensive line has no discipline. Donald Stephenson and Max Garcia both had the worst game I have ever seen them play. Matt Paradis, Michael Schofield, Virgil Green and Russell Okung also had major penalties that affected the outcome of the game.

The most disappointing thing from the offense all night was that they never threw to the chains all game on third down. Teams cannot win games in this league being that passive on offense. Denver only got the offense going on draw plays and short passes in the fourth quarter. And, most of the success they did have was negated by foolish penalties.

It was ugly football. Denver’s 15 game road winning streak in the AFC West is over and San Diego is relevant again. The Broncos have also not had the lead since leaving Florida two weeks ago. Denver played like the 1-4 team on Thursday night and I would be much more concerned if the Broncos had a week to prepare for this one along with their head coach on the field.

The Broncos are going to be just fine. For whatever reason, this core tends to drop games in twos before getting back on track. If Kubiak returns next week against the Houston Texans, there is no reason to suspect Denver will lose a third consecutive game. I will just chalk this one up to tough circumstances considering Kubiak’s illness and three days’ rest prior to a divisional road game. However, the Broncos must use this mini bye and get back to the drawing board on offense in order to figure out who they really want to be the last 10 games of the season.

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