It wasn’t good football, but the Denver Broncos escaped with a 27-19 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. Denver is a very good team, but they simply cannot continue at this rate if they want to make another magical run.

The thing about the stretch run last year is that the Broncos never turned the ball over in critical spots. Sure, the offense made its fair share of mistakes, but Denver never really gave their playoff opponents a true gift.

This year, Denver’s offense has been shooting the defense in the foot repeatedly. Twice the Broncos were set up nicely deep inside Chargers’ territory, and twice the Broncos managed to turn the ball back over to San Diego.

The first thing that fans will call for is the job of quarterback Trevor Siemian. I will admit, that was the worst I’ve seen him as a member of the Broncos, but Siemian is not the problem on offense. The problem on offense is that John Elway did not commit to building a real offensive line in the offseason.

The running game really shouldn’t be struggling as much as it has, and the penalties and lack of good pass protection in critical moments is a legitimate concern. I thought the problem would be rectified after the return of Gary Kubiak, but it really has not.

Elway has missed badly on offensive line draft picks, ranging from Michael Schofield to Ty Sambrailo. Denver also lost one of their best offensive linemen from a year ago in Ryan Harris. The fact of the matter is that Elway didn’t do enough in the offseason to address the offensive line. The additions of Donald Stephenson and Russell Okung were not enough to fix what is broken up front for Denver.

The Broncos must trade for help up front if they want any chance of repeating. It would be a shame to waste one of the best defenses in NFL history because you’re not strong up front. Mortgage the future; it’s time to really make a move.

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