It was a Sunday to forget. The Denver Broncos were shorthanded, outcoached and dominated in a 23-16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Now, Denver has a very short week to get ready for its first division game at the San Diego Chargers on Thursday.

Before we get into football, best wishes for Gary Kubiak who was released from the hospital Monday. Kubiak was diagnosed with a complex migraine condition, which caused fatigue and flu-like symptoms on Sunday. Kubiak’s health is always a concern after he suffered a mini stroke during a game in 2013 while coaching the Houston Texans. This is the biggest story that came out of Sunday’s game and is much bigger then football.

This loss is actually not the worst thing for Denver. It came against an NFC opponent, which means the loss will not ding the Broncos in the standings that badly. This loss does not have the impact that a loss in the conference or division would have.

At some point in the season Denver had to see what it had with Paxton Lynch. To put it as simply as possible, the rookie is not ready. Lynch held on to the ball too long, made bad decisions and lacked the poise and command that Trevor Siemian showed during the first four weeks of the season. Lynch may be the future of this team, however, it will be a blessing not to see him play another down in the regular season unless there is an injury or the Broncos wrap-up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. This team believes in Siemian and when he is not in there it throws off the chemistry.

The offensive line was horrible Sunday, especially on the right side. Ty Sambrailo was a big part of that and needs to lose the starting job until he is either healthy or better. Denver’s offensive line is struggling due to the injuries of Donald Stephenson and Virgil Green. It is evident in the passing game, but also the running game. It was a good idea to sit both Stephenson and Green in the Atlanta game. One loss and a terrible offensive line performance are worth having both of these players healthy in the long run.

Denver’s defense was actually pretty good. If anyone said prior to the game that Atlanta would score 23 points and Julio Jones would have only two catches most would say Denver wins the game. The problem was Kyle Shanahan finding a way to get his running backs in space in one-on-one match-ups against Denver’s linebackers. It was a mismatch that the Falcons took advantage of all day. It is a good thing that this was exposed so early. It gives Wade Phillips time to get this problem fixed before critical games at the end of the season.

The first loss of the season is always one of the toughest all season. It causes mass overreaction and panic. It also has the great ability to crush a strong ego. Denver is still the best team in the NFL and will be fine once healthy. This is a tricky one coming up against the Chargers on a short week. I believe Siemian starts and the defense gets back on track. Denver beats San Diego on Thursday night 20-6.

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