The good – and bad – from the Broncos first preseason game

Aug 1, 2019; Canton, OH, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio watches from the sidelines against the Atlanta Falcons during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are back.

Football returned to the field Thursday night as the Broncos hit the field for the hall of fame game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Denver’s hall of fame game got off on a good step, as Kevin Hogan walked the Broncos offense down the field, finishing in a three-yard touchdown run by Khalfani Muhammed. Rookie Noah Fant was targetted three times on the drive, making one catch for seven yards, dropping a pass and having one batted down at the line of scrimmage.

Shortly after the end of the first quarter, Drew Lock entered for Denver. But it was a rocky start for the rookie.

Lock overthrew his intended receiver twice before getting sacked on back-to-back plays. There was no rhythm or flow to his play. While Lock did have a big play negated on a swing pass that was dropped by David Williams, Lock’s play certainly struggled in game one, who may have been a bit hyped for his first NFL game.

Khalfani Muhammad finished as the Broncos best offensive weapon, but Juwann Winfree made the play of the game, catching a Brett Rypien lob with 1:26 left in the back corner of the endzone for the go-ahead touchdown.

The good

  • The induction of Pat Bowlen and Champ Bailey. NBC put together a strong broadcast showing off the talents and contributions that both Bailey and Bowlen put into the Broncos.
  • Khalfani Muhammed was the Broncos best player on offense totalling 74 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Muhammed was a versatile offensive weapon for the Broncos rushing for a touchdown on seven carries for 50 yards and catching four passes for 24 yards.
  • Malik Reed after a strong week of practice once again demonstrated his disruptive style, swimming past the Atlanta offense line for a sack in the first half. Reed finished with four tackles and a sack.
  • DeMarcus Walker recorded a sack on Thursday night. Walker’s had a strong training camp on the defense line second on the depth chart behind Adam Gotsis.
  • Rookie Dre’Mont Jones was effective in the final quarter, getting through the Atlanta offensive line and forcing an interception later on the drive.

The bad

  • Drops. The Denver Bronco wide receivers once again — like in practice — suffered on offense from dropped passes. Both Noah Fant and Juwann Winfree suffered early drops and just as it plagued the Broncos in practice the past two weeks, it hurt the Broncos again.
  • Penalties. The Broncos committed four penalties for 60 yards in the first half alone, finishing with eight total for 90 yards.
  • Brendan Langley muffed a punt in the first quarter leading to the Broncos first turnover of the game.
  • Drew Lock struggled in his debut. Locked finished 7/11 for 34 yards and never found a rhythm in the several drives he led.

Injury update

  • Defensive lineman Mike Purcell suffered a facial laceration in the game, listed initially as questionable to return.
  • Broncos linebacker Joe Jones sustained an upper arm injury and after being taken to the medical tent, was ruled out.
  • Defensive end Billy Winn (elbow) and cornerback Alijah Holder (shoulder) left the game in the second half with injuries.

What’s next?

The Broncos will take the field for preseason game No. 2 next Thursday at 6pm once again on the road as they travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks.