Trevor Siemian’s roller coaster performance isn’t enough to earn a Broncos win

The Denver Broncos had almost 100 more yards of total offense than the Tennessee Titans; they had more first downs, too, and Trevor Siemian‘s passer rating (93.1) doubled up Marcus Mariota‘s (45.4).

But when the clock struck zero, Denver’s offense only totaled 10 points, while Tennessee sat at 13.

So where does the blame fall?

On stats alone, Siemian looked to have a fantastic day, completing 69 percent of his passes for 334 yards and a touchdown, but the stats might not tell the story.

If anything, Siemian’s standout performance took awhile to get going, and that may have cost the Broncos in the long run.

For the first two quarters of the game, the Denver offense couldn’t do anything, as they failed to generate a single point, produced two three-and-outs, punted four times and fumbled away another drive.

The Broncos and their fans were hoping to see the Trevor Siemian that had starred in the second half of the Kansas City Chiefs game, especially after rookie Paxton Lynch produced an anemic performance last week, but that’s not what they got; they got the same quarterback that has helped give this Broncos team the most three-and-outs in the NFL this season.

In the second half, the Broncos finally started to get things going.

Halfway through the third quarter, Siemian received the ball at his own 27-yard line and promptly drove the offense down the field. He completed four passes for 62 yards, including a crucial 16-yard pass on third-and-15, to get Denver inside the 5.

On third-and-goal from the 4, Siemian had Demaryius Thomas breaking free to the corner of the end zone, but Siemian waited too long to unload the ball, and it fell incomplete.

Gary Kubiak decided to go for it on fourth down, but Siemian’s pass again fell incomplete, 13-0 Titans.

There was a silver lining, though.

The 13-play, six-minute drive finally gave the defense some time to rest, and they locked in, forcing three consecutive three-and-outs at one point in the second half and holding the Titans offense to zero points.

With 12:34 left in the fourth, Siemian received the ball again, and they drove right down the field for their first score of the game, a 3-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders.

On the Broncos very next drive, Siemian again drove right down the field, and on a second-and-goal from the 16-yard line, he rocketed a pass to Bennie Fowler on the goal line, but Fowler dropped the ball, forcing Denver to kick the field goal.

Thanks to another stop from the Denver defense, Siemian and the offense would get one more chance to tie up the game, receiving the ball on their own 2-yard line with 2:26 to go.

Six plays later, tight end A.J. Derby would fumble the ball at Denver’s 40-yard line, officially handing the game over to the Titans and putting the Broncos’ playoff hopes in jeopardy.

The question, though, is: Who do we blame?

Not Trevor Siemian, according to many.

Still, it’s hard to say a quarterback was effective when his offense scores 10 points all game and goes 3-11 on third downs.

With the loss, the Broncos’ playoff hopes aren’t dead, but they’re certainly on life support. Facing off against the Chiefs, Patriots and Raiders in the final three weeks will be no easy task.

If Siemian truly wants to prove that he’s the quarterback of the future, he’ll have the opportunity. But he’ll need to play well for all 12 quarters, not four or five.

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