Question: Why didn’t Broncos coach Vic Fangio use any of his timeouts as Tennessee was moving into position for the game-winning field goal?
Answer: Yikes, how Fangio handled the final two-plus minutes certainly left him open to criticism because it’s not like a coach can carry over timeouts to the next game. By my look, Fangio had four chances to call a timeout as a way to save time for his offense if Tennessee punched through the go-ahead field goal. He used none, which left only 17 seconds for Drew Lock to run three plays.
Q: Lock made his first Week 1 start and only the sixth of his career. How did it go?
A: Lock would probably want two throws back: He missed tight end Nick Vannett in the end zone (although under duress) and he overshot receiver DaeSean Hamilton downfield in the fourth quarter. Three of Lock’s 10 incompletions were drops. What was notable is how comfortable Lock is on designed rollouts, especially when he’s not afraid to throw it back toward the middle of the field like on tight end Noah Fant’s nine-yard touchdown.
Q: How concerning are the injuries to cornerback A.J. Bouye (shoulder) and running back Phillip Lindsay (toe).
A: Very concerning. Remember, this is a team that started the season without much depth. When Bouye was injured — he appeared to land hard on his shoulder near the Broncos’ sideline — it meant two rookies (Michael Ojemudia and Essang Bassey) were the Nos. 2-3 corners behind Bryce Callahan. Losing a No. 1 corner like Bouye is gigantic. The Broncos do have depth at running back to overcome a Lindsay absence, but again, Royce Freeman isn’t as good as Lindsay.
Q: The Broncos went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line in the second quarter. Right call?
A: Yes, the right call by Fangio to let the offense finish off a 75-yard drive and take a 14-7 lead. The play-call? Not great. On the previous two plays, the Broncos used “heavy” personnel (three tight ends), but Lock threw incomplete to Vannett and Melvin Gordon was stopped. On fourth down, the Broncos used three receivers. At the snap, the play looked clunky. Lock at first looked like it was a designed keeper, but then he looked left and shoveled a pass to tight end Jake Butt, who actually ran into left guard Dalton Risner.
Q: Gordon rushed 15 times for 78 yards. What stood out about the Broncos’ new running back?
A: Gordon and Lindsay started the game together and Lindsay had seven first-half carries before departing. What stood out about Gordon is how he’s decisive when making a cut-back move and his speed when he gets his wheels turning. He gained 25 yards with a nifty run. Overall, the Broncos’ running game averaged 4.1 yards per attempt (26 carries-107 yards).