Game Day Review: Broncos fall to the Rams in fourth straight loss
DENVER — The Broncos defense gave up some big plays to the high-powered Los Angeles Rams offense, but mostly held the team to field goals when it really mattered.
However, the Broncos offense was a different story and couldn’t get anything going until a late game rally.
But they fell short as the Broncos lost their fourth straight game, 23-20.
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Temperatures were in the 20s throughout the game making it the second coldest October Broncos game on record at kickoff.
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The Los Angeles Rams won the cointoss and elected to defer to give the Broncos the ball to start the game.
And it was not a good start for the offense.
Case Keenum handed it to Royce Freeman for a total of three yards but on third down, Keenum nearly fumbled the ball, picked it back up and threw it in a panic and it was nearly picked off.
The Broncos were forced to punt.
Meanwhile the Rams came out swinging as Jared Goff had a 14-yard gain and then found Brandin Cooks for a 44-yard completion. The Rams made it down the field in 7 plays, 63 yards in a little over two minutes to take the early lead with a field goal 3-0.
On the second series, Keenum threw a quick screen pass to Phillip Lindsay for 12-yards on first down. But the Broncos would be forced to punt again as Keenum threw it short of the sticks to Emmanuel Sanders.
The Rams once again quickly made it down the field with big gains to bring them into Broncos territory. But the Broncos defense was able to hold them to a field goal to make it 6-0.
The Broncos offense showed signs of life on the next series. Keenum found Lindsay for a short pass over the middle before Keenum threw it down field to Sanders for a 44-yard touchdown. Sanders was penalized for a taunting call.
But after review, officials overturned the call to make it first and goal at the one yard line. But with the taunting penalty, the Broncos were pushed back to the 16-yard line.
Freeman and Lindsay had short gains and Keenum overthrew Jeff Heuerman to end the drive.
The Broncos had to settle for a field goal to end the quarter. 6-3 Rams in the lead.
The Rams once again quickly got into Broncos territory to open the second quarter after Todd Gurley took a carry for 29-yards. On fourth and inches, instead of going for a field goal, the Rams decided to go for it.
Goff gave it to Gurley who ran it into the end zone untouched and gave the Rams a 10-point lead.
Keenum and the offense were able to get the ball into field goal range on the next series, but a Garett Bolles holding call set the Broncos back to first and 20, and on the next play Keenum found Devontae Booker for an 18-yard catch but the drive was killed by a holding penalty on Max Garcia.
On second and 20, Keenum threw an incomplete pass over the middle and a short pass to Heuerman for a 11-yards to set up a punt and the boos came out at Mile High Stadium.
When Goff and the Rams came back out, Von Miller recorded his first sack in weeks as he took down the Rams quarterback. Goff had the honor of becoming the 40th quarterback Miller has sacked.
The Rams were forced to punt.
The Broncos offense finally converted a third down with less than two minutes left in the half thanks to a nine-yard gain by Lindsay.
After a quick handoff to Booker for eight yards and a seven-yard pass to Matt LaCosse, Keenum started overthrowing his receivers.
On the next play he overthrew a wide-open LaCosse and then then went deep for Sanders who was double covered on third and three and was also overthrown.
The Broncos went for it on 4th and three, and Keenum took a sack for a loss of 11 yards.
After Bradley Chubb sacked Goff, the Rams were forced to punt and the Broncos had the ball with 11 seconds left in the half.
After the punt, Chad Kelly came on the field, much to the excitement of fans at Mile High. Turns out Keenum was being evaluated for a concussion at the time.
The Rams had a 13-3 lead at halftime.
The Rams received the ball to start the second half. The Rams offense got things going quickly before two incomplete passes put them in a third and 10 situation and the Broncos forced the punt.
But the punt was downed at the two-yard line giving the Broncos horrible field position.
On second down, Keenum threw the longest passing play of the season so far for the Broncos offense, finding Demaryius Thomas for a 45-yard gain.
As exciting as that play was, Keenum was sacked on third down for a loss of 14 and the Broncos were forced to punt.
Gurley continued to own the Broncos defense on the Rams’ next series. Tramaine Brock missed the tackle on third-and-1 to allow Gurley to pick up 21-yards. Then, once the Rams made it into the red zone, Gurley ran it in for another touchdown.
The Rams would extend their lead by 17 with six minutes left in the third. 20-3.
At this point in the game, the Broncos have more penalty yards (51) than rushing yards (43).
It was Darian Stewart to the rescue as he intercepted Goff.
That interception would set up first-and-10 from the 12-yard line and Sanders would stretch into the end zone for the Broncos’ first touchdown of the game.
It cut the Rams’ lead to 20-10 going into the fourth quarter.
The Rams had a third and one to start the fourth quarter, and Gurley continued to own the defense as he ran untouched up the middle with a 14-yard gain and a first down.
Gurley continued to add to his total yards as the game reached a career high for single-game rushing yards.
But Chubb came to the rescue again with his third sack on Goff for a 10-yard loss.
The Rams went for a field goal and missed.
Keenum started to make things interesting in the fourth quarter as he found Courtland Sutton for a 41-yard pass. The pass would help set up another field goal by Brandon McManus and make it a one touchdown game.
It was 20-13 Rams.
The defense held the Rams offense to a field goal on the next series as the Rams extended their lead to 23-13 with less than three minutes left in the game.
However, the Broncos failed to convert on the onside kick and the Rams would win the game.AlertMe