Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett’s head-scratching decisions at the very end of Monday night’s game has dominated the reaction to Seattle’s 17-16 home win, but the focus would have been on other things had the Broncos lost by more conventional means.
The team had three drives that featured goal-to-go situations, but came out of them with just three points. Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams both lost fumbles from the 1-yard-line, which was the first time a team had that happen twice in the same game since 1987, and they had a pair of false starts in the red zone. They also had multiple delay of game penalties as part of 12 overall flags that went against them over the course of the game.
Center Lloyd Cushenberry concentrated on those failings rather than the final seconds when he reflected on the loss.
“That’s the game,” Cushenberry said, via the team’s website. “You see the stats; we killed them in everything except turnovers and penalties. So when we get down to the 1-yard line, we’ve got to finish. That’s the main thing. Running it in, throwing it in — whatever. Just got to get seven. That was the game. That’s why we lost. We didn’t score when we got down to the goal line.”
Cushenberry said the team also made a late change to the play call before Williams’ fumble, but the crowd noise kept all five linemen from being aware of the switch. All in all, it adds up to a lot for the Broncos to clean up before they host the Texans in Week Two.