Vance Joseph confident team will rebound from loss to Kansas City
Calling his team “different,” coach Vance Joseph said Tuesday he is confident the Broncos will quickly rebound from their 27-23 loss to Kansas City and begin focusing on Sunday’s game at the New York Jets.
“We’re all disappointed we didn’t win the game because (the team) played their hearts out,” Joseph said. “The facts are that we’ve been in four tough football games and we’re 2-2. We have a lot of football left. I think this league is about playing your best football late and I think we’re heading that way.”
The Broncos have played three games decided by three or fewer points, tied with Tennessee and Cleveland for most in the NFL.
The Broncos rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Seattle (27-24) and Oakland (20-19), but squandered a 10-point fourth quarter lead against Kansas City. Of the losses to Baltimore and the Chiefs, who are a combined 7-1, Joseph said: “We played good football, but we have to make more plays, we have to be more detailed and we obviously have to coach better (and) help our team win these close games. That’s the bottom line. … Our big-time players have to make plays in these kinds of (close) games to win.”
Joseph would not single out any player who needed to improve, but the Broncos have no takeaways in the last three games, linebacker Von Miller has only two pressures and hits apiece during the two-game skid and quarterback Case Keenum’s six interceptions are tied for second-most in the league.
Impressed with Freeman. Rookie running back Royce Freeman played only 18 snaps against the Chiefs, but gained 67 yards on eight rushes. “Royce, the last two weeks, is hitting his stride,” Joseph said. “I’m looking forward to getting him more touches.”
Fourth quarter play selection. Joseph said he was “OK,” with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s play-calling that resulted in a three-and-out with the Broncos leading 23-20.
“Obviously, you can walk in the next day and question the play calls, but it’s really about getting first downs,” Joseph said. “We went three-and-out. Not good. We didn’t burn any clock, not good vs. that offense. We can look back and say, ‘We could’ve handed the ball off two more times that drive and made some yards and burned some clock.’ But that’s hindsight.”
Footnotes. Joseph said right tackle Jared Veldheer remains under evaluation for a left knee injury sustained in Monday’s first half. … To fill the practice squad spot vacated by tight end Brian Parker (promoted to the roster on Friday), the Broncos signed tight end Temarrick Hemingway, who played eight games for the Rams in 2016.
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