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2019 Denver Broncos season
Owner Estate of Pat Bowlen
Head Coach Vic Fangio
General Manager John Elway
Home Field Empower Field at Mile High
Results
Record 7–9
Place 2nd AFC West
Playoff Finish Did not qualify
Pro Bowlers WR Courtland Sutton
LB Von Miller
Timeline
Previous Season Next Season
2018 2020

The 2019 season was the Denver Broncos' 50th in the National Football League (NFL) and their 60th overall.

This marked the Broncos' first season under new ownership since 1984, as longtime owner Pat Bowlen died during the offseason. The team underwent numerous coaching changes following the end of the 2018 season, as Vic Fangio became the Broncos' third different head coach since 2014. After their first 0–4 start since 1999, the Broncos went 7–5 the rest of the way, finishing at 7–9 and improving on their 6–10 record from 2018; however, they missed the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. The team struggled with poor offensive performances, ranking in the bottom five in several statistical categories. The team underwent a quarterback carousel, and for a fourth consecutive season, scored 30 or more points only once. Template:TOC limit

Coaching changes

  • December 31, 2018: One day after the Broncos' 2018 regular-season finale, head coach Vance Joseph was fired, after posting an 11–21 record in his two seasons as the Broncos' head coach.[1]
  • January 10: Vic Fangio was named the 17th head coach in Broncos' franchise history, replacing Vance Joseph. This will be Fangio's first head coaching gig after 19 years as a defensive assistant. Fangio previously served as a defensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers from 1995–1998, the Indianapolis Colts from 1999–2001, the Houston Texans from 2002–2005, the San Francisco 49ers from 2011–2014 and the Chicago Bears from 2015–2018.[2]
  • January 14: Mike Munchak was hired as the offensive line coach. Munchak served in the same capacity with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2014–2018.[3]
  • January 15: Brandon Staley was hired as the outside linebackers coach. Staley served in the same capacity with the Chicago Bears during the previous two seasons (2017–2018), alongside current Broncos' head coach Vic Fangio.[4] Ed Donatell was hired as the defensive coordinator. This will be Donatell's third stint with the Broncos, having coached the defensive backs from 1995–1999 and 2009–2010. Donatell also served as a defensive backs alongside Vic Fangio during the previous eight seasons—with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011–2014 and the Chicago Bears from 2015–2018.[5]
  • January 16: Rich Scangarello, who spent 2017 and 2018 as the San Francisco 49ers' quarterbacks coach, was hired as the offensive coordinator.[6]
  • January 17: Wade Harman was hired as the tight ends coach. Harman worked in the same capacity with the Atlanta Falcons from 2015–2018.[7] Renaldo Hill was hired as the defensive backs coach. This will be Hill's second season as an assistant coach, having worked in the same capacity with the Miami Dolphins in 2018. As a player, Hill was also a Broncos' safety from 2009–2010.[8]
  • January 22: Chris Kuper, who was a Broncos' offensive lineman from 2006–2013, was hired as an assistant offensive line coach. Kuper spent the previous three season (2016–2018) as a Miami Dolphins' offensive assistant.[9]
  • January 31: T. C. McCartney was hired as the quarterbacks coach. McCartney served as an offensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, 2017 and 2018—the latter two seasons alongside current offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.[10] McCartney replaced Klint Kubiak, who accepted the same position with the Minnesota Vikings two weeks earlier.[11]

Front office changes

On January 14, Gary Kubiak, the team's senior personnel advisor during the previous two seasons, departed for an assistant head coach/offensive advisor position with the Minnesota Vikings.[11]

Death of owner Pat Bowlen

On June 13, owner Pat Bowlen died at the age of 75, following a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Bowlen, who had served as the team's majority owner since 1984, relinquished control of the team prior to the 2014 season after privately battling the disease five years prior. This resulted in Bowlen transferring control to a three-person group known as "The Pat Bowlen Trust," consisting of team president/CEO Joe Ellis, team counsel Rich Slivka and Denver attorney Mary Kelly.[12] Bowlen was the fastest owner to reach 300 wins, and during Bowlen's 35 seasons as majority owner, the team posted the league's second-best winning percentage (354–240–1, .596), behind only the New England Patriots. The team also reached seven Super Bowls, winning three (XXXII, XXXIII and 50) and suffered a league-low seven losing seasons. Bowlen's death occurred two months before he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[13]

One year before Pat Bowlen's death, two of his children expressed interest in succeeding as the Broncos' controlling owner—Beth Bowlen Wallace and Brittany Bowlen. On December 2, Brittany Bowlen, 29, made her return to the Broncos' organization with a senior management position of vice president of strategic initiatives, following the end of her employment with McKinsey & Company. Ellis stated that selling the team remained an option, even with Brittany Bowlen's return to the organization.[14]

Roster changes

Free agents

Unrestricted

Position Player 2019 team Notes
LB Shaquil Barrett Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed with the Buccaneers on March 15[15]
CB Tramaine Brock Arizona Cardinals signed with the Cardinals on April 2[16]
G Max Garcia Arizona Cardinals signed with the Cardinals on March 16[17]
LB Jerrol Garcia-Williams None originally an ERFA
C Gino Gradkowski None
TE Jeff Heuerman Denver Broncos re-signed March 15[18]
QB Kevin Hogan None originally an RFA, re-signed March 21,[19] waived August 31[20]
DE Zach Kerr Arizona Cardinals re-signed March 16,[21] released August 26[22]
TE Matt LaCosse New England Patriots originally an ERFA, signed with the Patriots on March 14[23]
LB Brandon Marshall Oakland Raiders signed with the Raiders on March 28[24]
LB Deiontrez Mount None
C Matt Paradis Carolina Panthers signed with the Panthers on March 13[25]
TE Brian Parker New Orleans Saints signed with the Saints on October 13
DT Domata Peko Baltimore Ravens signed with Ravens on November 12
LB Shane Ray Baltimore Ravens signed with the Ravens on May 17[26]
CB Bradley Roby Houston Texans signed with the Texans on March 13[27]
CB Jamar Taylor Seattle Seahawks signed with the Seahawks on May 9[28]
WR Jordan Taylor Minnesota Vikings originally an RFA, signed with the Vikings on April 13[29]
G Billy Turner Green Bay Packers signed with the Packers on March 14[30]
OT Jared Veldheer New England Patriots signed with the Patriots on May 13,[31] retired May 21[32]

Restricted and exclusive-rights

Position Player Tag 2019 team Notes
DE Shelby Harris RFA Denver Broncos assigned tender on March 7,[33] resigned April 2[34]
LB Joseph Jones ERFA Denver Broncos assigned tender on March 7,[35] resigned April 2[34]
LS Casey Kreiter RFA Denver Broncos re-signed March 7[36]
WR Tim Patrick ERFA Denver Broncos assigned tender on March 7,[35] resigned April 2[34]
S Dymonte Thomas ERFA TBD assigned tender on March 7,[35] re-signed April 2,[34] waived August 31[20]
OT Elijah Wilkinson ERFA Denver Broncos assigned tender on March 7,[35] resigned April 2[34]
Restricted Free Agent (RFA): Players with three accrued seasons whose contracts expired at the end of the previous season
Exclusive-Rights Free Agent (ERFA): Players with two or fewer accrued seasons whose contracts expired at the end of the previous season

Signings

Position Player 2018 team(s) Notes
QB Brandon Allen Los Angeles Rams signed September 1[37]
LB Jeremiah Attaochu New York Jets signed October 1[38]
CB De'Vante Bausby Philadelphia Eagles signed April 4,[39] placed on injured reserve October 8[40]
FB/TE Andrew Beck None signed September 1[37]
PK Taylor Bertolet New York Jets signed April 29,[41] waived July 23[42]
OT Adam Bisnowaty Minnesota Vikings signed August 9,[43] waived August 31[20]
WR Fred Brown Practice squad promoted from the practice squad on September 24,[44]
CB Bryce Callahan Chicago Bears signed March 15[45]
CB Rashard Causey None signed August 11,[46] waived August 31[20]
FB/TE Orson Charles Cleveland Browns signed August 21,[47] released August 31,[20]re-signed November 19,[48] waived November 22[49]
WR River Cracraft Denver Broncos initially waived September 1,[37] re-signed September 11,[50]waived September 24[44]
WR Steven Dunbar Jr. San Francisco 49ers signed July 18,[51] waived August 31[20]
OT Chaz Green New Orleans SaintsOakland Raiders signed June 3,[52] released August 31[20]
CB Devontae Harris Cincinnati Bengals signed September 2[53]
DE Jonathan Harris None originally undrafted, signed by the Chicago Bears after the draft,

claimed off waivers on October 23[54]

TE Bug Howard Atlanta Legends signed May 13,[55] placed on injured reserve August 21[47]
CB Kareem Jackson Houston Texans signed March 13,[56] suspended for the final two games[57]
OT Ja'Wuan James Miami Dolphins signed March 13[56]
CB Cyrus Jones Baltimore Ravens claimed off waivers on November 13,[58]designated as reserve/non-football injury on November 26[59]
G Tyler Jones None signed August 21,[47] waived August 31,[20]assigned to the practice squad on September 1[37]
C/G Corey Levin Tennessee Titans signed September 1,[37] waived September 14[60]
C Patrick Morris Pittsburgh Steelers claimed off waivers on December 3[61]
LB Corey Nelson Atlanta Falcons signed September 2,[53] placed on injured reserve November 1[62]
LB Dadi Nicolas Washington Redskins claimed off waivers on August 21,[55]designated as waived/injured on August 31[20]
NT Kyle Peko Buffalo Bills waived by the Bills on November 2 and by the Indianapolis Colts on November 9,

signed by the Broncos on December 14[63]

NT Mike Purcell Salt Lake Stallions signed April 22[64]
RB Theo Riddick Detroit Lions signed August 4,[65] placed on injured reserve September 2[53]
OT Jake Rodgers Baltimore Ravens signed April 22,[64] waived September 1,[37]assigned to the practice squad on September 3,[66]

promoted to the active roster on September 14[60]

CB Coty Sensabaugh Pittsburgh Steelers signed October 8,[40] waived November 13[58]
WR Diontae Spencer Ottawa Redblacks signed September 1[37]
P Justin Vogel Cleveland Browns signed July 23,[42] waived July 27[67]
RB David Williams Jacksonville Jaguars signed July 19,[68] waived August 31[20]
DE DeShawn Williams Indianapolis Colts signed May 13,[55] waived August 31[20]
WR Nick Williams Los Angeles RamsTennessee Titans signed July 26,[69] released August 26[22]
DE Billy Winn None signed April 22,[64] placed on injured reserve August 4[65]
WR Kelvin McKnight “None” signed to Practice Squad on October 23

Trades

  • February 13: The Broncos agreed in principle to trade for former Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco in exchange for their 2019 fourth-round selection.[70]
  • March 7: The Broncos traded quarterback Case Keenum and a 2020 seventh-round selection to the Washington Redskins in exchange for the Redskins' 2020 sixth-round selection.[71] This trade, along with the aforementioned trade for Joe Flacco, became official on March 13—the first day of the 2019 league year.[56]
  • April 27: The Broncos acquired linebacker Dekoda Watson as part of a trade that sent their fifth-round selection to the San Francisco 49erssee draft trades below. This would have been Watson's second stint with the Broncos—he previously played one season with the Broncos in 2016 before signing with the 49ers in 2017;[72] however, he was later released on August 26.[22]
  • August 30: The Broncos traded their 2020 sixth-round selection to the New England Patriots in exchange for cornerback Duke Dawson and the Patriots' 2020 seventh-round selection.[73]
  • October 22: The Broncos traded wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and their 2020 fifth-round selection to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the 49ers' 2020 third-and fourth-round selections.[74]

Departures

Position Player Notes
S Su'a Cravens waived August 31[37]
QB Garrett Grayson waived May 2[75]
WR Chad Hansen waived May 2[76]
LB Jeff Holland waived August 11[46]
WR Andre Holmes designated as waived/injured on January 24[77]
OT Andreas Knappe waived April 15[78]
CB Craig Mager waived April 18[79]
S Darian Stewart released on March 7[80]

Draft

2019 Denver Broncos Draft
style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Round style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Selection style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Player style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Position style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |College style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Notes
1 20 Noah Fant TE Iowa signed May 23[81]
2 41 Dalton Risner OT Kansas State signed July 16[82]
42 Drew Lock QB Missouri signed July 18,[83] placed on injured reserve September 2,[53]reinstated to the active roster on November 30,[84]

started during the Week 13 game on December 1[85]

3 71 Dre'mont Jones DT Ohio State signed June 11[86]
5 156 Justin Hollins LB Oregon signed May 14[87]
6 187 Juwann Winfree WR Colorado signed May 13,[88] placed on injured reserve December 14[63]

Draft trades

Trade partner Broncos give Broncos receive Source
Baltimore Ravens Original 2019 fourth-round selection—No. 113 Quarterback Joe Flacco [70]
Cincinnati Bengals 2019 second-round selection (No. 52—from PIT)2019 fourth-round selection (No. 125—from HOU)

Original 2019 sixth-round selection—No. 182||2019 second-round selection—No. 42||[89]

Carolina Panthers 2019 sixth-round selection (No. 212—from SF)2019 seventh-round selection (No. 237—from HOU) 2019 sixth-round selection—No. 187 [90]
Houston Texans Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas

2019 seventh-round selection (No. 220—from NYG)

2019 fourth-round selection (No. 125—later traded to CIN)2019 seventh-round selection (No. 237—later traded to CAR) [91]
Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Trevor Siemian

2018 seventh-round selection

2019 fifth-round selection—No. 156 [92]
New York Giants Punter Riley Dixon 2019 seventh-round selection (No. 220—later traded to HOU) [93]
Philadelphia Eagles Original 2019 seventh-round selection—No. 222 Guard Allen Barbre [94]
Pittsburgh Steelers Original 2019 first-round selection—No. 10 2019 first-round selection—No. 20

2019 second-round selection (No. 52—later traded to CIN) 2020 third-round selection||[95]

San Francisco 49ers Original 2019 fifth-round selection—No. 148 Linebacker Dekoda Watson

2019 sixth-round selection (No. 212—later traded to CAR)

[72]

Undrafted free agents

All undrafted free agents were signed after the 2019 NFL Draft concluded on April 27,[96] unless noted otherwise.

2019 Denver Broncos Undrafted Free Agents
style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Player style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Position style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |College style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Notes
Calvin Anderson OT Texas originally signed and waived by the New England Patriots,

then signed and waived by the New York Jets, signed October 1,[38] on final roster

George Aston FB Pittsburgh waived August 31[20]
Quinn Bailey OT Arizona State waived August 31,[20] assigned to the practice squad on September 1,[37]promoted to the active roster on December 24,[97] on final roster
Trinity Benson WR East Central waived August 31[20]
Ryan Crozier C UConn designated as waived/injured on August 31[20]
Joe Dineen LB Kansas designated as waived/injured on August 31[20]
Austin Fort TE Wyoming placed on injured reserve August 9[43]
Ahmad Gooden LB Samford waived August 31,[20] assigned to the practice squad on September 1,[37]promoted to the active roster on November 22,[49] waived December 14[63]
Romell Guerrier WR Florida Tech designated as reserve/retired on July 20[98]
Alijah Holder CB Stanford waived August 31,[20] assigned to the practice squad on September 1,[37]promoted to the active roster on December 17,[57] on final roster
Devontae Jackson RB West Georgia waived August 31[20]
Nathan Jacobson OT UNLV signed May 13,[55] waived July 19[68]
Jaylen Johnson DT Washington waived May 13[55]
John Leglue OT Tulane waived August 31[20]
Kelvin McKnight WR Samford waived August 31[20]
Malik Reed LB Nevada made the Week 1[20] and final roster
Brett Rypien QB Boise State waived August 31,[20] assigned to the practice squad on September 1,[37]promoted to the active roster on November 1,[62] waived November 30[84]

assigned to the practice squad on December 2[99]

Deyon Sizer DE Colorado State – Pueblo signed May 13,[55] waived July 26,[69] re-signed August 4,[100]waived August 31,[20] re-signed December 14,[63] on final roster
Moral Stephens TE Florida signed July 27,[67] waived August 31[20]
Shakial Taylor CB Kansas originally signed and waived by the Indianapolis Colts,

claimed off waivers on November 26,[59] on final roster

Brian Wallace OT Arkansas waived May 13[55]
Josh Watson LB Colorado State waived September 1,[37] assigned to the practice squad on September 3,[66]promoted to the active roster on November 1[62]
Jamarius Way WR South Alabama signed July 20,[98] waived August 4[100]

Suspensions

On December 17, safety Kareem Jackson was suspended for the final two games of the 2019 season for violating the league's Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse. Jackson's suspension stems from a September 19 arrest for driving while ability impaired, which he promptly reported to the team to be investigated by the NFL.[57]

Injuries

  • May 14: Guard Nico Falah was placed on injured reserve after rupturing his Achilles tendon during organized team activities (OTAs).[101]
  • August 4: Defensive end Billy Winn was placed on injured reserve after tearing his triceps during the team's win over the Atlanta Falcons in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.[65]
  • August 8: Undrafted rookie tight end Austin Fort tore the ACL in his knee during the team's second preseason game at the Seattle Seahawks, and was placed on injured reserve.[43]
  • September 2: Two days after trimming their roster to a league-mandated 53 players, the Broncos placed three players on injured reserve: quarterback Drew Lock, running back Theo Riddick and tight end Jake Butt.[53] Lock, the team's second-round draft selection, sprained the thumb on his throwing hand during the team's fourth preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.[102] The Broncos used one of two designation for return (DFR) tags on Lock (the other on wide receiver Tim Patrick), and he was later reinstated to the active roster on November 30.[84] Riddick injured his shoulder during the team's second preseason game at the Seattle Seahawks.[103] Butt underwent a follow-up surgery following a setback in the recovery from an ACL tear in his knee that he suffered during the 2018 season.[104]
  • September 11: Wide receiver Tim Patrick was placed on injured reserve due to a fractured hand that he suffered during the team's Week 1 loss to the Oakland Raiders.[50] He was later given a designation for return on October 30, and began practicing that same day. Patrick later returned to the active roster for the team's Week 11 game at the Minnesota Vikings.[105]
  • September 25: The Broncos announced that cornerback Bryce Callahan would initially miss at least four weeks due to a procedure on his injured foot. Callahan initially suffered the injury as a member of the Chicago Bears during Week 14 of the 2018 season, and experienced complications from the surgery that he underwent and missed the entire preseason.[106] However, Callahan was later placed on the season-ending injured reserve on November 15.[105]
  • September 29: Linebacker Bradley Chubb suffered a partially torn ACL in his knee during the team's Week 4 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and was placed on injured reserve two days later (October 1).[38]
  • October 8: Cornerback De'Vante Bausby was placed on injured reserve, two days after suffering a cervical sprain during the team's Week 5 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Teammate A. J. Johnson inadvertently collided with Bausby while making a tackle.[40]
  • November 1: Quarterback Joe Flacco and linebacker Corey Nelson were each placed on injured reserve. Four days earlier (October 28), the team announced that Flacco sustained a herniated disc in his neck, one day after the team's Week 8 loss to the Indianapolis Colts (October 27), and was subsequently ruled out for the Broncos' Week 9 game vs. the Cleveland Browns. Nelson suffered torn biceps during the loss to the Colts.[62]
  • November 17: Fullback Andy Janovich was placed on injured reserve, two days after he dislocated his elbow during the team's Week 11 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.[48]
  • December 3: Defensive end Derek Wolfe was placed on injured reserve, two days after dislocating his elbow during the team's Week 13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.[61]
  • December 24: Defensive end Adam Gotsis was placed on injured reserve, following knee surgery that caused him to miss the Broncos' Week 16 win over the Detroit Lions.[97]

Staff

2019 Denver Broncos final staff
Front Office
  • Owner – Estate of Pat Bowlen
  • President and CEO – Joe Ellis
  • President of Football Operations/General Manager – John Elway
  • Director of Player Personnel – Matt Russell
  • Director of Pro Personnel – A.J. Durso
  • Director of Football Administration – Mike Sullivan
  • Director of Team Administration – Mark Thewes
  • Director of Player Development – Ray Jackson
  • Director of Football Analytics – Mitch Tanney
  • Director of College Scouting – Brian Stark

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator – Rich Scangarello
  • Quarterbacks – T. C. McCartney
  • Running Backs – Curtis Modkins
  • Wide Receivers – Zach Azzanni
  • Tight Ends – Wade Harman
  • Offensive Line – Mike Munchak
  • Assistant Offensive Line – Chris Kuper
  • Offensive Quality Control – Rob Calabrese
  • Offensive Quality Control – Justin Rascati
  Defensive Coaches
  • Defensive Coordinator – Ed Donatell
  • Defensive Line – Bill Kollar
  • Linebackers – Reggie Herring
  • Outside Linebackers – Brandon Staley
  • Defensive Backs – Renaldo Hill
  • Defensive Assistant – Chris Beake
  • Assistant to the Head Coach/Defensive Quality Control – Mike Hiestand
  • Defensive Quality Control – Nathaniel Willingham

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams Coordinator – Tom McMahon
  • Assistant Special Teams – Chris Gould

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Loren Landow
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Tyler Hill
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Anthony Lomando
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Cedric Smith

Final roster

2019 Denver Broncos final roster
Quarterbacks
  •  2 Brandon Allen
  •  3 Drew Lock

Running backs

  • 23 Devontae Booker
  • 28 Royce Freeman
  • 30 Phillip Lindsay

Wide receivers

  • 19 Fred Brown
  • 17 DaeSean Hamilton
  • 81 Tim Patrick
  • 11 Diontae Spencer
  • 14 Courtland Sutton

Tight ends

  • 83 Andrew Beck
  • 87 Noah Fant
  • 84 Troy Fumagalli
  • 82 Jeff Heuerman
Offensive linemen
  • 76 Calvin Anderson T
  • 75 Quinn Bailey T
  • 72 Garett Bolles T
  • 70 Ja'Wuan James T
  • 65 Ronald Leary G
  • 60 Connor McGovern C
  • 50 Patrick Morris C
  • 66 Dalton Risner G
  • 69 Jake Rodgers T
  • 71 Austin Schlottmann G
  • 68 Elijah Wilkinson T

Defensive linemen

  • 92 Jonathan Harris DE
  • 96 Shelby Harris NT
  • 93 Dre'Mont Jones DE
  • 77 Kyle Peko NT
  • 98 Mike Purcell NT
  • 91 Deyon Sizer DE
  • 57 DeMarcus Walker DE
Linebackers
  • 97 Jeremiah Attaochu OLB
  • 51 Todd Davis ILB
  • 52 Justin Hollins OLB
  • 47 Josey Jewell ILB
  • 45 A. J. Johnson ILB
  • 43 Joseph Jones ILB
  • 58 Von Miller OLB
  • 59 Malik Reed OLB
  • 54 Josh Watson ILB

Defensive backs

  • 20 Duke Dawson CB
  • 25 Chris Harris Jr. CB
  • 27 Davontae Harris CB
  • 49 Alijah Holder CB
  • 36 Trey Marshall SS
  • 34 Will Parks FS
  • 31 Justin Simmons FS
  • 38 Shakial Taylor CB
  • 26 Isaac Yiadom CB

Special teams

  • 42 Casey Kreiter LS
  •  8 Brandon McManus K
  •  6 Colby Wadman P
Reserve lists
  • 41 De'Vante Bausby CB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 80 Jake Butt TE (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 29 Bryce Callahan CB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 55 Bradley Chubb OLB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 74 Nico Falah G (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  •  5 Joe Flacco QB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 89 Austin Fort TE (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 99 Adam Gotsis DE (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 22 Kareem Jackson SS (Susp.)
  • 32 Andy Janovich FB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 39 Cyrus Jones CB (NF-Inj.) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 56 Corey Nelson ILB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 27 Horace Richardson CB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 21 Theo Riddick RB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 35 Dymonte Thomas FS (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 15 Juwann Winfree WR (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 90 Billy Winn DE (IR) Injury icon 2.svg
  • 95 Derek Wolfe DE (IR) Injury icon 2.svg


Practice squad

  • 67 Ka'John Armstrong T
  • 12 Trinity Benson WR
  • 53 Malik Carney OLB
  • 85 Bug Howard TE
  • 37 P. J. Locke S
  • 16 Kelvin McKnight WR
  • 33 Khalfani Muhammad RB
  • 35 Tyvis Powell S
  •  4 Brett Rypien QB
  • 74 Jay-Tee Tiuli DT


Rookies in italics
53 Active, 18 Inactive, 10 Practice squad

Preseason

The Broncos played the Atlanta Falcons in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, August 1, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The Broncos were represented by late owner Pat Bowlen, who died on June 13, as well as cornerback Champ Bailey. It marked the Broncos' fourth appearance in the game and the first since 2004, when John Elway was inducted into the Hall of Fame.[107]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue NFL.com

recap

HOF Template:Dow tooltip vs. Atlanta Falcons W 14–10 1–0 Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium Recap
1 Template:Dow tooltip at Seattle Seahawks L 14–22 1–1 CenturyLink Field Recap
2 Template:Dow tooltip San Francisco 49ers L 15–24 1–2 Broncos Stadium at Mile High Recap
3 Template:Dow tooltip at Los Angeles Rams L 6–10 1–3 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Recap
4 Template:Dow tooltip Arizona Cardinals W 20–7 2–3 Broncos Stadium at Mile High Recap

Regular season

Schedule

The Broncos' schedule was announced on April 17. This marked the first time since 2010 in which the Broncos opened the season on the road.[108]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue NFL.com

recap

1 Template:Dow tooltip at Oakland Raiders L 16–24 0–1 RingCentral Coliseum Recap
2 September 15 Chicago Bears L 14–16 0–2 Empower Field at Mile High Recap
3 September 22 at Green Bay Packers L 16–27 0–3 Lambeau Field Recap
4 September 29 Jacksonville Jaguars L 24–26 0–4 Empower Field at Mile High Recap
5 October 6 at Los Angeles Chargers W 20–13 1–4 Dignity Health Sports Park Recap
6 October 13 Tennessee Titans W 16–0 2–4 Empower Field at Mile High Recap
7 Template:Dow tooltip Kansas City Chiefs L 6–30 2–5 Empower Field at Mile High Recap
8 October 27 at Indianapolis Colts L 13–15 2–6 Lucas Oil Stadium Recap
9 November 3 Cleveland Browns W 24–19 3–6 Empower Field at Mile High Recap
10 Bye
11 November 17 at Minnesota Vikings L 23–27 3–7 U.S. Bank Stadium Recap
12 November 24 at Buffalo Bills L 3–20 3–8 New Era Field Recap
13 December 1 Los Angeles Chargers W 23–20 4–8 Empower Field at Mile High Recap
14 December 8 at Houston Texans W 38–24 5–8 NRG Stadium Recap
15 December 15 at Kansas City Chiefs L 3–23 5–9 Arrowhead Stadium Recap
16 December 22 Detroit Lions W 27–17 6–9 Empower Field at Mile High Recap
17 December 29 Oakland Raiders W 16–15 7–9 Empower Field at Mile High Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

Week 1: at Oakland Raiders

Week One: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 0 0 6 10 16
Raiders 7 7 0 10 24

at RingCentral Coliseum, Oakland, California

  • Date: Template:Dow tooltip
  • Game time: 8:20 p.m. MDT/7:20 p.m. PDT
  • Game weather: Breezy, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 52,359
  • Referee: Craig Wrolstad
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick and Dianna Russini
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • OAK – Tyrell Williams 8-yard pass from Derek Carr (Daniel Carlson kick), 8:52. Raiders 7–0. Drive: 10 plays, 72 yards, 6:08.

Second quarter

  • OAK – Josh Jacobs 2-yard run (Daniel Carlson kick), 3:30. Raiders 14–0. Drive: 13 plays, 95 yards, 8:35.

Third quarter

  • DEN – Brandon McManus 26-yard field goal, 9:20. Raiders 14–3. Drive: 12 plays, 67 yards, 5:40.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 26-yard field goal, 3:42. Raiders 14–6. Drive: 10 plays, 68 yards, 3:21.

Forth quarter

  • OAK – Josh Jacobs 4-yard run (Daniel Carlson kick), 11:52. Raiders 21–6. Drive: 5 plays, 60 yards, 2:59.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 39-yard field goal, 8:39. Raiders 21–9. Drive: 6 plays, 54 yards, 3:13.
  • OAK – Daniel Carlson 29-yard field goal, 4:38. Raiders 24–9. Drive: 6 plays, 19 yards, 4:01.
  • DEN – Emmanuel Sanders 1-yard pass from Joe Flacco (Brandon McManus kick), 2:15. Raiders 24–16. Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 2:23.

Top passers

Top rushers

  • DEN – Royce Freeman – 10 rushes, 56 yards
  • OAK – Josh Jacobs – 23 rushes, 85 yards, 2 TD

Top receivers

  • DEN – Courtland Sutton – 7 receptions, 120 yards
  • OAK – Tyrell Williams – 6 receptions, 105 yards, TD

In the season opener, the Broncos made their final visit to Oakland, prior to the Raiders' relocation to Las Vegas for 2020. The Broncos fell behind 14–0 in the first half against the Raiders on Monday Night Football. On the game's opening drive, Raiders' quarterback Derek Carr threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyrell Williams, and running back Josh Jacobs added a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Broncos placekicker Brandon McManus missed short on a 63-yard field goal attempt just before halftime. The Broncos reached the red zone on their first three possessions of the second half, but were forced to settle for field goals by McManus on each drive—two 26-yarders in the third quarter and a 39-yarder midway through the fourth quarter. Wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton dropped a potential touchdown pass on the second drive. Following the second field goal, the Raiders increased their lead to 21–6, with Jacobs' second touchdown run of the game (a 4-yarder), and then to 24–9, with a 29-yard field goal by placekicker Daniel Carlson at the 4:41 mark of the third quarter. After three red zone attempts that all resulted in short field goals, the Broncos finally reached the end zone with 2:18 remaining in the fourth quarter. Joe Flacco, in his debut as the Broncos' starting quarterback, connected on a 1–yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to narrow the Raiders' lead to 24–16. However, the Broncos were unable to prevent the Raiders from running out the clock.[109] With the loss, the Broncos opened the season at 0–1 for the first time since 2011, which was also a loss to the Raiders on Monday Night Football.[110]

Week 2: vs. Chicago Bears

Week Two: Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 0 6 7 3 16
Broncos 3 0 0 11 14

at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: September 15
  • Game time: 2:25 p.m. MDT
  • Game weather: Mostly sunny, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 76,885
  • Referee: Adrian Hill
  • TV announcers (Fox): Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth and Jennifer Hale
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 43-yard field goal, 9:45. Broncos 3–0. Drive: 10 plays, 50 yards, 5:15.

Second quarter

  • CHI – Eddy Piñeiro 40-yard field goal, 13:35. Tied 3–3. Drive: 14 plays, 64 yards, 7:28.
  • CHI – Eddy Piñeiro 52-yard field goal, 5:10. Bears 6–3. Drive: 10 plays, 56 yards, 4:26.

Third quarter

  • CHI – David Montgomery 1-yard run (Eddy Piñeiro kick), 1:14. Bears 13–3. Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards, 5:30.

Fourth quarter

  • DEN – Brandon McManus 32-yard field goal, 13:37. Bears 13–6. Drive: 9 plays, 61 yards, 2:37.
  • DEN – Emmanuel Sanders 7-yard pass from Joe Flacco (Joe Flacco–Emmanuel Sanders pass), 0:31. Broncos 14–13. Drive: 12 plays, 62 yards, 2:17.
  • CHI – Eddy Piñeiro 53-yard field goal, 0:00. Bears 16–14. Drive: 6 plays, 40 yards, 0:31.

Top passers

  • CHI – Mitchell Trubisky – 16/27, 120 yards
  • DEN – Joe Flacco – 35/50, 292 yards, TD, INT

Top rushers

  • CHI – David Montgomery – 18 rushes, 62 yards, TD
  • DEN – Royce Freeman – 11 rushes, 54 yards

Top receivers

  • CHI – Allen Robinson – 4 receptions, 41 yards
  • DEN – Emmanuel Sanders – 11 receptions, 98 yards, TD

In the Broncos' home opener, the only points of the first half came by way of field goals—a 43-yarder by Broncos' placekicker Brandon McManus on the game's opening drive, and 43- and 52-yarders by Bears' placekicker Eddy Piñeiro in the second quarter. The Bears increased their lead to 13–3 late in the third quarter, with running back David Montgomery diving for a 1-yard touchdown. For a second consecutive week, the Broncos were held without a touchdown for the first three quarters, and were once again plagued by red-zone woes. The Broncos reached the red zone early in the fourth quarter, but were forced to settle on a 32-yard field goal by McManus to pull to within a 13–6 deficit. After forcing a Bears' punt, the Broncos were attempting to tie the game and reached the Bears' 2-yard line with 4:51 remaining; however, quarterback Joe Flacco was intercepted by Bears' cornerback Kyle Fuller. The Broncos forced another Bears' punt, and got the football back at their own 38-yard line with 2:48 remaining in the game. After burning all of their timeouts, the Broncos finally reached the end zone with 37 seconds remaining, with Flacco connecting with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders on a 7-yard touchdown pass. The Broncos were initially planning to go for the two-point conversion, but a delay-of-game penalty pushed them back five yards. The Broncos then attempted the game-tying extra point, which McManus missed wide right; however, Bears' cornerback Buster Skrine was whistled for an offsides penalty. The Broncos attempted another two-point conversion, which was successful, with a Flacco completion to Sanders. The Bears had one final drive, which began at their own 25-yard line with 31 seconds remaining. On the first play, Broncos' linebacker Bradley Chubb was whistled for a questionable roughing the passer penalty on Bears' quarter Mitchell Trubisky, which added 15 yards to a 5-yard completion to tight end Trey Burton. After three consecutive incomplete passes and a 5-yard penalty for having too many men on the field, the Bears faced a 4th-and-15 from their own 40-yard line. Trubisky completed a 25-yard pass to wide receiver Allen Robinson in the middle of the field to the Broncos' 35-yard line, and the Bears' final timeout was called with one second remaining. This set up the game-winning 53-yard field goal by Piñeiro as time expired.[111]

Week 3: at Green Bay Packers

Week Three: Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 0 10 6 0 16
Packers 7 10 7 3 27

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

  • Date: September 22
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CDT/11:00 a.m. MDT
  • Game weather: Rain, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 78,078
  • Referee: Brad Rogers
  • TV announcers (Fox): Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston and Laura Okmin
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • GB – Marquez Valdes-Scantling 40-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick), 12:16. Packers 7–0. Drive: 5 plays, 75 yards, 2:44.

Second quarter

  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay 1-yard run (Brandon McManus kick), 14:18. Tied 7–7. Drive: 15 plays, 77 yards, 8:35.
  • GB – Mason Crosby 42-yard field goal, 11:19. Packers 10–7. Drive: 7 plays, 51 yards, 2:59.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 30-yard field goal, 3:50. Tied 10–10. Drive: 15 plays, 63 yards, 7:29.
  • GB – Aaron Jones 7-yard run (Mason Crosby kick), 1:56. Packers 17–10. Drive: 2 plays, 5 yards, 0:21.

Third quarter

  • GB – Aaron Jones 1-yard run (Mason Crosby kick), 12:09. Packers 24–10. Drive: 4 plays, 37 yards, 1:35.
  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay 1-yard run (kick failed, hit left upright), 5:59. Packers 24–16. Drive: 12 plays, 75 yards, 6:10.

Fourth quarter

  • GB – Mason Crosby 41-yard field goal, 5:49. Packers 27–16. Drive: 11 plays, 51 yards, 7:41.

Top passers

Top rushers

  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 21 rushes, 81 yards, 2 TD
  • GB – Jamaal Williams – 12 rushes, 59 yards

Top receivers

  • DEN – Courtland Sutton – 5 receptions, 87 yards
  • GB – Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 6 receptions, 99 yards, TD

On the game's opening drive, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers launched a 40-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Broncos return specialist Diontae Spencer returned the ensuing kickoff to the Packers' 43-yard line, but the Broncos' offense went three-and-out on their initial possession. After forcing a Green Bay punt, the Broncos pulled even early in the second quarter, with running back Phillip Lindsay rushing for a 1-yard touchdown. The next two scoring plays came from each placekicker—a 42-yard field goal by the Packers' Mason Crosby, followed by one from 30 yards by the Broncos' Brandon McManus. The Broncos suffered turnovers on two of their next three possessions, and the Packers capitalized as a result. First, Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco was strip-sacked by Packers linebacker Preston Smith at the Denver 5-yard line. The Packers reclaimed the lead just before halftime, with a 7-yard touchdown run by running back Aaron Jones. Then early in the third quarter, linebacker Jaire Alexander forced a fumble off Broncos tight end Noah Fant at the Denver 37-yard line, and Jones' second rushing touchdown—from 1 yard out—increased the Packers' lead to 24–10. The Broncos responded with a 12-play, 75-yard drive, with Lindsay's second 1-yard touchdown run—this one on a 4th-and-goal. However, McManus hit the left upright on his extra point attempt, leaving the score at 24–16. After forcing the Packers to punt, the Broncos advanced to the Green Bay 38-yard line late in the third quarter; however, Flacco was intercepted by safety Darnell Savage Jr. The Packers increased their lead to 27–16 with less than 6 minutes to play, thanks to a 41-yard field goal by Crosby. The Broncos had two more possessions, but could not reach midfield on either drive—both ending with Flacco getting sacked and turning over the football on downs. Flacco was sacked six times, and for a third consecutive game, the Broncos' defense failed to record a sack or force a turnover. The Broncos suffered their first 0–3 start since 1999.[112] With the loss, the Broncos dropped to 0–6–1 in road games against the Packers, going 0–5 at Lambeau Field and 0–1–1 in two meetings in Milwaukee. To date, the Packers remain as the only team that the Broncos have never defeated on the road in their franchise history.[113]

Week 4: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Week Four: Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Jaguars 3 3 14 6 26
Broncos 7 10 0 7 24

at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: September 29
  • Game time: 2:25 p.m. MDT
  • Game weather: Sunny, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 76,219
  • Referee: Ronald Torbert
  • TV announcers (CBS): Andrew Catalon and James Lofton
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • DEN – Noah Fant 25-yard pass from Joe Flacco (Brandon McManus kick), 8:17. Broncos 7–0. Drive: 2 plays, 53 yards, 0:50.
  • JAX – Josh Lambo 25-yard field goal, 3:13. Broncos 7–3. Drive: 10 plays, 68 yards, 5:04.

Second quarter

  • DEN – Courtland Sutton 7-yard pass from Joe Flacco (Brandon McManus kick), 13:39. Broncos 14–3. Drive: 6 plays, 69 yards, 2:32.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 33-yard field goal, 4:16. Broncos 17–3. Drive: 11 plays, 49 yards, 4:27.
  • JAX – Josh Lambo 40-yard field goal, 0:08. Broncos 17–6. Drive: 7 plays, 21 yards, 0:41.

Third quarter

  • JAX – Ryquell Armstead 7-yard pass from Gardner Minshew II (Josh Lambo kick), 4:36. Broncos 17–13. Drive: 16 plays, 75 yards, 10:24.
  • JAX – James O'Shaughnessy 18-yard pass from Gardner Minshew II (Josh Lambo kick), 1:10. Jaguars 20–17. Drive: 3 plays, 93 yards, 1:47.

Fourth quarter

  • JAX – Josh Lambo 34-yard field goal, 2:54. Jaguars 23–17. Drive: 13 plays, 78 yards, 7:00.
  • DEN – Courtland Sutton 8-yard pass from Joe Flacco (Brandon McManus kick), 1:32. Broncos 24–23. Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 1:22.
  • JAX – Josh Lambo 33-yard field goal, 0:00. Jaguars 26–24. Drive: 8 plays, 60 yards, 1:32.

Top passers

  • JAX – Gardner Minshew II – 19/33, 213 yards, 2 TD
  • DEN – Joe Flacco – 22/38, 303 yards, 3 TD, INT

Top rushers

  • JAX – Leonard Fournette – 29 rushes, 225 yards
  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 9 rushes, 53 yards

Top receivers

  • JAX – Dede Westbrook – 5 receptions, 66 yards
  • DEN – Emmanuel Sanders – 5 receptions, 104 yards

The Broncos grabbed a 17–3 lead over the Jaguars by the second quarter, with quarterback Joe Flacco throwing a pair of touchdown passes—a 25-yarder to tight end Noah Fant in the first quarter followed by a 7-yarder to wide receiver Courtland Sutton in the second quarter, and placekicker Brandon McManus adding a 33-yard field goal. The Broncos reached the Jaguars' 33-yard line 1:05 remaining until halftime, and were attempting to add to their lead; however, Flacco was intercepted by Jaguars' safety Ronnie Harrison, who advance the football to the Broncos' 43-yard line. This set up a 40-yard field goal by placekicker Josh Lambo just before halftime. On the opening possession of the second half, the Jaguars pulled to within a 17–13 deficit, with a 16-play, 75-yard drive, culminating in a 7-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Gardner Minshew II to running back Ryquell Armstead. After the Broncos went three-and-out on their first possession of the second half, the Jaguars took a 20–17 lead, with Minshew, starting in place of the injured Nick Foles, connecting on an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end James O'Shaughnessy. The key play of the drive was an 81-yard run by running back Leonard Fournette. With 9:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars assembled a 13-play, 78-yard drive, with a 34-yard field goal by Lambo to increase the Jaguars lead to 23–17 with three minutes remaining. Six plays later, and with only one timeout remaining, the Broncos took a 24–23 lead, with Flacco throwing his third touchdown pass of the game—an 8-yarder to Sutton with 1:38 remaining. However, for the second time in three weeks, the Broncos were unable to prevent a game-winning drive by their opponent. On the second play of the Jaguars' game-winning drive, linebacker Von Miller was whistled for a roughing the passer penalty after the Broncos forced their first fumble of the season. Lambo kicked the game-winning 32-yard field goal as time expired. After failing to record a sack in their first three games, the Broncos sacked Minshew five times, including two by Von Miller, who reached 100 career sacks in his 124th game, the fourth-fastest player to reach that landmark.[114] With the loss, the Broncos suffered their first 0–4 start since 1999.[115]

Week 5: at Los Angeles Chargers

Week Five: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 14 3 0 3 20
Chargers 0 0 7 6 13

at Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California

  • Date: October 6
  • Game time: 2:05 p.m. MDT/1:05 p.m. PDT
  • Game weather: Sunny, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 25,357
  • Referee: Shawn Hochuli
  • TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay 4-yard run (Brandon McManus kick), 11:06. Broncos 7–0. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 3:54.
  • DEN – Courtland Sutton 70-yard pass from Joe Flacco (Brandon McManus kick), 4:58. Broncos 14–0. Drive: 5 plays, 81 yards, 2:17.

Second quarter

  • DEN – Brandon McManus 40-yard field goal, 5:17. Broncos 17–0. Drive: 8 plays, 40 yards, 3:27.

Third quarter

  • LAC – Desmond King 68-yard punt return (Chase McLaughlin kick), 0:31. Broncos 17–7.

Fourth quarter

  • LAC – Chase McLaughlin 45-yard field goal, 6:47. Broncos 17–10. Drive: 4 plays, 29 yards, 2:08.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 46-yard field goal, 1:55. Broncos 20–10. Drive: 5 plays, 41 yards, 1:25.
  • LAC – Chase McLaughlin 32-yard field goal, 0:10. Broncos 20–13. Drive: 8 plays, 61 yards, 1:45.

Top passers

Top rushers

  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 15 rushes, 114 yards, TD
  • LAC – Melvin Gordon – 12 rushes, 31 yards

Top receivers

  • DEN – Courtland Sutton – 4 receptions, 92 yards, TD
  • LAC – Austin Ekeler – 15 receptions, 86 yards

The Broncos jumped out to a 14–0 lead over the Chargers on their first two offensive possessions, courtesy of a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Phillip Lindsay, followed by a 70-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Flacco to wide receiver Courtland Sutton. The Broncos reached the Chargers' 29-yard line on their third possession, but Flacco was strip-sacked by linebacker Uchenna Nwosu on the first play of the second quarter, with linebacker Jatavis Brown recovering the fumble. The Chargers managed to get to the Denver 16-yard line on their ensuing possession, but quarterback Philip Rivers was flagged for intentional grounding on a 3rd-and-5, with the penalty pushing them back to the 30-yard line. The ensuing 48-yard field goal attempt from Chase McLaughlin was blocked by Broncos' defensive end Dre'Mont Jones. The Broncos increased their lead to 17–0 on their next possession, with a 40-yard field goal by Brandon McManus. The Chargers reached the Broncos' 1-yard line with seven seconds remaining before halftime, with Rivers completing a short pass to running back Austin Ekeler near the left sideline. However, Broncos' safety Kareem Jackson forced a fumble before Ekeler could break the plane of the goal line near the pylon, and the football went out of the corner of the end zone for a touchback, keeping the Chargers scoreless.[116]

After a series of punts to start the second half, the two teams exchanged turnovers. First, with the Broncos backed up near their own goal line, Flacco was intercepted on a deflected pass by linebacker Kyzir White, giving the Chargers a very short field at the 7-yard line. Three plays later, the Broncos returned the favor, with linebacker A. J. Johnson intercepting Rivers in the end zone for a touchback. After the Broncos went three-and-out, the Chargers finally got on the scoreboard with 49 seconds remaining in the third quarter, with Desmond King returning a punt 51 yards for a touchdown—the Chargers' only touchdown of the game. After McManus missed wide left on a 54-yard field goal attempt, the Chargers narrowed the Broncos' lead to 17–10, with a 45-yard field goal by McLaughlin. Following an exchange of punts, a 46-yard field goal by McManus increased the Broncos' lead to 20–10 at the two-minute warning. The Chargers attempted a rally, with a 32-yard field goal by McLaughlin with only 15 seconds remaining. However, the onside kick attempt was unsuccessful, giving the Broncos their first win of the season and snapping an eight-game losing streak dating back to last season. In addition, the Broncos earned their 500th win in franchise history and avoided their first ever 0–5 start. This was also the third and final meeting between the two teams at Dignity Health Sports Park—the Chargers' temporary home field, prior to the Chargers' move to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood for the 2020 season.[116]

Week 6: vs. Tennessee Titans

Week Six: Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Titans 0 0 0 0 0
Broncos 3 3 7 3 16

at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: October 13
  • Game time: 2:25 p.m. MDT
  • Game weather: Sunny, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 75,815
  • Referee: Alex Kemp
  • TV announcers (CBS): Andrew Catalon, James Lofton and John Schriffen
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 31-yard field goal, 10:16. Broncos 3–0. Drive: 8 plays, 32 yards, 3:04.

Second quarter

  • DEN – Brandon McManus 53-yard field goal, 4:40. Broncos 6–0. Drive: 5 plays, 50 yards, 2:44.

Third quarter

  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay 2-yard run (Brandon McManus kick), 4:56. Broncos 13–0. Drive: 6 plays, 41 yards, 3:10.

Fourth quarter

  • DEN – Brandon McManus 48-yard field goal, 4:53. Broncos 16–0. Drive: 8 plays, 49 yards, 4:17.

Top passers

Top rushers

  • TEN – Derrick Henry – 15 rushes, 28 yards
  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 15 rushes, 70 yards, TD

Top receivers

  • TEN – Adam Humphries – 6 receptions, 47 yards
  • DEN – Courtland Sutton – 4 receptions, 76 yards

The Broncos' defense recorded seven sacks, three interceptions, and for the second consecutive week, did not allow an offensive touchdown, in a 16–0 shutout win over the Titans. The only points of the first half came courtesy of two field goals by placekicker Brandon McManus—a 31-yarder in the first quarter and a 53-yarder in the second. A 2-yard touchdown run by running back Phillip Lindsay increased the Broncos' lead to 13–0 late in the third quarter. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was benched midway through the third quarter following a poor performance that included two interceptions, and was replaced by backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Titans' offense did not advance past midfield until the fourth quarter, and reached the Broncos' 13-yard line with 9:22 remaining; however, Tannehill was sacked by defensive end DeMarcus Walker on a 4th-and-4. A 48-yard field goal by McManus increased the Broncos' lead to 16–0 with 4:57 remaining in the game. The Titans had one last offensive possession, and reached the Broncos' 5-yard line at the two-minute warning. Following an offensive holding penalty, a 10-yard sack of Tannehill by defensive tackle Derek Wolfe and an 18-yard pass completion from Tannehill to tight end Delanie Walker to the 12-yard line, Tannehill was intercepted by cornerback Kareem Jackson near the goal line, ending the Titans' rally attempt and preserving the shutout. Both team's offenses went a combined 4-for-28 (.143) on third down—2-for-14 by each team.[117] With this win the Broncos became only the second team originating in the American Football League to reach 500 career wins.

Week 7: vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Week Seven: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 10 10 7 3 30
Broncos 6 0 0 0 6

at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: Template:Dow tooltip
  • Game time: 6:20 p.m. MDT
  • Game weather: Mostly cloudy, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 76,748
  • Referee: Shawn Smith
  • TV announcers (Fox/NFLN/Amazon Prime): Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • DEN – Royce Freeman 1-yard run (run failed), 9:06. Broncos 6–0. Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 5:54.
  • KC – Mecole Hardman 21-yard pass from Patrick Mahomes (Harrison Butker kick), 4:10. Chiefs 7–6. Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 4:56.
  • KC – Harrison Butker 33-yard field goal, 1:00. Chiefs 10–6. Drive: 4 plays, 6 yards, 1:31.

Second quarter

  • KC – Harrison Butker 20-yard field goal, 8:01. Chiefs 13–6. Drive: 13 plays, 37 yards, 6:53.
  • KC – Reggie Ragland 5-yard fumble return (Harrison Butker kick), 7:10. Chiefs 20–6.

Third quarter

  • KC – Tyreek Hill 57-yard pass from Matt Moore (Harrison Butker kick), 4:20. Chiefs 27–6. Drive: 2 plays, 73 yards, 0:40.

Fourth quarter

  • KC – Harrison Butker 39-yard field goal, 5:04. Chiefs 30–6. Drive: 5 plays, 30 yards, 3:06.

Top passers

  • KC – Matt Moore – 10/19, 117 yards, TD
  • DEN – Joe Flacco – 21/34, 213 yards

Top rushers

  • KC – LeSean McCoy – 12 rushes, 64 yards
  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 11 rushes, 36 yards

Top receivers

  • KC – Tyreek Hill – 3 receptions, 74 yards, TD
  • DEN – Courtland Sutton – 6 receptions, 87 yards

The Broncos assembled a 10-play, 75-yard drive on the game's opening possession, which culminated in a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Royce Freeman. The drive was aided by a pair of penalties against the Chiefs' defense on two third-down plays. The Broncos elected for a two-point conversion attempt at the 1-yard line following an offside penalty against the Chiefs on the extra-point attempt. However, running back Phillip Lindsay was denied by the Chiefs' defense, and it was all downhill for the Broncos after that, as the Chiefs scored the final 30 points of the game. First, quarterback Patrick Mahomes connected on a 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mecole Hardman, which was followed by a pair of field goals by placekicker Harrison Butker—a 33-yarder near the end of the first quarter and a 20-yarder midway through the second. Between the two field goals, Mahomes left the game with a dislocated patella and Broncos' punter Colby Wadman was sacked on a fake punt attempt. The Chiefs' defense then strip-sacked Broncos' quarterback Joe Flacco, with linebacker Reggie Ragland returning it 5 yards for a touchdown and a 20–6 halftime lead. Mahomes was replaced by backup quarterback Matt Moore, who launched a 57-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the third quarter, and Butker later added a 39-yard field goal in the fourth. After Broncos' placekicker Brandon McManus missed wide right on a 45-yard field goal attempt late in the second quarter, the Broncos' offense did not advance past the midfield line for the remainder of the game. In addition, Flacco was sacked nine times by the Chiefs' defense, and for a second consecutive week, the Broncos' offense performed poorly on third down, going 1-for-13 (.077).[118]

Week 8: at Indianapolis Colts

Week Eight: Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 0 6 7 0 13
Colts 0 3 9 3 15

at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Date: October 27
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EDT/11:00 a.m. MDT
  • Game weather: Mostly sunny, Template:Convert/F (retractable roof open)
  • Game attendance: 61,653
  • Referee: Walt Anderson
  • TV announcers (CBS): Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • No scoring plays.

Second quarter

  • DEN – Brandon McManus 21-yard field goal, 12:56. Broncos 3–0. Drive: 17 plays, 86 yards, 7:45.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 29-yard field goal, 5:33. Broncos 6–0. Drive: 13 plays, 73 yards, 5:38.
  • IND – Adam Vinatieri 55-yard field goal, 0:02. Broncos 6–3. Drive: 6 plays, 43 yards, 0:55.

Third quarter

  • DEN – Royce Freeman 4-yard run (Brandon McManus kick), 11:38. Broncos 13–3. Drive: 5 plays, 75 yards, 3:22.
  • IND – Adam Vinatieri 45-yard field goal, 6:05. Broncos 13–6. Drive: 12 plays, 48 yards, 5:33.
  • IND – Marlon Mack 10-yard run (kick failed), 2:26. Broncos 13–12. Drive: 6 plays, 68 yards, 2:44.

Fourth quarter

  • IND – Adam Vinatieri 51-yard field goal, 0:02. Colts 15–13. Drive: 7 plays, 56 yards, 1:26.

Top passers

Top rushers

  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 14 rushes, 59 yards
  • IND – Marlon Mack – 19 rushes, 76 yards, TD

Top receivers

  • DEN – Courtland Sutton – 3 receptions, 72 yards
  • IND – Jack Doyle – 4 receptions, 61 yards

After a scoreless first quarter, the Broncos failed to capitalize on two red zone opportunities, settling for a pair of short field goals by placekicker Brandon McManus in the second quarter—from 21 and 29 yards out. Colts' placekicker Adam Vinatieri, who missed wide-right on a 45-yard field goal attempt on the game's opening drive, kicked a 55-yard field goal at the end of the first half. The Broncos took the opening possession of the second half, and increased their lead to 13–3, with running back Royce Freeman rushing for a 4-yard touchdown. However, the Broncos were held scoreless for the remainder of the game. After a 45-yard field goal by Vinatieri, Colts' running back Marlon Mack rushed for a 10-yard touchdown. However, Vinatieri missed wide-left on the extra-point attempt, keeping the score at 13–12. After an exchange of punts, which included the Broncos nearly blocking a punt in the Colts' end zone, Broncos' defensive end Derek Wolfe forced a fumble off Colts' quarterback Jacoby Brissett near midfield and midway through the fourth quarter; however, the Broncos were unable to capitalize, going three-and-out. The Broncos failed to convert a 3rd-and-5 at the Colts' 43-yard line at the two-minute warning, giving the Colts the football on their own 11-yard line. On the first play, Brissett evaded a sack by linebacker Von Miller, and completed a 35-yard pass to wide receiver T. Y. Hilton on the right sideline that was reviewed, but upheld by instant replay. A personal foul horse-collar tackle penalty on linebacker A. J. Johnson added 15-yards to a 5-yard pass completion from Brissett to running back Nyheim Hines. Four plays later, Vinatieri atoned for the aforementioned missed field goal and extra-point attempts by kicking the go-ahead 51-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining. Without any timeouts, the Broncos had two offensive plays at their own 24-yard line, but failed to gain any yardage on either play. With the loss, the Broncos started with a 2–6 record for only the third time in franchise history—1983 and 2010 are the other two seasons.[119]

Week 9: vs. Cleveland Browns

Week Nine: Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 0 12 0 7 19
Broncos 7 10 7 0 24

at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

Game information
First quarter
  • DEN – Courtland Sutton 21-yard pass from Brandon Allen (Brandon McManus kick), 6:09. Broncos 7–0. Drive: 9 plays, 63 yards, 4:47.

Second quarter

  • CLE – Austin Seibert 39-yard field goal, 12:48. Broncos 7–3. Drive: 5 plays, 19 yards, 2:20.
  • DEN – Noah Fant 75-yard pass from Brandon Allen (Brandon McManus kick), 12:34. Broncos 14–3. Drive: 1 play, 75 yards, 0:14.
  • CLE – Austin Seibert 30-yard field goal, 7:14. Broncos 14–6. Drive: 9 plays, 64 yards, 5:20.
  • CLE – Austin Seibert 27-yard field goal, 3:49. Broncos 14–9. Drive: 6 plays, 9 yards, 2:22.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 43-yard field goal, 1:47. Broncos 17–9. Drive: 5 plays, 43 yards, 2:02.
  • CLE – Austin Seibert 30-yard field goal, 0:15. Broncos 17–12. Drive: 13 plays, 63 yards, 1:32.

Third quarter

  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay 30-yard run (Brandon McManus kick), 1:06. Broncos 24–12. Drive: 7 plays, 95 yards, 4:10.

Fourth quarter

Top passers

  • CLE – Baker Mayfield – 27/42, 273 yards, TD
  • DEN – Brandon Allen – 12/20, 193 yards, 2 TD

Top rushers

  • CLE – Nick Chubb – 20 rushes, 65 yards
  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 9 rushes, 92 yards, TD

Top receivers

  • CLE – Odell Beckham, Jr. – 5 receptions, 87 yards
  • DEN – Noah Fant – 3 receptions, 115 yards, TD

Two days after quarterback Joe Flacco was placed on injured reserve, backup quarterback Brandon Allen got the start for the Broncos. He threw two touchdown passes—the first one to wide receiver Courtland Sutton for 21 yards in the first quarter, and the second one a 75-yarder to tight end Noah Fant early in the second quarter. The Broncos' defense yielded four red zone opportunities by the Browns' offense in the second quarter, but forced the Browns to settle for four field goals by placekicker Austin Seibert in the second quarter—the third one occurred after the Browns' defense forced a fumble deep in Broncos' territory. Broncos' placekicker Brandon McManus added a 43-yard field goal just after the two-minute warning for a 17–12 halftime lead. The Broncos' defense subdued the Browns on another red zone opportunity at the 5:23 mark of the third quarter, with linebackers Todd Davis and Von Miller denying Browns' quarterback Baker Mayfield on a 4th-and-1 at the 5-yard line. The Browns unsuccessfully challenged the ruling on the field, and seven plays later, the Broncos increased their lead to 24–12, with a 30-yard run by running back Phillip Lindsay late in the third quarter. The Browns responded on their next drive, and with 10:53 remaining in the fourth quarter, Mayfield connected with wide receiver Jarvis Landry on a 9-yard touchdown to narrow the Broncos' lead to 24–19. The drive was aided by a defensive pass interference penalty on cornerback Chris Harris, Jr. on a 3rd-and-7 at the Broncos' 19-yard line. After forcing a Broncos' punt, the Browns reached the Broncos' 28-yard line with 3:23 remaining in the game and no timeouts, facing a 4th-and-4. However, Mayfield's pass intended for Landry was incomplete, and the Broncos' ran out the clock, thanks to a critical third-down conversion by Lindsay on a wildcat formation. With the win, the Broncos entered their bye week with a 3–6 record, and improved to a 24–6 all-time record vs. the Browns (including the playoffs).[120][121]

Week 11: at Minnesota Vikings

Week Eleven: Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 10 10 3 0 23
Vikings 0 0 7 20 27

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Date: November 17
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST/11:00 a.m. MST
  • Game weather: None (indoor stadium)
  • Game attendance: 66,883
  • Referee: Clay Martin
  • TV announcers (CBS): Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon and Jay Feely
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 47-yard field goal, 11:32. Broncos 3–0. Drive: 6 plays, 46 yards, 3:28.
  • DEN – Troy Fumagalli 3-yard pass from Brandon Allen (Brandon McManus kick), 4:39. Broncos 10–0. Drive: 6 plays, 90 yards, 2:23.

Second quarter

  • DEN – Andy Janovich 1-yard run (Brandon McManus kick), 12:21. Broncos 17–0. Drive: 10 plays, 69 yards, 5:06.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 29-yard field goal, 1:06. Broncos 20–0. Drive: 4 plays, 6 yards, 1:34.

Third quarter

  • MIN – Irv Smith Jr. 10-yard pass from Kirk Cousins (Dan Bailey kick), 11:29. Broncos 20–7. Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards, 3:31.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 41-yard field goal, 4:23. Broncos 23–7. Drive: 12 plays, 52 yards, 7:06.

Fourth quarter

  • MIN – Dalvin Cook 3-yard run (pass failed), 13:25. Broncos 23–13. Drive: 18 plays, 75 yards, 5:58.
  • MIN – Stefon Diggs 54-yard pass from Kirk Cousins (Dan Bailey kick), 10:21. Broncos 23–20. Drive: 3 plays, 62 yards, 0:35.
  • MIN – Kyle Rudolph 32-yard pass from Kirk Cousins (Dan Bailey kick), 6:01. Vikings 27–23. Drive: 5 plays, 67 yards, 2:14.

Top passers

  • DEN – Brandon Allen – 17/39, 240 yards, TD, INT
  • MIN – Kirk Cousins – 29/35, 319 yards, 3 TD

Top rushers

  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 16 rushes, 67 yards
  • MIN – Dalvin Cook – 11 rushes, 26 yards, TD

Top receivers

  • DEN – Courtland Sutton – 5 receptions, 113 yards
  • MIN – Stefon Diggs – 5 receptions, 121 yards, TD

The Broncos took a 10–0 lead in the first quarter, with a 47-yard field goal by placekicker Brandon McManus and a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brandon Allen to tight end Troy Fumagalli. The lead increased to 17–0 early in the second quarter, with a 1-yard touchdown run by fullback Andy Janovich, who later left the game before halftime with a serious elbow injury. Linebacker Shelby Harris forced a strip sack and fumble off Vikings' quarterback Kirk Cousins at the Vikings' 17-yard line; however, the Broncos were forced to settle on a 29-yard field goal by McManus with one minute before halftime. The Broncos recovered a fumble off return specialist Ameer Abdullah on the ensuing kickoff, and were hoping to increase their lead prior to halftime; however, on the next play, Allen was intercepted by safety Andrew Sendejo near the goal line.[122]

The second half was dominated by the Vikings, as they scored a touchdown on all four of their second half possessions. On the opening possession, Cousins connected on a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Irv Smith Jr. After a 41-yard field goal by McManus increased the Broncos lead to 23–7, the Vikings pulled to within a 23–20 deficit within the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. First, running back Dalvin Cook rushed for a 3-yard touchdown (with an unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt), and after a forcing a three-and-out by the Broncos' offense, Cousins launched a 54-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs. After McManus missed wide right on a 43-yard field goal attempt, the Vikings took their first lead of the game, with Cousins' third touchdown pass—a 32-yarder to tight end Kyle Rudolph with 6:10 remaining in the game. The Broncos began the last possession at their own 40-yard line, and with three fourth-down conversions, methodically marched to the Vikings' 4-yard line with only 10 seconds remaining in the game. However, three consecutive pass attempts into the end zone by Allen fell incomplete, ending the game.[122]

Week 12: at Buffalo Bills

Week Twelve: Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 0 0 3 0 3
Bills 3 3 7 7 20

at New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York

  • Date: November 24
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. MST
  • Game weather: Cloudy, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 67,338
  • Referee: Jerome Boger
  • TV announcers (CBS): Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon and Jay Feely
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • BUF – Steven Hauschka 39-yard field goal, 1:10. Bills 3–0. Drive: 17 plays, 69 yards, 8:49.

Second quarter

  • BUF – Steven Hauschka 23-yard field goal, 8:09. Bills 6–0. Drive: 12 plays, 87 yards, 5:50.

Third quarter

  • BUF – Cole Beasley 18-yard pass from Josh Allen (Steven Hauschka kick), 12:57. Bills 13–0. Drive: 8 plays, 59 yards, 2:03.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 45-yard field goal, 7:40. Bills 13–3. Drive: 10 plays, 48 yards, 5:17.

Fourth quarter

  • BUF – John Brown 34-yard pass from Josh Allen (Steven Hauschka kick), 11:08. Bills 20–3. Drive: 2 plays, 31 yards, 0:46.

Top passers

  • DEN – Brandon Allen – 10/25, 82 yards, INT
  • BUF – Josh Allen – 15/25, 185 yards, 2 TD, INT

Top rushers

  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 13 rushes, 57 yards
  • BUF – Devin Singletary – 21 rushes, 106 yards

Top receivers

  • DEN – Courtland Sutton – 1 reception, 27 yards
  • BUF – Cole Beasley – 6 receptions, 76 yards, TD

The Broncos' offense gained only 134 total yards and the defense surrendered 244 rushing yards, in a 20–3 loss. Following a pair of field goals by Bills' placekicker Steven Hauschka—a 39-yarder in the first quarter and a 23-yarder in the second quarter, Broncos' safety Justin Simmons intercepted a pass off Bills' quarterback Josh Allen. However, the Broncos' failed to capitalize, as quarterback Brandon Allen was intercepted by cornerback Tre'Davious White at the Bills' 8-yard line late in the second quarter. After an 18-yard touchdown pass from Josh Allen to wide receiver Cole Beasley gave the Bills a 13–0 lead on the first possession of the second half, the Broncos' only scoring play was a 45-yard field goal by placekicker Brandon McManus midway through the third quarter. The Broncos' offense did not advance past their own 35-yard line for the remainder of the game, and Josh Allen added another touchdown pass—a 34-yarder to wide receiver John Brown.[123]

Week 13: vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Week Thirteen: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Chargers 0 10 0 10 20
Broncos 14 3 0 6 23

at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: December 1
  • Game time: 2:25 p.m. MST
  • Game weather: Mostly sunny, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 74,638
  • Referee: Brad Rogers
  • TV announcers (CBS): Andrew Catalon, James Lofton and Michael Grady
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • DEN – Courtland Sutton 26-yard pass from Drew Lock (Brandon McManus kick), 4:33. Broncos 7–0. Drive: 12 plays, 80 yards, 5:55.
  • DEN – Courtland Sutton 5-yard pass from Drew Lock (Brandon McManus kick), 0:16. Broncos 14–0. Drive: 6 plays, 18 yards, 2:56.

Second quarter

  • LAC – Michael Badgley 30-yard field goal, 9:27. Broncos 14–3. Drive: 14 plays, 63 yards, 5:49.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 31-yard field goal, 5:32. Broncos 17–3. Drive: 4 plays, 8 yards, 2:07.
  • LAC – Austin Ekeler 30-yard pass from Philip Rivers (Michael Badgley kick), 0:30. Broncos 17–10. Drive: 3 plays, 77 yards, 0:22.

Third quarter

  • No scoring plays.

Fourth quarter

  • LAC – Keenan Allen 36-yard pass from Philip Rivers (Michael Badgley kick), 12:18. Tied 17–17. Drive: 5 plays, 62 yards, 2:34.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 52-yard field goal, 4:26. Broncos 20–17. Drive: 8 plays, 21 yards, 4:48.
  • LAC – Michael Badgley 46-yard field goal, 0:14. Tied 20–20. Drive: 8 plays, 46 yards, 4:12.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 53-yard field goal, 0:00. Broncos 23–20. Drive: 1 play, 37 yards, 0:14.

Top passers

  • LAC – Philip Rivers – 20/29, 265 yards, 2 TD, INT
  • DEN – Drew Lock – 18/28, 134 yards, 2 TD, INT

Top rushers

  • LAC – Melvin Gordon – 20 rushes, 99 yards
  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 17 rushes, 58 yards

Top receivers

  • LAC – Mike Williams – 5 receptions, 117 yards
  • DEN – Courtland Sutton – 4 receptions, 74 yards, 2 TD

Quarterback Drew Lock, the Broncos' second-round draft selection, made his NFL debut, after missing the first eleven games due to a sprained thumb sustained during the preseason. Lock replaced Brandon Allen, who started the previous three games, and Lock connected on a pair of touchdowns to wide receiver Courtland Sutton in the first quarter—a 26- and a 5-yarder. The latter touchdown occurred after an interception of Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers. Following an exchange of field goals—a 30-yarder by the Chargers' Michael Badgley and a 31-yarder by the Broncos' Brandon McManus, Rivers threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to running back Austin Ekeler to narrow the Broncos' lead to 17–10 just before halftime. Following a scoreless third quarter, a 36-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to wide receiver Keenan Allen tied the game at 17–17 early in the fourth quarter. On the Broncos' next possession, Lock was intercepted by Chargers' linebacker Denzel Perryman; however, the Chargers gained only one yard and failed to capitalize, as Badgley hit the left upright on a 55-yard field goal attempt. The Broncos re-gained the lead with a 52-yard field goal by McManus at the 4:31 mark of the fourth quarter. However, the Chargers responded, as Badgley redeemed himself with a 46-yard field goal with only 19 seconds remaining in the game. The Broncos had one final possession, and instead of kneeling down for an overtime period, Lock attempted a deep pass to Sutton that was incomplete at the Chargers' 35-yard line with only three seconds remaining. However, Chargers' cornerback Casey Hayward was flagged for pass interference, and after the Chargers called their final timeout, McManus kicked the game-winning 53-yard field goal as time expired.[85]

Week 14: at Houston Texans

Week Fourteen: Denver Broncos at Houston Texans – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 14 17 7 0 38
Texans 0 3 7 14 24

at NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

  • Date: December 8
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST/11:00 a.m. MST
  • Game weather: None (retractable roof closed)
  • Game attendance: 71,769
  • Referee: Adrian Hill
  • TV announcers (CBS): Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon and AJ Ross
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • DEN – Noah Fant 14-yard pass from Drew Lock (Brandon McManus kick), 7:27. Broncos 7–0. Drive: 7 plays, 92 yards, 2:59.
  • DEN – Kareem Jackson 70-yard fumble return (Brandon McManus kick), 3:33. Broncos 14–0.

Second quarter

  • DEN – Jeff Heuerman 8-yard pass from Drew Lock (Brandon McManus kick), 11:24. Broncos 21–0. Drive: 8 plays, 80 yards, 4:04.
  • HOU – Ka'imi Fairbairn 54-yard field goal, 8:49. Broncos 21–3. Drive: 8 plays, 39 yards, 2:35.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 36-yard field goal, 3:04. Broncos 24–3. Drive: 9 plays, 57 yards, 5:45.
  • DEN – Royce Freeman 3-yard pass from Drew Lock (Brandon McManus kick), 0:37. Broncos 31–3. Drive: 6 plays, 34 yards, 1:19.

Third quarter

  • DEN – Philip Lindsay 1-yard run (Brandon McManus kick), 9:15. Broncos 38–3. Drive: 8 plays, 57 yards, 5:45.
  • HOU – DeAndre Hopkins 43-yard pass from Deshaun Watson (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick), 7:36. Broncos 38–10. Drive: 4 plays, 70 yards, 1:39.

Fourth quarter

  • HOU – Deshaun Watson 6-yard run (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick), 13:34. Broncos 38–17. Drive: 12 plays, 71 yards, 4:03.
  • HOU – Deshaun Watson 3-yard run (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick), 0:25. Broncos 38–24. Drive: 14 plays, 79 yards, 3:27.

Top passers

  • DEN – Drew Lock – 22/27, 309 yards, 3 TD, INT
  • HOU – Deshaun Watson – 28/50, 292 yards, TD, 2 INT

Top rushers

  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 16 rushes, 51 yards, TD
  • HOU – Carlos Hyde – 14 rushes, 73 yards

Top receivers

  • DEN – Noah Fant – 4 receptions, 113 yards, TD
  • HOU – DeAndre Hopkins – 7 receptions, 120 yards, TD

Quarterback Drew Lock threw for 309 yards and three touchdown passes, and the defense forced three turnovers, including a 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown by cornerback Kareem Jackson, in a surprising and dominating win over the Texans. The Broncos built a 38–3 lead after a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Phillip Lindsay early in the third quarter, despite surrendering three second-half touchdowns to Texans' quarterback Deshaun Watson—one passing and two rushing. The Broncos snapped a 21-game streak of failing to reach 30 or more points that dated back to last season, and this was the only game during the 2019 season in which the Broncos scored 30 or more points. In addition, Lock became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to achieve 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes in his first road start.[124]

Week 15: at Kansas City Chiefs

Week Fifteen: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 0 3 0 0 3
Chiefs 6 9 8 0 23

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: December 15
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST/11:00 a.m. MST
  • Game weather: Snow, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 73,257
  • Referee: Clete Blakeman
  • TV announcers (CBS): Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter

Second quarter

  • KC – Harrison Butker 23-yard field goal, 12:57. Chiefs 9–0. Drive: 12 plays, 79 yards, 6:48.
  • KC – Harrison Butker 24-yard field goal, 6:24. Chiefs 12–0. Drive: 10 plays, 69 yards, 5:24.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 32-yard field goal, 1:56. Chiefs 12–3. Drive: 11 plays, 61 yards, 4:28.
  • KC – Harrison Butker 44-yard field goal, 0:00. Chiefs 15–3. Drive: 9 plays, 53 yards, 1:56.

Third quarter

  • KC – Tyreek Hill 5-yard pass from Patrick Mahomes (Patrick Mahomes–Sammy Watkins pass), 9:45. Chiefs 23–3. Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 5:15.

Fourth quarter

  • No scoring plays

Top passers

  • DEN – Drew Lock – 18/40, 208 yards, INT
  • KC – Patrick Mahomes – 27/34, 340 yards, 2 TD, INT

Top rushers

  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 7 rushes, 32 yards
  • KC – Darwin Thompson – 8 rushes, 38 yards

Top receivers

  • DEN – Courtland Sutton – 4 receptions, 79 yards
  • KC – Travis Kelce – 11 receptions, 142 yards

The same offensive struggles that had plagued the Broncos all season, prior to their Week 14 win over the Texans, resurfaced in snowy conditions vs. the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos' only managed a 32-yard field goal by placekicker Brandon McManus late in the second quarter, after falling behind 12–0. Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes connected on a pair of touchdown passes to wide receiver Tyreek Hill—a 41-yarder on their opening possession and a 5-yarder in the third quarter that put the game out of reach. With the loss, the Broncos were officially eliminated from postseason contention.[125]

Week 16: vs. Detroit Lions

Week Sixteen: Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Lions 3 7 7 0 17
Broncos 0 10 3 14 27

at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: December 22
  • Game time: 2:05 p.m. MST
  • Game weather: Mostly cloudy, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 74,115
  • Referee: Craig Wrolstad
  • TV announcers (CBS): Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon and Jay Feely
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • DET – Matt Prater 26-yard field goal, 8:59. Lions 3–0. Drive: 11 plays, 68 yards, 6:01.

Second quarter

  • DET – Jamal Agnew 64-yard punt return (Matt Prater kick), 10:52. Lions 10–0.
  • DEN – Royce Freeman 1-yard run (Brandon McManus kick), 6:04. Lions 10–7. Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards, 4:48.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 34-yard field goal, 0:25. Tied 10–10. Drive: 11 plays, 57 yards, 4:40.

Third quarter

  • DEN – Brandon McManus 26-yard field goal, 10:23. Broncos 13–10. Drive: 11 plays, 45 yards, 4:37.
  • DET – Kenny Golladay 3-yard pass from David Blough (Matt Prater kick), 3:51. Lions 17–13. Drive: 11 plays, 75 yards, 6:32.

Fourth quarter

  • DEN – DaeSean Hamilton 3-yard pass from Drew Lock (Brandon McManus kick), 13:08. Broncos 20–17. Drive: 11 plays, 75 yards, 5:43.
  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay 27-yard run (Brandon McManus kick), 6:39. Broncos 27–17. Drive: 7 plays, 61 yards, 4:17.

Top passers

  • DET – David Blough – 12/24, 117 yards, TD
  • DEN – Drew Lock – 25/33, 192 yards, TD

Top rushers

  • DET – Kerryon Johnson – 10 rushes, 42 yards
  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 19 rushes, 109 yards

Top receivers

  • DET – Kenny Golladay – 6 receptions, 66 yards
  • DEN – DaeSean Hamilton – 6 receptions, 65 yards, TD

The Broncos fell behind 10–0 to the Lions, after a 26-yard field goal by placekicker Matt Prater in the first quarter, followed in the second quarter by return specialist Jamal Agnew returning a punt 64 yards for a touchdown. The Broncos responded, with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Royce Freeman and a 34-yard field goal by placekicker Brandon McManus—the latter just before halftime. After a 26-yard field goal by McManus gave the Broncos a 13–10 lead, the Lions re-claimed the lead later in the third quarter, with quarterback David Blough, starting in place of the injured Matthew Stafford, connecting on a 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kenny Golladay. However, the Broncos took the lead for good early in the fourth quarter, with quarterback Drew Lock completing a shovel pass to wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton for a 3-yard touchdown. The Broncos later added to their lead, with a 27-yard touchdown run by running back Phillip Lindsay with 6:39 remaining in the game. The Lions' offense did not advance past their own 30-yard line on either of their final two possessions.[126]

Week 17: vs. Oakland Raiders

Week Seventeen: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Raiders 0 3 0 12 15
Broncos 0 10 3 3 16

at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: December 29
  • Game time: 2:25 p.m. MST
  • Game weather: Sunny, Template:Convert/F
  • Game attendance: 76,334
  • Referee: Shawn Smith
  • TV announcers (CBS): Andrew Catalon and James Lofton
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information
First quarter
  • No scoring plays.

Second quarter

  • OAK – Daniel Carlson 23-yard field goal, 14:06. Raiders 3–0. Drive: 8 plays, 88 yards, 4:36.
  • DEN – Brandon McManus 43-yard field goal, 8:21. Tied 3–3. Drive: 11 plays, 50 yards, 5:45.
  • DEN – Andrew Beck 1-yard pass from Drew Lock (Brandon McManus kick), 0:28. Broncos 10–3. Drive: 5 plays, 41 yards, 0:43.

Third quarter

  • DEN – Brandon McManus 49-yard field goal, 4:37. Broncos 13–3. Drive: 11 plays, 58 yards, 4:34.

Fourth quarter

  • DEN – Brandon McManus 51-yard field goal, 14:55. Broncos 16–3. Drive: 6 plays, 27 yards, 3:01.
  • OAK – Daniel Carlson 33-yard field goal, 9:03. Broncos 16–6. Drive: 12 plays, 60 yards, 5:52.
  • OAK – Daniel Carlson 28-yard field goal, 3:09. Broncos 16–9. Drive: 3 plays, 5 yards, 0:24.
  • OAK – Hunter Renfrow 3-yard pass from Derek Carr (pass failed), 0:07. Broncos 16–15. Drive: 8 plays, 53 yards, 1:34.

Top passers

  • OAK – Derek Carr – 29/46, 391 yards, TD
  • DEN – Drew Lock – 17/28, 177 yards, TD

Top rushers

  • OAK – DeAndre Washington – 17 rushes, 77 yards
  • DEN – Phillip Lindsay – 18 rushes, 53 yards

Top receivers

  • OAK – Darren Waller – 6 receptions, 107 yards
  • DEN – DaeSean Hamilton – 5 receptions, 65 yards

In the Broncos' season finale, they faced the Oakland Raiders for the final time—home or away—prior to the Raiders' relocation to Las Vegas for 2020. The Raiders got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter, with a 23-yard field goal by placekicker Daniel Carlson, who missed wide left on a 39-yard attempt midway through the first quarter. The Broncos responded, with a 43-yard field goal by placekicker Brandon McManus. The Raiders faced a 3rd-and-goal at the Broncos' 5-yard line on their next possession, and a 5-yard pass from quarterback Derek Carr to wide receiver Hunter Renfrow was initially ruled a touchdown. However, after a booth review, Renfrow was ruled down at the 1-yard line. On the very next play, fullback Alec Ingold was stopped inches short of the goal line on fourth down by the Broncos' defense. The Raiders thought Ingold had broken the plane of the goal line, and unsuccessfully challenged the ruling of the play, resulting in a turnover on downs. After a fumble on the Raiders' next possession, the Broncos took advantage, with a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Lock to tight end Andrew Beck just before halftime.[127]

The Broncos increased their lead to 16–3, with a pair of field goals by McManus—a 49-yarder in the third quarter, followed by a 51-yarder on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Raiders responded with a pair of field goals by Carlson—from 33 and 28 yards out; the latter occurring after a fumble by Lock. After a Raiders' turnover on downs at their own 27-yard line, the Broncos attempted to either the run out the clock or add to their lead. However, after a false start and an unnecessary roughness penalty on offensive tackle Garett Bolles pushes the Broncos back 15 yards, McManus missed wide-right on a 57-yard field goal attempt, giving the Raiders one last possession at their own 47-yard line. On the eighth play of the drive, the Raiders finally reached the end zone, with a 3-yard pass from Carr to Renfrow to pull to within a 16–15 deficit with 11 seconds remaining in the game. Instead on sending the game to overtime, the Raiders decided to go for a potential game-winning two-point conversion attempt. However, Carr's pass attempt was batted down by nose tackle Shelby Harris, and the Raiders' ensuing onside kick attempt was unsuccessful, giving the Broncos the win.[127]

Quarterback carousel

For the second time in three seasons, the Broncos underwent multiple changes at the quarterback position. The team traded for former Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco during the offseason.[56] However, he threw for 1,822 yards and only six touchdown passes, prior to discovery of a herniated disc in his neck that ended his season following the team's Week 8 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.[62] Backup quarterback Brandon Allen took over, beginning with their Week 9 win over the Cleveland Browns,[120] and in three starts, threw for 515 yards and three touchdown passes. Following a poor performance during the Broncos' Week 12 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Allen was replaced by Drew Lock, the team's second-round draft selection. Lock missed the first eleven games due to a sprained thumb that he sustained during the preseason, and he made his NFL debut on December 1, leading the Broncos to a 4–1 record in their last five games.[127] Lock became the Broncos' seventh different starting quarterback since Week 9 of the 2017 season.[128]

Standings

Division

Template:2019 AFC West standings

Conference

Template:2019 AFC standings

Statistics

Team leaders

Category Player(s) Value
Passing yards Joe Flacco 1,822
Passing touchdowns Drew Lock 7
Rushing yards Phillip Lindsay 1,011
Rushing touchdowns Phillip Lindsay 7
Receptions Courtland Sutton 72
Receiving yards Courtland Sutton 1,112
Receiving touchdowns Courtland Sutton 6
Points Brandon McManus 112
Kickoff return yards Diontae Spencer 436
Punt return yards Diontae Spencer 208
Tackles Todd Davis 136
Sacks Von Miller 8.0
Forced fumbles A. J. Johnson 2
Interceptions Justin Simmons 4

Source for this section: Denver Broncos' official website.[129]

League rankings

Offense
style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Category style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Value style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |NFL rank

(out of 32)

Total yards 298.6 YPG 28th
Yards per play 5.0 26th
Rushing yards 103.9 YPG 20th
Yards per rush 4.1 21st
Passing yards 194.7 YPG 28th
Yards per pass 6.7 T–21st
Total touchdowns 28 T–30th
Rushing touchdowns 11 T–22nd
Receiving touchdowns 16 32nd
Scoring 17.6 PPG 28th
Pass completions 312/504 (.619) 20th
Third downs 64/202 (.317) 30th
First downs per game 17.4 29th
Possession average 29:21 21st
Fewest sacks allowed 41 T–16th
Turnover differential +1 T–13th
Fewest penalties 110 19th
Least penalty yardage 912 18th
Defense
style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Category style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Value style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |NFL rank

(out of 32)

Total yards 337.0 YPG 12th
Yards per play 5.4 T–13th
Rushing yards 111.4 YPG 16th
Yards per rush 4.2 T–13th
Passing yards 225.6 YPG 11th
Yards per pass 7.1 14th
Total touchdowns 31 T–4th
Rushing touchdowns 9 T–5th
Receiving touchdowns 19 T–5th
Scoring 19.8 PPG 10th
Pass completions 348/537 (.648) 24th
Third downs 79/211 (.374) 13th
First downs per game 19.1 T–9th
Sacks 40.0 T–17th
Forced fumbles 9 T–26th
Fumble recoveries 6 T–26th
Interceptions 10 T–25th
Fewest penalties 121 29th
Least penalty yardage 1,041 T–28th
Special teams
style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Category style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |Value style="Template:NFLAltPrimaryStyle" |NFL rank

(out of 32)

Kickoff returns 25.4 YPR 3rd
Punt returns 7.7 YPR T–12th
Gross punting 44.4 YPP T–24th
Net punting 39.4 YPP T–26th
Kickoff coverage 26.8 YPR 29th
Punt coverage 9.8 YPR 30th

Source for this section: NFL.com.[130]

Awards and honors

Recipient Award(s)
Kareem Jackson Week 14: AFC Defensive Player of the Week[131]
A. J. Johnson October: Pro Football Focus' AFC Defensive Player of the Month[132]
Dre'Mont Jones Week 16: AFC Defensive Player of the Week[133]
Drew Lock Week 14: NFL Rookie of the Week[134]

Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections

Linebacker Von Miller was selected to the 2020 Pro Bowl, while wide receiver Courtland Sutton, safety Kareem Jackson and return specialist Diontae Spencer were named alternates.[135] Sutton was later added to the Pro Bowl roster as an injury replacement for Houston Texans' wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, becoming the fastest wide receiver in Broncos' franchise history to make his first Pro Bowl—in his second season.[136] Safety Justin Simmons was voted to the 2019 All-Pro Team and named to the Second Team.[137]

Other news and notes

On September 4, Broncos Stadium at Mile High was rebranded as Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos had been seeking a long-term naming rights partner for their home field since sporting goods retailer Sports Authority went bankrupt in 2016. Empower Retirement, a retirement plan provider that is based in Denver, had served as a team sponsor since 2015, with the Broncos agreeing to terms on a 21-year deal that will run through 2039, though financial terms were undisclosed. This marks the third naming rights change for the Broncos' home field, following "Invesco Field at Mile High" (2001–2010), "Sports Authority Field at Mile High" (2011–2017) and "Broncos Stadium at Mile High"—the latter of which was used on a temporary basis for the 2018 season.[138]

References

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  107. DiLalla, Aric (March 12, 2019). Broncos to kick off preseason vs. Falcons in Pro Football Hall of Fame game. Denver Broncos.
  108. DiLalla, Aric (April 17, 2019). Broncos' 2019 regular-season schedule released. Denver Broncos.
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  118. O'Halloran, Ryan. "Broncos Analysis: Last two weeks forgotten as Chiefs outclass Denver", October 17, 2019. 
  119. O'Halloran, Ryan. "Denver squanders 10-point lead, loses 15-13 to Indianapolis", October 28, 2019. 
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  122. 122.0 122.1 O'Halloran, Ryan. "Analysis: Broncos blow 20-point lead, fall to Vikings 27-23", November 17, 2019. 
  123. O'Halloran, Ryan. "Broncos Analysis: Denver provides little resistance in 20-3 loss to Buffalo", November 24, 2019. 
  124. O'Halloran, Ryan. "Drew Lock, Broncos’ offense (yes, the offense) lead way in win over Houston Texans", December 8, 2019. 
  125. O'Halloran, Ryan. "Broncos Analysis: Frustrated Von Miller says losing "just defeats my soul"", December 15, 2019. 
  126. O'Halloran, Ryan. "Broncos overcome slow start to beat Detroit for third win in four games", December 22, 2019. 
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  129. Denver Broncos Team Statistics. Denver Broncos (December 30, 2019).
  130. NFL.com Statistics. NFL.com (December 30, 2019).
  131. DiLalla, Aric (December 11, 2019). Kareem Jackson named AFC Defensive Player of the Week following #DENvsHOU. Denver Broncos.
  132. Swanson, Ben (November 5, 2019). LB Alexander Johnson named Pro Football Focus' AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October. Denver Broncos.
  133. DiLalla, Aric (December 27, 2019). Dre'Mont Jones named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after win vs. Lions. Denver Broncos.
  134. DiLalla, Aric (December 13, 2019). Drew Lock named NFL Rookie of the Week after win vs. Texans. Denver Broncos.
  135. DiLalla, Aric (December 17, 2019). Von Miller selected to 2020 Pro Bowl; three Broncos named as alternates. Denver Broncos.
  136. Swanson, Ben (January 15, 2020). Courtland Sutton named to first career Pro Bowl. Denver Broncos.
  137. DiLalla, Aric (January 3, 2020). Justin Simmons named second-team All-Pro safety. Denver Broncos.
  138. Broncos agree to terms with Empower Retirement on 21-year deal to name stadium 'Empower Field at Mile High'. Denver Broncos (September 4, 2019).

External links

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