As long as the Broncos retain the football they are faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive. Turning the ball over – as they did on four occasions against the Patriots – is their only weakness.
“It’s been kryptonite so far,” Del Rio said. The Broncos interim head coach helped draw this Superman analogy as he watched Man of Steel on what was likely a very quiet plane ride home from New England late Sunday night.
“We’ve got to protect the football better. We are preaching it. We are coaching it. I believe in the guys we have. I believe we can be better at it—we just have to be,” he continued.
Denver has given away the ball the second-most times in the AFC, at 23 turnovers.
On three separate occasions in the second half, the Broncos faltered on the most essential of tasks. Surrendering possessions gave the Patriots all they needed to get right back in the game. New England scored on the ensuing drives – following a Montee Ball fumble, Peyton Manning interception and the freakish play in overtime – ever punishing Denver for their mistakes.
“We kind of had a couple lapses… that allows some chunks in getting them some momentum,” said Del Rio. “I think when you couple that with a couple turnovers the next thing you know they’re getting themselves back in the ball game.”
Ultimately – like kryptonite to Superman – turning the ball over led to the Broncos demise.