Broncos After Further Review: Vic Fangio confident Jerry Jeudy can bounce back after five drops

Broncos After Further Review: Vic Fangio confident Jerry Jeudy can bounce back after five drops

Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Monday he believes rookie receiver Jerry Jeudy has the right kind of approach and attitude to overcome his five-drop disaster in Sunday’s 19-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

“Yes, I do think he’s got the right make-up,” Fangio said. “When I (said post-game) it’s a ‘defining moment,’ sometimes a guy drops a pass here and there, but he had a few of them and I think he’ll learn a lot from that and that the focus needs to be on catching the ball before anything else happens, regardless of whether you’re in traffic or not.

“I think he’ll come out a better receiver for this.”

Fangio and the Broncos should hope Jeudy’s game was merely a blip. The drops overshadowed Jeudy receiving a season-high 15 targets (14 in the previous three games combined). He had six catches for 61 yards.

The five drops: Six-yard out route, eight-yard slant, five-yard slant, 12-yard corner and 45-yard post.

All of quarterback Drew Lock’s throws on Jeudy’s drops weren’t perfect — his throw was slightly wide on the first and a little low on the third — but all were catchable.

The fourth drop would have been a touchdown, but it’s questionable whether Jeudy’s footwork was precise enough to stay in bounds.

In Sunday’s season finale against Las Vegas, the Broncos should prioritize sending Jeudy into the offseason on a positive note.

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“He’s proven during the season, at different times, that he can be a helluva receiver in this league,” Fangio said. “He can catch — he had a bad day (Sunday) in that regard, but he’s proven he has good hands.”

Here is our review of the Broncos-Chargers game:

Offense

Playing time. The Broncos’ 77 offensive snaps were tied for the most this season with the Pittsburgh (Week 2) and Kansas City (Week 7) losses. The skill-position snap counts: WR Tim Patrick 69, TE Noah Fant 64, WR DaeSean Hamilton 61, Jeudy 61, RB Melvin Gordon 51, RB Royce Freeman 18, TE Troy Fumagalli 18, TE Nick Vannett 18, WR Diontae Spencer 13, RB LeVante Bellamy 8, WR KJ Hamler 8 and TE/FB Andrew Beck 2.

Dinking, dunking. Los Angeles was mostly successful in taking away the Broncos’ downfield passing game. Lock was 3-of-12 passing for 62 yards on attempts that traveled at least 16 “air” yards. The completions were 18 yards to Hamilton, 19 to Fant and 25 to Hamilton. Lock threw a catchable 45-yard pass to Jeudy on the final drive that was dropped, but earlier, he overshot Jeudy well downfield on what should have been a 72-yard touchdown.

Protecting Lock. Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley rushed five or more players on only three of Lock’s 51 drop-backs. The rate of 5.9% was a season low for a Broncos opponent, ahead of 6.4% by the Chargers in the teams’ first meeting (three of 47). Lock was sacked twice, but no blame was booked since they were scrambles that failed to reach the line of scrimmage. The Chargers had four knockdowns and five pressures. RT Elijah Wilkinson had 2 1/2 disruptions allowed and LT Garett Bolles two.

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