Broncos coach Vance Joseph quickly pinpointed the problem in the aftermath of Denver’s first loss of the season. Now, he has to re-instill the team-wide mindset and sense of discipline needed to avert the kinds of penalties that were so costly in Denver’s 27-14
loss at Baltimore.
Denver was flagged 13 times for losses of 120 yards. But the damage went far beyond those numbers, as Joseph acknowledged to reporters after the game.
“We can’t do it, it probably cost us 20 points today,’’ Joseph said. “Just self-inflicted penalties. A lot of penalties was just guys losing their composure, we can’t do that.”
Chris Harris’ 58-yard scoop-and-score off Justin Simmons’ block of a field goal was nullified by an illegal block during the return.Left tackle Garett Bolles was flagged twice for holding including one infraction that negated a 38-yard completion Demaryius Thomas. And rookie running back Phillip Lindsay lost his composure while battling for a loose ball in a pileup, drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty and an ejection for throwing a punch in the scrum.
All in all, the slew of penalties on both sides of the ball denied the offense of rhythm and undermined attempts to build a sense of defensive momentum.
“We hurt ourselves with penalties,” running back Devontae Booker told reporters. “We can’t do that when we come into a hostile environment. It’s something we need to learn from.”