CHRIS TOMASSON, THE GAZETTE
The Gazette, Colorado Springs
The Broncos on Sunday honored their 1998 Super Bowl-winning team and Hall of Fame linebacker Demarcus Ware at Empower Field at Mile High but the fun for fans eventually ended after that. Here are three takeaways from Denver’s 35-33 loss to the Washington Commanders: 1. Head coach Sean Payton hasn’t denied that his Broncos need to learn how to finish games. They sure do. Denver blew an 18-point lead in the disappointing loss to the Commanders. The Broncos nearly forced overtime when Russell Wilson threw a 50-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to Brandon Johnson on the final play but a two-point conversion failed. The Broncos had looked primed for a rout when they took a 21-3 lead in the second quarter. But Washington steadily worked its way back and finally took a 28-24 lead with 13:25 left in the game on a Brian Robinson 4-yard touchdown run. Robinson later added a 15-yard TD run for a 35-24 lead. Things are now looking very bad for the 0-2 Broncos, who lost their opener 17-16 at home to Las Vegas. Since the start of the Super Bowl era in 1966 and through last season, 51 teams started 0-2 with both losses at home and just two made the playoffs. 2. Broncos safety Kareem Jackson could be staring at a suspension after he was ejected for a vicious penalized hit to the head of Washington tight end Logan Thomas when he caught a 4-yard touchdown pass late in the first half. Thomas was lost for the game due to a concussion. It was the second straight game in which Jackson was penalized for unnecessary roughness and knocked a player out of the game with a concussion. Against the Raiders, he hit Jakobi Meyers, who sat out Sunday at Buffalo. Jackson was fined $14,819 by the NFL for that hit. Against the Commanders, Jackson launched before hitting Thomas in the head was immediately ejected. 3. Welcome to the NFL, Marvin Mims Jr. OK, so the rookie receiver actually made his debut the previous week against Las Vegas but he wasn’t used much and caught just two passes for nine yards. Against the Commanders, Mims showed he can be an integral piece this season of Denver’s attack. He caught two passes for 113 yards, which included a 60-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and a 53-yard grab in the second quarter. He also had a 45-yard punt return and two carries for 10 yards. But he wasn’t targeted in the second half. Mims wasn’t the only rookie to show flashes on Sunday. Running back Jaleel Mclaughlin scored Denver’s first touchdown on a 5-yard run in the first quarter but he didn’t carry the ball again the rest of the game.