Mile High Lows
Example: The Denver Broncos.
Let’s go back to last week. Primarily because none of their quarterbacks can play and their special teams are awful, the Broncos had lost five games in a row after starting the season 3-1. General manager John Elway described the team as having gotten “a little bit soft” during the skid.
Great. That undermines the coach, Vance Joseph, who, quite frankly, should not have this job. It irritates the players. And Elway above all should know that anytime you point a finger, there are 10 fingers pointing back.
So the Broncos went out and dropped another one Sunday, losing 20-17 at home to a mediocre Cincinnati Bengals team. The Broncos (3-7) hadn’t lost to the Bengals in Denver since 1975. If they win out, they will equal last year’s record and likely miss the playoffs again.
They won the Super Bowl after the 2015 season, so this decline has been sudden and precipitous. They’ve not had a losing record since 2010.
A little more about Joseph: His one year as defensive coordinator with the Miami Dolphins was hardly a success. The Dolphins leaked against the run, ranking 30th in the NFL despite the presence of such well-compensated and talented players as Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake and Reshad Jones.
Now, the unpleasant facts from the Rocky Mountains:
*A long-standing feeling that the playbook was too complex came to a head on Monday morning when Joseph dismissed offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
*Denver’s six-game losing streak is its longest since 1993-94, and the Broncos have failed to score 20 points in seven of their last eight games.
*Quarterbacks Trevor Siemian (benched) and Brock Osweiler (should be benched) have combined for 12 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions while being sacked 31 times. Last year’s No. 1 pick, Paxton Lynch, injured his shoulder in preseason and hasn’t taken a snap.
What does the future hold? We’ll need to see how the present plays out. But the Broncos, quarterbacked to championships by Elway and Peyton Manning, need a lot of help at that marquee position before this ship will be righted.
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