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Horse Tracks: Denver Broncos 10-month win-streak ends against the Atlanta Falcons

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It's not often that such a low-scoring game feels like it's over with a quarter left to go. That was the case when the Denver Broncos hosted the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

What a stinker! There was so much that was bad offensively in Sunday's Broncos game against the Atlanta Falcons, it's hard to know where to begin.  Paxton Lynch may be the quarterback of the future, but he demonstrated that the future is not nearly as close as many of us thought it may be after his showing in Tampa last week. To watch Lynch behind center on Sunday was to watch a quarterback bereft of basic mechanics, confidence, and trust in his offensive line. Can you blame him? Ty Sambrialo was completely ineffective and an embarrassment, getting tossed, pushed, shoved, and otherwise completely mitigated in almost comical ways. Demaryius Thomas managed to get in another ugly drop before making the lone (garbage) touchdown of the game for Denver.

Despite all that, there is one thing I really want to highlight this Monday morning. There is a type of play that the Broncos consistently go to that isn't working. It hasn't worked all season. They need to stop doing it. Please.

3rd and 1

When I see this down and distance, I start to sweat and my heart sinks. I know what's coming. Everyone knows what's coming. Any team that has watched the Denver Broncos in 2016 knows what's coming. There's nobody in the stadium or watching on television that doesn't know. It won't work. It hasn't all season.

Run up the middle, no gain.

On 3rd and 1, it's time for the Denver Broncos to stop running it up the middle for no gain.

After the Broncos first 3rd and 1 failure of Sunday's game, where they tried to get cute by flashing an end-around look with a wide receiver in motion, they fell to 5-12 for the season on 3rd and 1. However, they would not be swayed in the face of a play proven ineffective time and time again. At least once and possibly two or three more times, they they ran up the middle on 3rd and 1 for no gain.

It's not working. I know Denver want's to impose its will in the running game. I get that. However, it's a tragic waste of great opportunities to think it's going to happen when it just hasn't this far into the season. 3rd and short should not feel more hopeless than 3rd and long.

So, let's not kill our drives by picking the same kind of play in short yardage every single time. The world knows it's coming and, more importantly, the world knows it doesn't work. It's time the Denver Broncos realized it as well.

HORSE TRACKS

The most startling news to come out of Sunday's loss was the news of Gary Kubiak's health scare that sent him to the hospital. Football criticism aside, here's hoping that Kubs is fine. Kubiak remains at hospital, undergoing testing | ProFootballTalk

Who wants to relive Sunday's loss with some recaps!?

Atlanta Falcons hand Denver Broncos first loss 23-16 (Oct 9, 2016) | FOX Sports

Paxton Lynch of Denver Broncos can't shake feeble Atlanta Falcons | ESPN

Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos: RECAP, score, stats (10/9/16), NFL Week 5 | NJ.com

Denver Broncos lose 23 - 16 to Atlanta Falcons game recap | 9news.com

So, how did this loss happen?

Three Keys Unlocked: Falcons 23, Broncos 16 | Denver Broncos

Coleman, Freeman decimate Denver's dominant D - NFL.com

Five Key Moments: Broncos fall to Falcons, 23-16 | Denver Broncos

Falcons' Tevin Coleman brushes off sickel cell concerns to soar | ESPN

Paxton Lynch, like the rest of Broncos Country, was disappointed. From The Pocket: Paxton Lynch disappointed after tough loss to Atlanta | Denver Broncos

Pundits are already punching the Falcon's ticket to the Super Bowl. The Falcons' win over Denver validates them as Super Bowl contenders | FOX Sports

It's a short week... No time to dwell. It's on to San Diego and those sweet color rush uniforms with the throwback D logo! "Now you have to move on" after Broncos' defeat to Falcons | Denver Broncos

Demaryius Thomas' garbage touchdown in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game was his 50th. Demaryius Thomas’ Touchdown Puts Him In Elite Company " CBS Denver

Collapsing late in games is quickly becoming the hallmark for the San Diego Chargers. It's a long list of excruciating San Diego Chargers losses | ESPN

It was more of the same on Sunday for San Diego.

Botched snap leads to another painful Chargers loss | ProFootballTalk

WATCH: A botched field goal attempt caps the Chargers' latest meltdown - CBSSports.com

Apparently, San Diego fans are tiring of it. Mike McCoy’s job could come down to the next pair of games - Bolts From The Blue

His work with the Denver Broncos got Mike McCoy his job in San Diego and the Broncos may be the team that gets him fired. Two of his next three games are against Denver. Chargers reportedly close to firing Mike McCoy - SBNation.com

The Raiders move to Las Vegas isn't a sure thing. Las Vegas fight is looming | ProFootballTalk

For as bad as it was for the Denver Broncos on Sunday, it was much worse for Texans' quarterback Brock Osweiler. With great dollar amounts come great expectations... and, just five weeks in, those expectations aren't close to being met.

Brock Osweiler has been a $72 million disaster for the Texans | FOX Sports

Brock Osweiler's abysmal performance makes fans on Twitter miss Hoyer, Weeden - CBSSports.com

NFL Winners and Losers: Broncos might have dodged a bullet on Brock Osweiler - Yahoo Sports Canada

Poor Cleveland... At least basketball season is right around the corner. Browns forced to use fifth QB in five games after Cody Kessler gets injured | FOX Sports

Tom Brady and the Patriots beat the worst team in football and the football universe was somehow shocked that they did so well. WATCH: Tom Brady celebrates his return with 406 yards in a blowout win - CBSSports.com

What I just said isn't entirely fair to the Miami Dolphins... They may be the worst team in football. Dolphins coach has surprising answer when asked if he'll bench QB Ryan Tannehill | FOX Sports

The gas mask bong  guy from this year's draft had some sort of freak injury in the shower that kept him out of the Dolphins game on Sunday. Laremy Tunsil of Miami Dolphins hurts ankle, inactive vs. Tennessee Titans | ESPN

The Cowboys beat up on the Cincinnati Bengals. Zeke seems to be the real deal. Ezekiel Elliott has already done something Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith never did - CBSSports.com

The way Dak Prescott is playing, you can bet the rest of the NFC East is praying for Tony Romo's speedy recovery. Tony Romo to undergo MRI Monday, gets vote of confidence from Jerry Jones - CBSSports.com

Los Angeles got smoked by the Buffalo Bills. Bills knock off Rams 30-19 after fake punt misfires | ProFootballTalk

Jay Cutler looks like he's going to get yet another week to get healthy... whether he needs it or not. Could he already be done in Chicago? Brian Hoyer does enough to keep QB job in Bears' loss to Colts | ESPN

The New York Giants lost twice yesterday, first to the Green Bay Packers, and then in the ratings by playing opposite the second presidential debate. Packers limit Odell Beckham to top Giants, improve to 3-1 | FOX Sports

The team to beat in the NFL is now the Minnesota Vikings. Who is going to beat the Minnesota Vikings? | FOX Sports