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Could the Denver Broncos be the Titanic of the NFL this season?

The playoff shoreline is swiftly fading into the night. Who, other than the defense, will pick up a bucket?

Denver Broncos v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Like the iconic Titanic, expectations were high for the Denver Broncos this season. Some fans thought with its historic defense, that it was an indestructible force no matter how much the offense floundered.

But this team has had leaks since training camp that continue to widen. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that the coaching staff never repaired them. On Sunday Night Football, one has to wonder if the Broncos finally hit the iceberg.

With the Broncos getting manhandled by their hated rival, they sink to third place in the AFC West.

Leave it to Denver: When it gets totally embarrassed, it makes sure it happens on national TV. The first happened against the San Diego Chargers.

Now with the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL, it’s hard to feel hopeful that this ship will stay afloat. Next up is Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Does anyone actually, truly, believe this putrid, “meh” Broncos offense can keep pace with that high-scoring machine?

By now, the realization has surely hit players, coaches and fans that it’s far more likely Denver misses the playoffs than repeats as Super Bowl champions. Especially as those gaping holes in the offense continue to go unplugged.

I get it. There are those in Broncos Country who live in Lego Land where “Everything is awesome.”

“It’s a long season and there’s a lot of football left.”

No matter how good Denver’s defense is – and it’s really, really good – there’s only so much water it can throw overboard by itself. It needs help. In those two losses on national TV, it got none. Yet the only reason either game was close was because of the defense.

For those who reference the 218 yards rushing the Raiders compiled as a sign this defense failed, take a look at the time of possession. The Broncos defense was on the field for OVER 40 minutes. On what planet can any defense have sustained success when it’s on the field for more than half of the game? Yet despite that, the defense somehow kept Sunday’s game close and the offense still couldn’t do anything save for another three-and-out … or turnover.

Heck, the only reason Denver beat the Chargers at home is because of the three interceptions off Philip Rivers, one for a pick-six, and it still almost blew it. If not for those turnovers, the Broncos lose that game as well.

It’s been said by some since before training camp, and it’s showing it’s ugly head right now: It doesn’t matter how good Denver’s defense is, it needs help from the offense. You simply cannot rely on what happened a season ago to get you through again.

Instead, the Broncos have an offense that rivals Tim Tebow for putridness. There is one big difference though – at least he was mobile.

You have an offensive coordinator who … does what exactly?

What the Broncos have is a head coach who looks like he’s taking on water and doesn’t have enough buckets to save his sinking ship. The leak started before the voyage even began when he botched the quarterback situation in training camp. And it widens even more when he skirts around the bigger problem by saying Denver needs to run the ball but doesn’t.

Much like the Titanic, Denver had massive expectations for this season. The hyperbole was matched only by the sheer level of delusion.

A ship once deemed “indestructible” is now taking on water at disastrous levels.

The playoff shoreline is swiftly fading into the night. Who, other than the defense, will pick up a bucket? If it isn’t already too late.