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Horse Tracks: Putrid offense all but dooms Broncos playoff hopes

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Putrid is a strong word for the Broncos offense... but after scoring only three points on Sunday, is it strong enough?

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This Broncos fan spent most of Sunday's game slumped into the couch with an angry smirk on his face. Granted, I live in New England and will sure hear about yesterday's loss for the next year. What has me more upset than that unpleasant reality is what I saw from the offensive side of the ball.

What had started off as a promising unit, that would shudder to life at times in fits of scoring, has now turned depressingly stagnant. Socially, Broncos Country has turned into a circular firing squad, each fan taking shots at what they perceive to be the problem. Is it the quarterback? The offensive line? The running backs? Tight ends? Wide receivers? Coordinating? Coaching? None of them can say that they aren't the problem.

Trevor Siemian's costly interception and inability to move the ball into scoring position doomed the Broncos. An offensive line incapable of stalling even the most impotent three-man rush doomed the Broncos. Running backs unable to shed tackles and find the end zone doomed the Broncos. Tight ends that can't hold on to the ball doomed the Broncos. The high priced wide receiver who can't haul in passes that hit him in the hands has doomed the Broncos. The laughable sharing of play-calling duties between coach and coordinator doomed the Broncos... and yet between them they can't seem to figure out how to manage their timeouts before the half... The Denver Broncos 2016 season is all but doomed.

Here you have an offensive mastermind at coach who, despite all his best efforts, can't will his team to convert a 3rd down to save his life. That promising unit that flashed during the first half of the season has regressed into a shambling heap of... of... What would you call it? I feel for Gary Kubiak. His offenses have been what put money in his bank and food on his table since he hung up his cleats as a player. Now it's costing him a shot at the playoffs and his staff their jobs in just a few weeks.

My buddy texted me after the game and told me "it's time to emotionally checkout and embrace Christmas." I didn't have the heart to remind him that this offensive fiasco rolls into Arrowhead Stadium on Christmas Day. With two games left in the season, the end has never felt so far away.

HORSE TRACKS

Want to read about stout defense and a field goal? One field goal? The only points Denver scored on Sunday? Here are your recaps.

Five Key Moments: Patriots 16, Broncos 3 | Denver Broncos

Offense struggles as the Patriots beat the Broncos, 16-3, at Mile High | FOX31 Denver

Week 15: Patriots vs. Broncos highlights | Denver Broncos

After another admirable outing, the Broncos defense is getting sick and tired of shouldering the load. Can you blame them? I'd be furious too. Denver Broncos' frustrations boil over after loss to Patriots - NFL.com

Here's some reasoning for the loss and some excuses.

Broncos look in mirror after 16-3 loss to Patriots: 'We're beating ourselves' | Denver Broncos

The Broncos offense has evaporated and Denver's playoff chances probably went with it | FOX Sports

Siemian Says: After promising start, offense's opportunities dry up | Denver Broncos

Here's a little something that shows the Broncos 'Kicking and Screaming' mantra is all but dead. Gary Kubiak let the clock run out in the 1st half with 3 timeouts, down 7 points to the Patriots - SBNation.com

With two games left to go the Denver Broncos are looking to remake themselves in a bid to salvage their season. Broncos looking to be 'elite' in final two games | Denver Broncos

The Oakland Raiders clinched the playoffs with their win over the San Diego Chargers. Are they poised to make some noise? Should anyone be afraid of the Oakland Raiders? | FOX Sports

Could these next two Chargers games be the last they for the city of San Diego? Barring last-second Hail Mary, Spanos ready to move Chargers to L.A. | Pasadena Star News

The Kansas City Chiefs made all of Broncos Country feel better about last week's loss by also getting beaten by the Tennessee Titans. You know, before the Broncos lost again. Kansas City Chiefs leave points on field in potentially crushing loss | ESPN

You have to wonder what might have been if Brock had stayed in Denver instead of getting paid in Houston. Might the fortunes of both parties fared better than they are now? We'll never know. Brock Osweiler benched by the Houston Texans | FOX31 Denver

The Baltimore Ravens are knocking on the door of a wild card with their win over the Eagles. Baltimore Ravens stay in playoff hunt with last-second stand | ESPN

The Jaguars have fired their coach. Gus Bradley fired: Here are seven potential coaching candidates for the Jaguars - CBSSports.com

How badly do Lions and Buccaneers fans want to welcome the Browns into their elite total losers club? Cleveland Browns two games from a winless season following Bills loss | ESPN

The Saints beat the Cardinals. Saints’ offense runs wild in shootout win over Cardinals | ProFootballTalk

Could the Saints trade coach Sean Payton? Saints aren't expected to ask for much to trade Sean Payton during offseason - CBSSports.com

Could the Los Angeles Rams be a potential trade partner? Rams won’t rule out essentially trading for a coach | ProFootballTalk

...or might the Rams make a play for a broadcaster? Rams' coaching job may be perfect fit for Jon Gruden at perfect time - CBSSports.com

The Cowboys rediscovered their mojo against Tampa Bay. Rookie stars lead Cowboys to much-needed win over Bucs: Final score, six takeaways - CBSSports.com

However, it's the dark horse in the NFC East that seems to have people's attention. The New York Giants are just average enough to win the Super Bowl | FOX Sports

Adrian Peterson's return from injury was not enough to lift the Vikings over the Colts. Adrian Peterson: No excuses, I felt good | ProFootballTalk

Packers escaped a meltdown against Matt Barkley's Chicago Bears. Aaron Rodgers' heave, heavy dose of Ty Montgomery save Packers from collapse | ESPN

Here's a live look-in at the Broncos tumbling down the playoff seedings. AFC playoff picture: Patriots clinch a bye, again | ProFootballTalk