In hindsight, we probably should have expected a down year from the Denver Broncos. We figured Peyton Manning wasn’t that important to the teams success in 2015. We figured Brock Osweiler wasn’t that important to the teams success either. One was probably more true than the other.
In hindsight, perhaps the offensive woes in 2015 was more Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison than it was a “broken Peyton”. We figured any bum we put under center could run the offense better than those two quarterbacks could. That clearly wasn’t true.
In hindsight, the Vance Walker injury was a bigger deal than any of us wanted to admit. If the offense wasn’t capitulating, the interior run defense was.
In hindsight, John Elway has whiffed on nearly every offensive line pick he has made and those mistakes have finally come home to roost. Will he tweak his scouting department to improve offensive line evaluation? Trent Baalke rumors were not well received, but as a scout he had a good record with offensive line evaluations.
There is plenty of blame to go around for the Broncos fall from grace, but already there are reports that changes are coming.
“We'll see,” Elway said after the game. “We’ll start that evaluation process. We’re always working to do get better so we’ll look at them and evaluate them and go from there.’?”
2016 ends a playoff run that began with Tim Tebow in 2011 and ended with Trevor Siemian going 17 for 43 for 183 yards and an interception. Instead of a bang, the season ended with a whimper.
If think Elway is looking at changes there on the personnel side of the quarterback equation, think again.
“Two young guys,” Elway said. “They were put in the fire this year. Trevor came in and did some good things. Really feel pretty good about that position. We think we have two young guys who will continue to get better.”
The change fans hope to see is at offensive coordinator. As Mark Kiszla noted yesterday, there is nothing worse than firing a friend. If Kubiak keeps his job, it must accompany wholesale change from the offensive coordinator position on down to the offensive line coach.
Couple that with some serious consideration for top talent on the offensive line in free agency and the NFL Draft and this team could return to contention in short order. As frustrating as this season was, they really were a few key players away from competing for AFC supremacy.
At the end of the day, the dreaded Super Bowl hangover hit our Broncos hard. All we can do now is look ahead to 2017.