That was downright ghoulish.
The Denver Broncos are trapped in a Groundhog’s Day Halloween Nightmare.
We should have known the Broncos would wind up in this recurring nightmare with No. 13 at quarterback. It makes perfect sense now, doesn’t it? Too bad the people who matter don’t get it.
After the latest debacle on national TV, this time a 29-19 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver is immersed in a three-game losing streak and has lost four of the last five. Now we’re left to wonder how bad the season gets from here. We can hope it gets worse so the Broncos get a better draft choice. The good news on that front is the next two games are against the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.
Here’s the five things we learned.
John Elway, come on down
As it stands, the immediate blame falls on Denver coach Vance Joseph. He’s the one who makes the decisions on who does and doesn’t play. He’s responsible for how prepared his team is or isn’t. He’s the one who is supposed to know his locker room. He’s a “leader of men,” remember?
But the larger, long-term blame falls on Elway ... and not for the reasons you might think. Yes, the executive vice president and general manager has gone cheap on his offensive line. Considering that he was once a quarterback who didn’t succeed in the NFL until he got an offensive line, that baffles me. Elway should know better than anyone that you have to invest in your offensive line. Donald Stephenson and Menelik Watson?
As Adam Malnati and I said on the Mile High Report Radio Recap, this is deeper than that, and it’s more frightening.
@AdamMalnati16 & I tried to warn #BroncosCountry this would happen to the #Broncos, & here we are. We try to make sense of this two-year mess in the @MileHighReport Radio Recap. https://t.co/Y0irK3iSkV— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) October 31, 2017
The common denominator the last two seasons and why the Broncos are in this situation — again — is Trevor Siemian. Elway has allowed that to happen. The moment Elway traded up in the first round to get Paxton Lynch, he should have put the weight of the organization behind him and said “He’s our starter going forward.”
When it was clear Gary Kubiak had a weird affinity for Siemian and wasn’t going to give Lynch a fair shot at the starting quarterback job, Elway should have stepped in and said, “No. We’re going with Lynch. He’s our guy.”
Lynch should have been the starting quarterback for Denver prior to the third preseason game last season. Think of the progress this organization would have made by now had Elway looked beyond the first five games and into the future. Regardless of how you feel about Lynch, we would have a clearer view of his capabilities by now.
But we don’t, and it’s because of Elway.
Yes, Siemian sucks.
Yes, Joesph is responsible for the here and now.
For years, John Elway could do no wrong in Broncos Country. Are fans ready to blame Elway for this mess, rather than Trevor Siemian or Vance Joseph?— Mark Kiszla (@markkiszla) October 31, 2017
But Elway allowed all of this happen when he refused to go all-in on Lynch. Now here the Broncos sit with yet another season and special defense wasted while the development of their first-round pick is also, you guessed it, wasted.
Tell me, how is this “winning from now on?”
Kansas City’s front seven is awful
The Chiefs are the best team in the AFC West, but, as they are prone to do, it won’t mean a damn thing come the playoffs. This team won’t do shit in the postseason and it’s because of its defense. Namely, the awful front seven.
Kansas City just allowed the Broncos to rush for 177 yards. A few weeks ago that same defense allowed the Pittsburgh Steelers to rack up 194 yards on the ground. We thought Denver was bad against the rush last season; the Chiefs are worse.
The only reason they didn’t lose this game is because of how putrid Siemian is. Kansas City gave Denver every chance to win and Siemian gave it right back.
Unless Andy Reid gets his front seven and rush defense figured out, the Chiefs will pull a Chiefs and have a great regular season and proceed to win as many games in the playoffs as the Broncos.
"We've got to go back to work, we don't have the option ... We've got to get ready."https://t.co/enlCqScJlk— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 31, 2017
Denver’s defense deserves better
The leaders on the defense should revolt. But they should have revolted the second Siemian was named the starter for the second season in a row. Remember how these same guys were incessantly rolling out the “Trev’s progressed so much and he looks so good” lines?
Still, the Broncos defense played with heart and got spit on by the offense. Monday night’s game should have been a KC blow out, and the lone reason it wasn’t was the effort on defense. When a team turns the ball over five times and you only allow 22 points, you deserve applause. The Broncos were beaten by a kicker and their own offense.
While I wasn’t alive for Super Bowl XII, this game had that kind of feel to it. The defense lays it all on the field while the offense derps all over it. And now for the second season in a row, this special defense is wasted. Such a shame because it’s so much fun to watch them do their thing on the field.
Broncos need to go all in on Lynch ... after the Patriots game
Denver could have made the switch to Brock Osweiler after the New York Giants loss. It could have after the Los Angeles Chargers loss. It should have happened at halftime against the Chiefs. Yet it didn’t and the season is now gone because of it. So continue to ride Siemian the next two weeks and then go all-in on Lynch.
My initial thoughts after the game were you have to bench Siemian, but now with some time I’ve altered my thought process. Stick with Siemian these next two games against the Eagles and Patriots. It’s not like you’re going to ruin Siemian further than he already is now. And any hope of trade value for Siemian once the season is over has vanished.
100% in belief that the health of Paxton Lynch is the reason why Siemian has not been benched. No desire to see/open potential dialog w/ Oz— Ronnie K (@RonnieKRadio) October 31, 2017
The Broncos have already screwed the pooch on Lynch’s development from the second he was drafted; don’t double-down and make it worse by throwing him out there against Philadelphia or New England. Put him in the best possible situation to have a positive start and ensure he gets two more weeks to get healthy/ready. And why make the move to Osweiler? Because the defense may revolt and Joseph will lose the locker room? Joseph lost the locker room when he said, “It’s not a Trevor problem.”
If you make the move to Osweiler now, Denver is like the guy who is ready to propose to his dream girl but gets stuck in traffic because he waited too long to leave and makes her wait two hours at the restaurant. The moment has passed. Don’t make the situation worse by calling her your ex-girlfriend.
Siemian has stolen the fun
Pete Baron mentioned this a week ago in our group Slack messaging room. When Von Miller got the sack to pass Karl Mecklenburg for No. 2 on the franchise’s all-time list, there was no dancing. There was nothing. Miller just ran off the field, and that’s all because of Siemian, who stole the fun from the game Miller used to have.
Denver’s quarterback has done that to everyone on defense, offense, “teams,” coaching staff, at the facility and in Broncos Country. It takes a special talent to pull that. But, again, Elway allowed this to happen when he refused to put the weight of the organization behind the first-round pick he traded up to get.
How is this “winning from now on?”