Of the five stages of grief, denial was the one you felt before the game. I felt it, too. Even though I predicted a Denver Broncos loss, I still felt like there was a chance. It was possible for the Broncos to regroup, and snag an upset win. Getting back on track was just a Tom Brady sack away.
The #Broncos looked awful against the #Patriots. On the @MileHighReport Radio Podcast, I definitely went through the 5 stages of grief, and without @IanStClair to pick me up, it took awhile to get to acceptance.https://t.co/ryodEoZPOk— Adam Malnati (@AdamMalnati16) November 13, 2017
The defense gave just a slight glimmer of hope in the first series. The New England Patriots went three and out. Could it be? Is it possible? A victory over the great Bill Belichick? As I mentioned on the Mile High Report Radio podcast, denial shifted to anger at the drop of a football.
Isaiah McKenzie and the special teams turned that three and out into a red zone opportunity for the Patriots. Tom Brady needed just two plays to get the ball into the end zone. The anger stage was in full blown snot bubble screaming. The special teams unit failed the rest of the team.
Does Brock Olivo get fired midgame?— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) November 13, 2017
From anger, Broncos Country moved into bargaining. Tweets that made sure to mention the Broncos were winning, save the special teams gaffes. Even the Dion Lewis touchdown return following a Brandon McManus field goal couldn’t deter the bargaining. “If the Denver Broncos defense can…” “Von Miller can still wreck this game if…” “Brock Osweiler is actually throwing well.” Then Demaryius Thomas scored a touchdown, and the Broncos were back in the game.
Bargaining didn’t last long, as the defense continued to struggle. There will be no apologies made for the collapse of the defense. Aqib Talib looked a step slow. Von Miller never had an impact. They never could stop the run. Watching the Denver Broncos struggle in all phases, including defense, was depressing. Following the Thomas touchdown catch, New England put together a solid drive, capped off by a Dion Lewis 8 yard touchdown run. The entire stadium deflated.
Thirty-one of the 64 points allowed by the defense in the last two games have come on drives that began in Denver territory. For the season it’s 77 of 190 (40.5 percent) of all points allowed by the defense that have come on drives to start in Denver territory.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) November 13, 2017
Finally, as the clock ran out, and the realization sank in that the Denver Broncos are not contenders, acceptance. If you haven’t accepted the fact that the Broncos are no longer an elite team, you are still stuck in denial. The NBC broadcast put up a stat at one point noting that the Broncos had given up the most points in a two game stretch since 1988. It was still the 3rd quarter.
The Denver Broncos are going to have a high draft pick. It’s time to accept that, and hope that they don’t miss.