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At what point does John Elway get the blame for the Broncos problems?

This disaster is the sum of all the decisions Elway’s made the last two years and he’s made very few good ones since Peyton Manning retired.

Denver Broncos v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

That thud you just heard was the realization the Denver Broncos suck.

That’s not breaking news for some in Broncos Country, but it shouldn’t be for the rest. This team has been in serious trouble since it traded up in the first-round for a quarterback and decided the better play was to go all-in on a seventh-round draft pick. As it stands now, two years removed from a Super Bowl 50 win, John Elway and his franchise have wondered aimlessly in the woods with no map or compass to find its way back.

Here’s where it gets frightening for the Broncos: There’s no reason to think they will find their way back to civilization anytime soon, especially after the 51-23 beatdown at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles to increase their losing streak to four-straight games.

The coaching staff once again got outclassed and embarrassed by the opposition’s staff. Denver was once again unprepared and undisciplined. It’s beyond evident Vance Joseph is in over is head and doesn’t know what he’s doing. But who hired him?

The offense is and will remain a blight on football as long as it takes the field. The offensive line, as has been the case the last two seasons, is a huge problem. But who drafted and signed the players Denver has?

Denver’s “teams” might as well not even take the field the rest of the season, but, hey, at least Brandon McManus made three field goals. Who put that part of the roster together?

The Broncos defense can only do so much, but has been wasted two years in a row. Still, it can’t cover tight ends and hasn’t for what feels like 20 years. The middle linebackers remain the weak link on that unit and won’t get better. Who hired the coaches who design these game plans and drafted/signed the players the unit has at middle linebacker?

Denver’s issues run long and deep. There isn’t one player, coach or phase you can point the blame at. When you have a disaster like the Broncos, it’s easier to find things that aren’t issues. But you can and should blame one person who is responsible for putting those players, coaches and phases on the field.

As a point of fact, I bought the hype with Joseph when he was hired. I bought the hype with Mike McCoy when he was brought back as the offensive coordinator. It took some time, but I understood why the Broncos moved on from Wade Phillips in favor of Joe Woods. I even bought the hype on Brock Olivo. I was wrong on all fronts.

Since the bye week, Joesph and his staff have made Josh McDaniels less of a dirty word in these parts. Heck, I would take John Fox at this point in a heartbeat. In his tenure in Denver, he couldn’t beat teams with winning records but they were at least prepared. And it was clear after the loss to the New York Giants the split had started in Joseph’s locker room, but he refused to admit it. A leader of men should have seen it coming, but he didn’t. Whether because of pride or cognitive dissonance, he plugged his ears, closed his eyes and convinced himself “this is fine.”

But, again, this falls on one person and one person alone.

I get that Elway is untouchable in these parts.

I get that people get caught up in in the past and it blinds them from seeing the here and now. But as was the case with Gary Kubiak, the past isn’t an excuse for what they do today.

The current state of the Broncos falls back on one woefully ignorant and shortsighted decision, but this disaster is the sum of all the decisions Elway’s made in that time and he’s made very few since Peyton Manning retired.

As the leader of this franchise, Denver is wandering around aimlessly in the woods because it’s guide lost his map and compass. Will Elway lead the franchise back? That depends how far out the Broncos have traversed in the wrong direction.