The Denver Broncos are on to the 2018 season.
As Adam Malnati and I said on the MHR Radio Recap after yet another embarrassment, it’s fitting that’s the case given who the Broncos have next Sunday: the New England Patriots coming off their bye week. So remain positive if you like, but do so at your own peril.
The Broncos are now drowning in a four-game losing streak with no hope of rescue anytime soon. Denver just got man-handled by the Philadelphia Eagles in a 51-23 loss that shows how lost in the woods it truly is.
Here are the five things we learned.
The Broncos season is over
There was little doubt about that when this disaster started four weeks ago with the eye-opening loss to the New York Giants, but there’s none after Sunday. As mentioned earlier, you can try to find the positive in this and what lies ahead, but c’mon man.
Denver is lost and has no idea how to get back on the path. Heck, the Broncos are so far gone they don’t even know where the path is. The best thing for this team is to now lose as many games as possible to get the highest pick in the NFL Draft.
The coaches and players will say the right things – “talk” is about all this team does well – but after the performance on Sunday in Philadelphia, they quit. It was only a matter of time, but any wins Denver gets now will just limit what it does in the draft.
The Eagles are damn good
Philadelphia gave the Broncos a lesson in every way imaginable on Sunday.
This is how you go all-in on your quarterback selected in the first round. This is how you mold your game plans to the strengths of the players. This is how you have a first-year head coach who doesn’t look lost and inept because the organization puts him in the best possible situation to have success.
As it stands now, I think the two best teams in the NFC are the Eagles and New Orleans Saints. I’m not sure who has the edge, but I would love to see these two teams meet in the playoffs. And despite what the Broncos did to them, the Dallas Cowboys will have a say in the NFC. Before we go any further, how the heck did Denver beat the Cowboys 42-17? This is one of those questions that may remain unanswered for the rest of time.
Broncos haven’t allowed 44 points since the 2013 season. Eagles have 44 and it’s still the 3rd quarter.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) November 5, 2017
It was fun to watch that Philadelphia offense, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Denver could have been in this situation had it gone all-in on Lynch as it should have last season.
Joseph has no clue what he’s doing or saying
The last four weeks give you all the evidence you need that the Broncos head coach is in so far over his head, he’s in quick sand. But then he opens his mouth and removes all doubt.
When Joseph and Denver made the move it should have made three weeks ago, I said at some point the words he says lose all meaning. We got another gem from Joseph after the loss to the Eagles.
“I thought Brock did a fine job,” Joseph said. No, he really told the media that. “Brock had a great week. I was proud of the week he had. He did a fine job. Obviously we had two more interceptions. That I don’t like. But I have to go back and watch the tape and get a feel for how Brock played.”
Joseph isn’t good at this.
This is beyond coach speak. This is a guy who doesn’t know how to watch football or doesn’t know how to formulate a thought.
It gets worse.
#Broncos Vance Joseph, "We had a great week of practice."— Eric Goodman (@EricGoodman) November 5, 2017
Man, he says this every post-game after the team is embarrassed..
Joseph’s go-to line is “we had a great week of practice.” He’s said that since before the loss to the Giants. And guess what? They’ve lost every game since he’s made that comment. And guess what? He said it again after the loss to the Eagles. “We had a great week of practice. We had a great plan.” So Joseph doesn’t know how to watch football or doesn’t know how to formulate a thought. How does a team that has such great practices remain so undisciplined (his team committed 14 penalties on Sunday) and look completely lost?
His words carry no meaning anymore. To the fans or media, but to his players. That’s who matters. It was clear after the Los Angeles Chargers loss Joseph lost the locker room. If it hasn’t happened already, his players will just stop listening to his hollow words.
Go all-in on Paxton Lynch
The Broncos have now wasted two seasons on a guy who won’t even be on the roster next season. Seems like a great way to “win from now on.” Denver has had no plan on Lynch from the second it drafted him. It needs to get one now. See what you have in him. Go all-in on him. Even Tony Dungy on “Football Night in America” said the Broncos need to know what they have in Lynch.
How you give 21 starts to Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round pick who would never amount to squat in the NFL, and only two to Lynch, shows a Cleveland Browns level of ineptness. Find out once and for all what you have in the first-round pick you traded up to get.
Broncos have seen 22 Trevor Siemian starts and only 2 Paxton Lynch starts. They have to get a longer look at their first-round pick.— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) November 5, 2017
Will it make any difference this season? No, but as noted earlier, it’s over at this point so what does the team have to lose? You have already wasted two seasons, might as well make the move at some point.
Is Denver now in complete rebuild mode?
Joseph has fought this notion since he was hired in January, but the answer is a resounding “yes.” John Elway and the Broncos need to start over on offense. Find a real right tackle. Find a left guard. Come to a decision on wide receiver, because $21 million is a lot of cap space to eat on two players who haven’t done much since Peyton Manning retired. The franchise needs to find a tight end, and that could be Jake Butt, but who knows? And then there’s the quarterback. You could throw Monopoly money at one next off-season, but the line will remain trash. That’s why it’s so important to get an idea on Lynch, more than two starts worth.
On defense, this is the last season of Aqib Talib in Denver. There’s no point to pay him $11 million next season when this roster has so many issues. The Broncos must find a middle linebacker who can take over a game. Get that in this defense and it will make a big difference. The other big decision is with Shaquil Barrett. I think it’s pretty clear Elway needs to bring him back.
Spending $21 million on WRs, missing on picks, drafting 1st rd QB with no development plan... that has to catch up to you. Right? #Broncos— Raj Sharan (@Raj_Sharan) November 5, 2017
And then there’s head coach. Do you give a guy who is out of his element another season or do you just cut bait, admit your mistake and move on?
As I said after the game, Elway needs to take the brunt of the blame for where this franchise is right now. His decisions since Manning retired after Super Bowl 50 have left a lot to be desired. Elway is prone to making magic happen; we’ll see if he can do it again.