The Denver Broncos pulled off the impossible: They won a game.
Thanks to the 23-0 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, the historic eight-game losing streak is finished. For at least a few days, Vance Joseph and the Broncos remember what it feels like to win.
While it may help the team and some fans feel better, the result doesn’t mean a damn thing for Denver. Despite the win, the Broncos (4-9) were still eliminated from the NFL playoffs.
Here’s the five things we learned from this win.
Vance Joseph should still get fired
A win that comes on the same day the season is officially over doesn’t and shouldn’t change the fact he cannot lead this team, let alone in 2018. Hopefully the standards in Denver haven’t fallen so far that it’s now “well, we shutout the Jets, let’s give him another year.”
Woo hoo the #Broncos got a meaningless win! As @AdamMalnati16 & I declared on the @MileHighReport Radio Recap, the party is still over for Vance Joseph & the team (they were eliminated from the playoffs, but let's celebrate ). https://t.co/mkb3o7tyHd— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) December 11, 2017
As Adam Malnati and I said on the MHR Radio Recap, Joseph is still woefully incompetent and has no clue what he’s doing as a head coach. We can hope the reports are true that no matter what he and the team does in the remainder of the season it will not save his job. The Broncos need to move on with a new head coach in 2018.
We can add “garbage time” Trevor Siemian to this discussion as well. He always pads his stats in games that are over (see the Oakland Raiders game) to give people the impression “well, maybe he can play in the NFL.” So of course he’ll play well when the games don’t matter, just as he did to end the 2016 season.
Don’t fall for fools gold, which is what Sunday’s game is; especially when it comes to Joseph and Siemian.
Von Miller is a special, special player
One of the positives to come out of Sunday’s “win” was Miller. With his one sack, he became the first player in Broncos history with six, 10-sack seasons, and he recorded his 90th career sack, including the playoffs. That’s the fifth-most in NFL history through a player’s first seven seasons. Only Reggie White, DeMarcus Ware, Richard Dent and Derrick Thomas had more in that time.
Mile High Salute to Miller. It’s a true pleasure to watch you do what you do and how well you do it. And it was awesome to see him dance again.
Denver knows how to shutout the Jets
Two of the last three games played between the Broncos and New York at Mile High have resulted in shutouts. The most previous Denver shutout was Nov. 20, 2005, against the Jets in a 27-0 win.
No matter how awful New York was on Sunday, the Broncos defense held an opposing offense to 100 yards of total offense and only six first downs. Denver’s defense is the first to record a shutout and hold an offense to 100 yards or less since San Diego did it in 2010.
It was nice to see the Broncos defense return to form, so to speak.
Demaryius Thomas moves up Denver’s record book
As is the case with Miller, Thomas is the other bright spot to come out of Sunday’s performance. As I’ve noted multiple times over the course of the season, no player (maybe in Broncos history) evokes such emotion from fans ... and in just one game.
With his eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown, Thomas passed Shannon Sharpe for second place in team history in receiving touchdowns (56) and yards (8,439). However fans feel about Thomas, he will go down as one of the best receivers in Broncos history.
Denver fans are over this season
A few hundred no shows is unacceptable in Broncos Country. This season is a test for even the most hardcore fans, on multiple fronts. We saw that in full effect on Sunday at Mile High Stadium, on social media and in the comments section.
There were 5,186 no shows for Sunday’s game. Read that again if you have to because it’s a huge number not often seen in these parts. That shows this season can’t end soon enough for many fans. Hopefully, brighter times are ahead.