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Broncos vs Rams: 7 winners, 6 losers in Denver’s fourth-straight loss

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Regardless of how Sunday’s game unfolded, there were more than 100 winners honored by the franchise at halftime, and that itself is a win.

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Los Angeles Rams v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

The Denver Broncos continue to find a way to give their fans false hope and make it closer than it should but be, yet still lose. And don’t give me any crap about the toughness the Broncos showed in a 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. They got owned on both lines of scrimmage by a better team.

All that matters is Denver (2-4) is now on a four-game losing streak and all of Broncos Country is asking: How bad will it get? Meanwhile, the Rams (6-0) are a damn good football team.

Winners

Broncos organization

Sunday was the “Fight Like a Bronco” game, where the franchise does its Salute to Survivors. At halftime, the Broncos honored more than 100 women, men and children who survived more than 30 different types of cancer. This is the third year of “Fight Like a Bronco” that was started for assistant turf manager Luke Kellerman, who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. In September 2015, Kellerman began formulating a proposal for an expansion of the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” campaign.

From the team’s release:

“Seven months later, the proposal came to life when the team announced ‘Fight Like A Bronco,’ an all-inclusive campaign recognizing all those affected by cancer. The yearlong campaign focuses on prevention and screenings, support for those currently battling cancer and celebrating survivors.

“While Kellerman tragically lost his battle with cancer on Oct. 26, 2017, at age 34, his legacy lives on through the team’s ‘Fight Like a Bronco’ campaign.”

The more than 100 cancer survivors

The women, men and children who won their battle with this heinous disease deserved all the recognition they got on Sunday from the Broncos. They are the real heroes.

Bradley Chubb

Denver’s rookie had a helluva game. Chubb finished with three of the defense’s five sacks, and, in the process, tied the Broncos’ rookie record for sacks in a game. If not for Chubb and the Orange Rush, the game would have been way worse.

Emmanuel Sanders

Yes, he had that dumb taunting penalty that cost his team 15 yards and four points, but he was still one of the lone guys to show up on offense for Denver. Sanders finished with seven catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. And there are other areas the Broncos lost this game, it wasn’t just Sanders’ penalty. But credit for him owning up to it after the game.

“It cost my team. I look at the scoreboard and we lost by 3 points,” Sanders told the media after the game. “I feel like we could have easily punched that ball in and got four (more) points. I guess this loss is on me.”

Courtland Sutton

Speaking of offensive players, the Broncos rookie continues to shine. Sutton only had three catches for 58 yards, with most of it coming on a 41-yard catch, but the young man is special. It also shows Denver needs to throw it deep to Sutton three to five times a game, given he always seems to come down with the ball or draw pass interference penalties.

Brandon McManus

The Broncos kicker made both of his field goals and both extra points. McManus has yet to miss a field goal or extra point through six games. He entered Sunday’s game as one of four kickers to do so this season.

Todd Gurley

The Rams running back looked and played like Bo Jackson from Tecmo Bowl. Gurley is so good. He finished with 208 yards on 28 carries for two touchdowns and a whopping 7.4 yards per carry.

Losers

Vance Joseph

Once again the Broncos head coach was outmatched and outcoached. Situational football remains the scarlett letter for this team, as evidenced by his decision to go for it on fourth-and-three from the Rams’ 39-yard line. It would have been a 56-yard field goal for McManus, but that is in his range. And if you’re going to go for it in that situation, why not give your team the chance to get points?

Those three points would have been a huge deal, given the final score was 23-20. If he’s not the worst situational coach in the NFL, he’s at the top of the list.

As for all of the changes Joseph talked about this week, the defense was embarrassed by a running back for the second-straight week. One of the changes involved Joseph taking over some of the defensive calls. That worked swimmingly. Also, how did that Max Garcia move work out?

As the MHR Twitter account pointed out, the Broncos had their longest losing streak in 50 years. In 2018, they’ll probably have their first back-to-back losing season in 45 years. Joseph is setting the wrong kind of records.

Why is he still the head coach of this football team?

Joe Woods

The Broncos defensive coordinator should not have a job come Monday.

Denver’s run defense

There is nothing left to say. At least this week the Broncos let one of the best in the NFL get his career-best game and over 200 yards rushing. The Rams finished with 270 yards rushing. In the last two weeks, Denver has allowed 593 yards ... on the ground alone. The Broncos run defense is putrid — and that’s an insult to putrid.

Case Keenum

Denver’s defense did all it could to keep this game close by keeping the Rams out of the end zone, and Keenum and the offense spoiled it. The Broncos made it closer than it should have been, and Keenum did throw two touchdowns, but he also threw his eighth interception. He threw seven all of last season.

Garett Bolles

AKA, Garett Holds. He only got flagged for one holding penalty against LA, but that’s still one too many. And Bolles still leads the NFL in holding penalties.

Bradley Roby

Whenever there’s a big pass play allowed by the Broncos defense, it’s guaranteed to come with Roby in “coverage.”