The Denver Broncos are now reaching a consensus around the NFL power rankings as one of the league’s worst teams. Fortunately for them, they’ll face a team that is also considered one of the worst in the league in the Arizona Cardinals this week, so they have a chance to rebound a bit with a win on Thursday Night Football.
Then again, the Broncos are 1-9 on the road under Vance Joseph. There is a good chance we’ll be reviewing yet another slide in rankings to the very bottom this time next week.
So who gets canned first? Vance Joseph or Joe Woods when they wake up Friday after 5 straight losses? And will they use the “semi-bye” week to get Chad Kelly ready to go toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes?
The Broncos, Colts, 49ers, Bills, Giants, Cardinals, and Raiders round out the bottom of this week’s rankings. It appears that Oakland is the worst team in the league (at the moment) as just about everything is going wrong and Jon Gruden isn’t learning from his mistakes.
Playoff chances: 1.8 percent. Denver’s once-vaunted defense just became the first in NFL history to allow 200-yard rushers in consecutive games in a season. The Broncos have hemorrhaged big plays all year, allowing 34 plays of at least 20 yards, second most behind the Chiefs. When the Broncos won the Super Bowl in 2015, they gave up only 46 plays of 20-plus yards, the fewest in the league.
This team can’t stop the run. That’s a big problem in the NFL.
In Denver, you’d think the Broncos would turn into the 2007 Patriots if they’d just give Chad Kelly a chance to play quarterback. Let’s just say the fans in Colorado really like him. What’s more pressing is that I’m not sure Vance Joseph would survive a loss at a bad Arizona team on Thursday night. If the Broncos were so inclined, they’d have three extra days to make a move, and it’s hard to believe John Elway would stay patient if they fell to 2-5.
Case Keenum played better against the Rams, but he’s still not very good. That 2-0 start has proved to be a major fluke. Giving up 200-yard rushers at will isn’t a formula for any success.