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Broncos vs Chiefs: 3 winners, 6 losers in seventh-straight loss to KC

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For that result to come in what John Elway called a “must-win” game, the Broncos season is on the precipice of being over.

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Mirage or real?

That was the question for the Denver Broncos after they beat a horrible Arizona Cardinals team in what feels like forever ago. After Sunday’s 30-23 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, there’s no question it was a desert mirage. In the process, Denver has now lost seven-straight games to the Chiefs.

For that result to come in what John Elway called a “must-win” game, the Broncos (3-5) season is on the precipice of being over — if not there already. To make matters even more interesting, the NFL trade deadline falls on Tuesday.

Winners

Phillip Lindsay

Denver’s undrafted running back was his typical self, and this time as the lead back. Lindsay finished with 18 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown. It’s so much fun to watch Lindsay carry the ball and play the game. You can tell how much he loves this. Week in and week out, he’s on this list and someone whom fans can be proud of.

Courtland Sutton

Speaking of rookies who continue to impress and do their jobs, the Broncos receiver needs more chances and touches in this offense. As I’ve said before, Bill Musgrave needs to call three to five deep 50/50 balls for Sutton since he always seems to come down with them or get pass interference calls. Sutton had three catches for 78 yards, the later leading Denver.

Tim Patrick

The Broncos receiver only had one catch, but at the time (we thought) it was huge since it was at the end of the first half and resulted in a touchdown. The 24-yard touchdown would serve as a confidence builder for the offense and team, especially since Kansas City scored on the previous drive and got the ball to start the second half. Alas, the play didn’t matter. But credit still goes to Patrick for making a nice catch. He also had a nice run for 13 yards on an end-around.

Losers

Broncos offensive line

We’ve come to expect some shitty showings by this unit, but my God. Even for Denver’s offensive line, this showing was horrid. What makes it worse is that it came against a bad Chiefs defense. By my count, four of the team’s 10 penalties were on the offensive line, and the Broncos allowed five sacks.

Case Keenum

For the amount of money Denver is paying him, until he plays a clean game, he will remain on this list. In every game Keenum has started for the Broncos, that’s now eight, he’s thrown an interception in all of them. And while Denver allowed five sacks, not all of them were on the line. Keenum has the pocket awareness of a newborn kangaroo. Neither has any idea where they are, they’re blind to the world around them, and completely vulnerable to anything that gets near them.

Vance Joseph

At what point is enough enough? Stop delaying the inevitable and fire Joseph. Make the switch to Tom McMahon, who has coordinated the only unit for the Broncos that has been consistent. Bring what McMahon has done for the special teams to the whole team.

Bill Musgrave

Speaking of enough is enough ... Denver’s offensive coordinator had his moments, but he just can’t help himself. Musgrave wants this offense to do things it’s not good at. As Benjamin Allbright pointed out on Twitter, on first-and-goal from the 8-yard line, Musgrave calls two passes and a draw, and got bailed out on fourth down. Musgrave then calls a flea-flicker. Allbright: “Our RBs have gone 27 carries for 173 yards ... let’s throw a flea flicker to the wide side of the field with our average arm QB, and some swing passes.”

Bradley Roby

While Lindsey is always in the winners group, here’s where you’ll always find Denver’s cornerback.

Broncos defense

Kareem Hunt’s 23-yard touchdown on fourth down epitomizes this season and team. It is downright embarrassing.