clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Broncos crash back to Earth is the one big takeaway in loss to 49ers

The Broncos season came crashing down with a thud against the 49ers.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Well, you have to hand it to the Denver Broncos. When the wheels come off, they fly off into the crowd and take a few spectators with them. The Broncos had a chance to beat the San Francisco 49ers and continue their improbable playoff run. Instead, they found every possible way to drop their seventh game of the season, and essentially knock themselves out of playoff contention.

As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio postgame recap, the one big takeaway is that the roller coaster didn’t just come back down. After three weeks of false hope, it shot off the track, and slammed into the side of a TNT factory. The resulting explosion was the end of any real postseason hopes.

But why? After beating a good Los Angeles Chargers team, a staggering Pittsburgh Steelers squad, and avoiding the typical trap game against the Cincinnati Bengals, why is Broncos Country being welcomed back to Earth?

Swallow this pill Broncos Country; in the middle of an incredible playoff push, and a potentially job saving run, the Broncos lost to a team led by Nick Mullens. Nate Mullins? Does it matter? What analysis could you possibly need after a loss like that? Case Keenum was inaccurate. The offensive line was awful. Von Miller seemed to forget that players can’t cross the line of scrimmage until after the ball is snapped.

Of course there are excuses. Injuries to Chris Harris Jr. and Emmanuel Sanders hurt. The secondary was a place that George Kittle used as his personal playground. Keenum’s security blanket was gone. The 49ers keyed on Phillip Lindsay, and he was bottled up without needing to worry about a possession threat at receiver.

And of course, the questionable coaching decisions returned. Vance Joseph couldn’t get out of his own way. Bill Musgrave called his worst game of the season. Joe Woods had no idea how to create a scheme to contain Kittle. It was an embarrassment on all fronts. So many problems bubbled to the surface against San Francisco, and no one was really prepared for it.

The biggest loser in all of this isn’t a player, or a coach, or an executive. The biggest loser is the fans. The one big takeaway from the Broncos loss to the 49ers is all about the balloon bursting on the season. We had drifted too high, and the crash hurts. I feel like I’ve been lied to, but the biggest liar in all of this was myself. I allowed myself to believe. Apparently, that’s not water I’ve been drinking, and it isn’t Kool-Aid. I’ve been drinking sand.

So, no Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. There is no gift under the tree. There is no postseason for Broncos Country. Only a lump of coal in an orange and blue stocking.

What is your one big takeaway Broncos Country?

The MHR Radio Podcast is now on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Acast, Stitcher, TuneIn and a few other podcast hosts. Please subscribe to the one that fits your fancy, and also rate and review what you hear.