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Horse Tracks: Broncos Deliver Coal for Christmas

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Hope your holiday’s better than Joseph’s.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
The one argument for Joseph has been that the team plays hard for him. Yeah, about that.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So how ugly was the Broncos performance against the Raiders? Here are 3 of the more memorable conversations I’ve had during or after the game:

Losing isn’t that bad since draft position

This was a debate a bunch of the Mile High Report crew got into during halftime after Brandon McManus missed another long field goal. The game was 17-0 Raiders but didn’t look that close, if I’m being honest.

There was three arguments being made.

1. It’s the Raiders, screw draft position its a lottery ticket at best regardless.

2. Just lose, baby.

3. I’m just here so I won’t get fined. How it goes, it goes.

These debates turned into a QB discussion, which got me thinking that its probably time I finally start digging into the 2019 QB crop to see what’s really out there. Normally I put off college scouting until after the season’s over, but its been over for a couple weeks now in all reality.

Would this team be better if they had kept Trevor Siemian?

I started this, but I swear I wasn’t trolling. Right after Keenum threw his first pick I thought about that huge cap number and wondered if $20 million would have been better spent on keeping Aqib Talib or signing a safety to play over Darian Stewart (like Eric Reid who’s playing for less than $1.5 million). Easy to say what if now and Keenum has been markedly better than Siemian, but 20 times better is a bit of a stretch at best.

You don’t need to pay franchise money to see a guy throw into triple coverage.

Luckily the Keenum deal only runs for one more season and it’s beyond likely that the veteran will serve as little more than a bridge to a rookie next year. There’s been talk of Flacco out there but I can’t see Elway eating $10 million to give another $15 M+ to a QB who’s average at best. Still, 15 touchdowns to 12 interceptions and two 30-year old Hall of Fame talents may push the Duke to make a big move for a signal caller.

Woof.

Will Elway can Joseph on Christmas?

I put the odds at 10%, but that could be optimistic considering the short week. So I figured I’d ask Broncos Country: how long does he have after Denver gets curb stomped by the Chargers next week?

Your Broncos Links

If you want a good laugh today, check out this thread:

Denver Broncos secure first back-to-back losing season since 1971 - Mile High Report

The Denver Broncos came out and laid a big fat stinking egg on the road against a very bad Oakland Raiders team. 46 years of excellence gone.

Denver Broncos: 5 things learned in 27-14 loss to the Oakland Raiders - Mile High Report

3. Denver moves up to the 12th selection in the 2019 NFL Draft For those fans who have already mailed it in on the season and are already focusing their efforts on the 2019 NFL Draft — this news is for you.

Broncos: Futures of Vance Joseph, Case Keenum in peril after Raiders loss | SI.com

Keenum could be a solid bridge to a rookie if Elway is impressed with this year’s draft class. He’ll need to improve in 2019 to be the Broncos’ long-term answer.

Dwayne Harris scores on amazing 99-yard punt return - NFL.com

Oakland Raiders punt returner Dwayne Harris made one of those miracle plays Monday night that only special teams coordinators really believe in.

Denver Broncos 2 winners, 7 losers in historic loss to Oakland Raiders - Mile High Report

Arguably the biggest loser of the game?

The Raiders They’re on here for numerous reasons, but the biggest is they will most likely not get the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft now because of this win. So it’s not all bad.

Denver Broncos: The Good, The Bad, & The Elway - Mile High Report

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the guy building the team. How could he fix it?

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders score predictions: Week 16 - Mile High Report

Who got it right?

GIF Horse: My Denver Broncos Christmas Wish List - Mile High Report

With one more game to go, let’s hope some of these gifts keep coming.

Future Broncos: Adding to the wide receiver arsenal - Mile High Report

Even though the Denver Broncos selected Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton in the 2018 NFL Draft the franchise should take advantage in the deep crop of talent available at the position in the 2019 NFL Draft.

NFL Insider Notes: Get ready for a whole lot of coaching changes, and more from Week 16 - CBSSports.com

The Cardinals, Broncos, Jets and Bucs have known, internally, for a while now that change is inevitable for 2019.

NFL Coaching Hot Seat: Adam Gase, Steve Wilks, Dirk Koetter | SI.com

Week 16 is in the books, and with just a few days left in the 2018 NFL season, which NFL coaches may be on the job hunt in a week?

Report: If(when) fired, Vance Joseph could emerge as a Head Coaching candidate for the Bengals - Mile High Report

The report also states Joseph is also a candidate for the Defensive Coordinator job which seems more likely. It has been long rumored that former Cleveland Browns Head Coach, Hue Jackson would be the one to replace Marvin Lewis in Cinci. Lewis is taking on a Front Office role and it appears the Bengals have their eye on a Jackson/Joseph pairing.

Report: John Harbaugh will return to the Ravens in 2019 - Mile High Report

There were multiple reports/whispers/and rumors that he was out as the Ravens Head Coach at the end of the year and that he was the Broncos top target to replace Vance Joseph. Well, the Ravens pulled the rug under the Broncos(and likely every other team looking for a new Head Coach) by announcing on Friday that Harbaugh WOULD return to the Ravens in 2019 and that they are working towards an extension.

King: “Real chance” John Harbaugh doesn’t sign extension in Baltimore – ProFootballTalk

Peter King writes in his latest Football Morning in America column that a “real chance” exists Harbaugh won’t sign an extension, opting instead to finish his current deal and leave in 2020.

If Elway keeps Vance Joseph next year (please no) all bets are he’s betting on Harbaugh in 2020.

The Saints Rise to the Top As the Season Comes Down to the Wire: NFL Week 16 | SI.com

There was no shortage of teams that had an interest in Harbaugh. The Jets were one. The Broncos were another. And it was never hard to see why. Harbaugh made the playoff six times in his first decade with the Ravens, winning at least once in the postseason in each of those seasons, while taking home a Super Bowl title in 2012.

Where should the Denver Broncos next head coach come from? - Mile High Report

Essentially, it looks like John Elway will have a limited search in his quest to find the right fit in Denver, and when Ian and I spoke on the show there was one name that stuck out.

Jets deny they will make run for Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh | NFL | Sporting News

It had been rumored that at least one unidentified NFL team “plans to make a run at” Harbaugh in 2019.

Bright spots for the 16 NFL teams out of playoff picture - 2018

Bright spot: The rookie class The Broncos don’t have their quarterback of the future, but in a league in which edge rushers cost more than any non-quarterbacks, getting Chubb for the next three years at a total of just over $22.3 million is a huge coup.

Coal For Christmas: One Offseason Move For Every Team That Didn’t Work Out - The Draft Network

Denver Broncos – Vance Joseph Looking at the Broncos current roster, there was simply no way they were going to be better than what they have been this season. John Elway clearly had serious reservations with Vance Joseph, yet stuck with him because of the whole “giving a coach time” mantra. Don’t extend a bad decision because you spent a lot of time and money making it. An offseason spent refusing to accept an inevitable rebuild has put the Broncos a year behind in the process.

The Perfect Offseason Gift for Every NFL Team - The Draft Network

Denver Broncos – CB Greedy Williams, LSU Tigers With the Patrick Mahomes and the dynamic Chiefs’ offense in the division, loading up on defensive talent to slow him down should be a priority for Denver. Shoring up the cornerback position with a high-upside talent like Williams would be a welcome addition. Williams needs to develop some consistency, but his physical traits are exceptional.

Crabbs’ 2019 Mock Draft 4.0 - Page 2 of 4 - The Draft Network

13. Denver Broncos Greedy Williams, CB, LSU The Broncos’ defense has been fierce this season, but they never really replaced Aqib Talib on the boundary. Introducing Greedy Williams. Williams’ effort level has waxed and waned at times this season but he’s a lengthy man corner who can help amplify the Broncos’ pass rush by staying sticky on routes down the field and forcing opposing QBs to hold the ball for longer amounts of time.

Quarterback Conundrum: Stop Over Drafting Bad QBs - The Draft Network

This week we took a look at 10 of the most commonly mocked quarterback and got to the bottom of where they’re being projected and what reality should be.

A look around the AFC West

Doug Martin rushes for 107 yards and a TD as Raiders earn 27-14 win over Broncos – ProFootballTalk

As recently as three weeks ago, the Denver Broncos were in contention for a playoff spot. After a third straight loss to non-playoff teams, that feels like a distant memory.

Bolts Give All Credit to the Ravens

“We got out-coached today, and we got out-played,” said Head Coach Anthony Lynn. “We couldn’t get them off the field on defense, and we couldn’t stay on the field on offense. I thought special teams played pretty solid this evening. Our offense and defense – we got out-played, and we got out-coached. It’s just that simple. It’s a good football team. They came in here, and they beat us.”

Surge or Static: The one team they didn’t want to play - Bolts From The Blue

In a game where match-ups mean more than you think, this was one to avoid.

Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers’ passing chart from Week 16

Here is Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers’ passing chart from Week 16.

Chargers expect Austin Ekeler back this week – ProFootballTalk

The Chargers got running back Melvin Gordon back in the lineup against the Ravens on Saturday night, but his presence wasn’t enough to get them past Baltimore. The loss means the Chargers remain behind the Chiefs after Kansas City’s Sunday night loss to the Seahawks.

Chiefs vs. Seahawks: Making sense of snap counts - Arrowhead Pride

The Chiefs dropped their fourth game of the season on Sunday Night.

Chiefs News: Chiefs have one more shot to win AFC West - Arrowhead Pride

Are the Chiefs going to blow their chance?

No quarterback in Chiefs history has thrown for more passing yards in a single season than Patrick Mahomes - Arrowhead Pride

Mahomes became the franchise’s leader on Sunday night

Andy Reid’s explains benching of Orlando Scandrick and Ron Parker - Arrowhead Pride

I don’t think anyone should wake up Monday morning and be upset the Chiefs have decided to try some new things on defense, but what is inarguable is that the timing is unprecedented. Getting a look at young guys sounds like something you would say in the preseason as you prepare for the regular season—certainly not when you have an opportunity to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.

Notable NFL Links

The Debrief: Colts, Titans, Steelers jockeying for playoff position - NFL.com

How can Ben Roethlisberger’s Steelers salvage their season? Will the Eagles complete an unlikely bounce-back? Gregg Rosenthal looks ahead at Week 17 and resets the Playoff Picture.

Gene Steratore: Officials should not have penalized Joe Haden for PI – ProFootballTalk

“Even though Joe Haden did have a hand on the receiver prior to the ball being there, he should not have been penalized for pass interference on this play,” Steratore wrote. “This contact did not effect the receiver and is not severe enough to warrant a flag.”

Stephen Ross says Dolphins won’t try to hire Jim Harbaugh – ProFootballTalk

If it ain’t the Jets or the Dolphins... who’s trying to hire Jim Harbaugh?

C.J. Anderson encourages fans he helped win in Fantasy to donate to his foundation that helps low-income youth - CBSSports.com

Anderson joined the Rams last week and rushed for 167 yards in his debut against the Cardinals

Who steps up with Demaryius Thomas out?

Sorting the Sunday Pile: Baker Mayfield tops NFL’s five most important people heading into Week 17 - CBSSports.com

Looking at the upcoming week and the do-or-die situations that will unfold

Pete Carroll’s best season: Nobody saw these Seahawks coming - NFL.com

I sure didn’t. They looked like hot garbage in August and September.

Pete Carroll plans on coaching another five years – ProFootballTalk

“I’m in great shape,” Carroll said, via Gregg Bell of The News Tribune. “I’m counting on a five-year plan. That doesn’t have any statement on my contract. But it’s just kind of the way somebody taught me to look forward, and it helps.”

D.J. Swearinger says he was released by Redskins - NFL.com

Veteran safety D.J. Swearinger said the Washington Redskins have cut him. After Saturday’s loss to the Titans, Swearinger criticized the coaching staff, specifically DC Greg Manusky.

Charles Woodson: All the hits are catching up to Tom Brady – ProFootballTalk

“I just think the NFL is catching up to Tom Brady,” Woodson said. “I think he’s actually starting to feel all the hits, all the sacks of the NFL. It happens to every player. It happened to myself as a player . . . at some point in time it just catches up with you.”

Tom Brady ‘not getting into specifics’ on knee injury - NFL.com

Shocker.

Report: Le’Veon Bell “has his eyes on” the Indianapolis Colts – ProFootballTalk

“He has his eyes on the Colts, no doubt about that,” an unnamed source told Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “He sees [quarterback Andrew] Luck and that offense and all that cap room and they’re much closer than the Jets. He wants to go someplace he can win right away.

Todd Gurley could sit out another week – ProFootballTalk

The Rams expected Todd Gurley to play up until game time Sunday. He didn’t. Nothing has changed this week. If Gurley is ready to play, he’ll play. If he’s not, he won’t. “It’s kind of the same place we were at,” Rams coach Sean McVay told beat reporters Monday in a conference call.

An Endless Fight, A Defining Choice

The injustices of society have never spared athletes, and in turn, many have found their voice. The current era is no different, and the world still takes note of who speaks out and who does not.