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Broncos vs. Chargers: 5 things we learned

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The Denver Broncos nightmare 2018 campaign has come to and end with a 23-9 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like only yesterday that the Denver Broncos were beginning their 2018 campaign. They say time flies by when you are having fun but there hasn’t been much cause for celebration across Broncos Country this year. After enduring a tumultuous season the Broncos hosted the Los Angeles Chargers for their last game. To nobody’s surprise the Broncos wound up on the losing end by a final score of 23-9 and finish the season with a 6-10 record.

1. One play of the game epitomizes the Broncos’ 2018 season

Over the course of the season it has been extraordinarily difficult to find positive things to write about in respect to the Broncos. I’m generally a very optimistic person but at the same time an absolute realist. Outside a few highlight individual performances the team has been an absolute dumpster fire. If there was one play all season long that epitomizes the Broncos’ woeful 2018 campaign — the below clip would be it.

A two-point conversion attempt winding up as an interception and two points for the Chargers. It’s symbolic of a narrative I started up a long time ago which is that the Broncos’ are their own worst enemy. Not only that, it goes to show that Case Keenum was a tremendously poor investment and that the franchise is going absolutely nowhere with him at the helm. Alas, the Broncos might be stuck with him next season unless John Elway can pull a rabbit out of the hat and find themselves a franchise quarterback in the upcoming draft.

2. The Broncos have secured a top ten draft selection

The draft fans of Mile High Report are going to love this quick tidbit. With their loss to the Chargers and several other teams helping them out earlier today, the Broncos have secured the tenth selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. The strength of schedule between the Broncos and the Buffalo Bills is extremely close — so once all the games are finalized there is a small chance that Denver could move to the ninth slot. The Broncos have additional selections in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds which provide them with some of the most draft capital of any team in the league.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is January 14. Once that happens we will have a better idea of who is eligible and what positions are stacked with talent. Hopefully the Broncos can repeat what they did last April and have another great draft class. In the coming weeks expect a lot more draft content to be rolling live here at Mile High Report. Mock drafts, scouting reports and much more is on the horizon folks so get ready!

3. Garret Bolles’ continues to be a major problem at offensive tackle

In the 2017 NFL Draft the Denver Broncos selected an inexperienced but high-ceiling player in Garret Bolles out of the University of Utah. It wasn’t a pick I was overly fond up, but since his selection I along with many others have hoped he could become a franchise caliber left tackle. In his rookie season he was one of the most penalized offensive lineman in the National Football League. It was a rough year but many were willing to give him a pass all things considered. That being said, there was no question Bolles had to perform better in his second season.

Unfortunately, the progression many were looking forward to seeing hasn’t transpired. His penchant for penalties is still a major problem for the Broncos’ offense. Whether it is false starts or holds, Bolles’ inability to play disciplined football has cost the team dearly for the past two years. When you factor in his sub-par play along with the lack of long-term quality depth the team lacks at the position — offensive tackle should be an early priority for the Broncos in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Broncos likely won’t have a shot at top collegiate tackle Jonah Williams unless they were to trade up. That means you will want to get to know prospects such as Greg Little, David Edwards, Jawaan Taylor, Dalton Risner or Yodny Cajuste — all of whom are likely Top 50 selections.

4. Royce Freeman featured heavily with Phillip Lindsay sidelined

With Phillip Lindsay sidelined with a wrist injury the Broncos’ offense featured a heavy dose of Royce Freeman against the Chargers. He had 25 total touches for 103 yards. There is no doubt that Lindsay is the Broncos’ main back when he returns next season but Freeman has proven himself to be a quality second option. The Broncos’ offense has a solid foundation for the future with Freeman, Lindsay as well as Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton, but another receiving threat in addition to a legitimate tight end could help propel the team’s offense to greater heights in 2019. A quarterback and a competent offensive coordinator would help too.

5. Goodbye Vance Joseph!

If today’s sloppy football performance on top of the ineptitude he has displayed since taking the reins of the franchise doesn’t get him fired I would be absolutely stunned. If he is fired, the Broncos will be on their fourth head coach search since Elway has taken over the football operations for the team. So I ask you this Broncos Country, who would you like to see as Denver’s next head coach?

It’s been an awful season to endure, but feel free to let it all out in the comments section. Talk about the draft, talk about a new head coach, share your plans for the future because that begins now.