Good morning, Broncos Country!
To end the post-game MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), I asked Adam Malnati how much worse it could get after the loss the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Denver Broncos then got the news on Monday that edge Bradley Chubb tore his ACL. So it could get a lot worse. As the old adage goes, when it rains it pours.
But when you lose one of your best players, as Emmanuel Sanders said a few weeks ago, this really is the “world of suck” for the Broncos.
“There’s no pity parties in the NFL, we’ve just got to keep going,” Broncos head coach Vic Fangio told the media earlier this week. “The losses are our own doing. Injuries don’t have an effect on those. We’ve just got to keep going. Nobody is feeling sorry for anybody here. Just another one of the things you have to deal with in the NFL during a season. We’re not the only team that’s had them.”
With Denver on the precipice of more horrible history today (the first-ever 0-5 start), and without Chubb the rest of the season, what is left for Broncos Country to look forward to?
On the most recent MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), Adam and I tried to show fans where they can put their hopes. As Adam said in his story, we still believe Fangio is the right guy to get Denver over this hump and beyond. It’s just going to require patience. Yes, in a “what have you done for me lately league,” that is a dirty word. And for those screaming for John Elway to get fired (I’m one who thinks his comfort level should be boiling), it’s not going to happen unless it gets far, far, worse or the franchise gets competent leadership at the top. So Elway will be in control, at least for the foreseeable future.
You can see some foundational pieces already in play for the Broncos; especially on offense. Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, Noah Fant (to an extent), and the big one, Dalton Risner. Whether Denver has it at quarterback with Drew Lock remains unanswered — one way or the other. When Lock is able to return from his thumb injury, it’ll be fascinating to see what the organization decides to do — play Lock or stick with Joe Flacco?
It’s a little harder on defense since it’s not been a focus for Denver in the NFL Draft the last few seasons, as Jeff Essary noted in his story, and the loss of Chubb doesn’t help on that front. Still, guys like Justin Simmons, Dre’Mont Jones, Shelby Harris (only if he’s re-signed) and Justin Hollins are some of the younger players in place, along with Von Miller and Chubb. Chubb’s response to the injury earlier this week and how he plans to use it to make him a better player, is at least something to look forward to, as well.
Losing sucks, and Broncos Country is either at boiling-point frustration or acceptance that this is the new normal. But if you take a step back, the first pieces are in place to (finally) get Denver out of this “world of suck.” It’s just going to take a little longer and more patience for that to happen.
“Of course it is hard,” Chubb told the media earlier this week. “Any injury is going to be hard, but I’m glad it happened Week 4 and not Week 14 or Week 15. So I’m going to get on top of it early so I can be back, ready for next year. Even if the season doesn’t go how we wanted it to be, I know that we’re all going to stick together and we’re all going to be right there at it when I get to come back. I know these guys are going to turn it around this year, so I’m not even worried about the 0-4 or whatever. It’s going to be fun to see them turn it around and to see me back on that grind-mode process and getting ready for 2020.”
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