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In loss to Chiefs, glaring issues sink Broncos

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Bad football can teach you a lot about your team.

NFL WEEK 15 “u2013 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS VS. DENVER BRONCOS Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Well, we all kinda-sorta saw this coming, didn’t we? After victories over the Chargers and Houston, I wanted to believe that Denver had turned a corner. I’ll admit, I had a sliver of hope that the Denver Broncos would at least make it interesting.

Whoops!

Needless to say, there was a great deal to learn from in Sunday’s ugly loss to the Chiefs. Do you want to see how your team performs under pressure? Put them in Arrowhead stadium in December in the snow. It was bad. It was awful. It was borderline unwatchable.

Let’s start with the defense. It could have been much worse. It should have been much worse. Travis Kelce caught 11 of the 13 balls thrown his way for 142-yards. Patrick Mahomes connected on 27 of his 34 passes for 340-yards and 2 touchdowns. All this happened IN THE SNOW! Defensively, this unit never made it off the bus. Check that, Shelby Harris showed up with two sacks. Everyone else, especially Isaac Yiadom, should feel pangs of guilt when cashing that game check.

On offense, it’s fair to say that Drew Lock struggled. He connected on just 18 passes in 40 attempts. Now, I’ll leave it for others to debate, but why the hell is a rookie in his 3rd start throwing the ball 40 times in the snow? Phillip Lindsay averaged 4.6-yards per carry on only 7 attempts. Denver ran it just 15 times in total. I know it’s easy to pile on the choices of the past with end-of-game stats in hand, but how does such lopsided play-calling happen? IN THE SNOW?!

Lastly, I’m going to make a suggestion. How about the Denver Broncos use these next couple weeks to try out some punters for next season? The Broncos have chosen to keep Colby Wadman around and I’m sure they have their reasons (they have to right?), so fine. Devote a roster spot to him for those reasons, but why not stash a punter on the roster for next year? I think that we all can pretty much agree that Wadman isn’t turning into Tom Rouen anytime soon.

While losing to the Chiefs on the road stinks, the Denver Broncos have two very winnable games at home against the Lions and the Raiders coming up. How they approach these games to finish the year will tell us a lot about how the Broncos will trend going into 2020. They may have not yet turned that corner, but it’s possible these next two will help them get there. Let’s hope so.

HORSE TRACKS

Broncos at Chiefs final score: Kansas City rolls over Denver in snowy conditions - CBSSports.com
Kansas City extends their win streak by knocking off a divisional rival

Von Miller frustrated as Broncos eliminated once again - NFL.com
Von Miller doesn't know how Broncos "got to this point" after loss to Chiefs that mathematically eliminates Denver from the postseason for the fourth straight year.

Von Miller: Denver Broncos' play 'defeats my soul'
Von Miller, one of the team's leaders, voiced his frustrations after Denver's 23-3 loss Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Drew Lock, Broncos' hopes for .500 snowed under in loss to Chiefs - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
Broncos' rookie QB couldn't get going in a snowstorm, as Denver fell again to the Chiefs and was eliminated from playoff consideration.

Patrick Mahomes is 2-0 in the snow, and he’s hoping for more – ProFootballTalk
Before January, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had never played in the snow. He now has played in the snow twice, and he explained to PFT by phone after a 23-3 win over the Broncos that his experience during pregame warmups in the division-round victory over the Colts made him confident about pl...

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Champ Bailey Nominates ‘Rescue Rob’ To Football Hall Of Fans – CBS Denver
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NFL Week 15 scores, highlights, updates, schedule: Gardner Minshew spoils Raiders' final game in Oakland - CBSSports.com
All the best highlights from Week 15 are right here

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Vikings force seven turnovers in 39-10 win over Chargers – ProFootballTalk
The Vikings are one step closer to a playoff berth and their defense has a lot to do with it. Vikings defenders forced seven turnovers during Sunday's 39-10 win over the Chargers.

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook hurts shoulder in win over Bolts - NFL.com
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was knocked out of Sunday's win over the Chargers with a shoulder injury.

Patriots SpyGate II Video Released And It's Bad for New England
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Footage of Patriots filming Bengals released, shows tense press box confrontation between the two sides - CBSSports.com
This video could put the Patriots in hot water

Bucs coach Bruce Arians says Shaq Barrett, who will be a free agent after the season, 'ain't going anywhere'
Shaq Barrett reached 16.5 sacks on the season Sunday. He'll be an unrestricted free agent after the year and coach Bruce Arians said that Barrett "ain't going anywhere."

Shaq Barrett ties Warren Sapp’s Bucs franchise sack record
Bucs-Lions: Barrett sacked David Blough in the first quarter to give him 16.5 on the season

Packers, Seahawks, 49ers clinch berths with Rams loss - NFL.com
Los Angeles' disappointing loss on Sunday afternoon was a big win for three of its NFC rivals playing elsewhere. Seattle, Green Bay and San Francisco clinched playoff berths with the Rams' loss.

Eli Manning celebrated after likely Giants home finale - NFL.com
In what might have been Eli Manning's final game as a Giants starter in MetLife Stadium, the 38-year-old enjoyed one hell of a sendoff.

49ers claim first playoff berth since 2013 with Rams' loss
San Francisco is headed to the postseason for the first time since 2013, but the Niners needed some help after a 29-22 loss to the Falcons.

Redskins' Josh Norman on benching: 'Got to play the cards you're dealt'
Josh Norman made a rare appearance for the Redskins on Sunday, playing six snaps, and broke his silence about his benching.

Eli Manning gets 'special' win for Giants in likely final home start
Eli Manning was cheered by fans and earned a win in what was likely his final start for the Giants at home.

Packers “not going to apologize” for getting to 11-3 – ProFootballTalk
The Packers have held on late to win several games this season and they added another entry to that list against the Bears on Sunday. Green Bay led 21-3 at one point, but let the Bears score 10 points in the fourth quarter while their own offense stopped moving the ball down the field.

Cowboys finally beat a team with a winning record, demolishing Rams – ProFootballTalk
The Rams had more to gain Sunday than the Cowboys, which means they also had more to lose. And lost they did. The Cowboys gave the Rams a whipping, winning 44-21.

Cowboys coin toss controversy: NFL reviews coin toss, awards Cowboys ball to start second half - CBSSports.com
Jason Garrett probably is going to catch some heat for that one

Eagles miraculously cover spread with last-second fumble return against Redskins - CBSSports.com
The Redskins handed bettors a horrendous bad beat on the final play of the game