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5 winners, 6 losers, 1 both in the Broncos crushing loss to the Bears

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From what seemed a win to a “what just happened” loss on Sunday, the Broncos start 0-2 for the first time since 1999.

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As Jim McKay used to say so eloquently on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

For the Denver Broncos, it doesn’t get more crushing than the 16-14 last-second loss to the Chicago Bears. From the high of just converting the bold two-point conversion to take a 14-13 lead, to this. As I told Adam Malnati on the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), the last time I can remember a loss like this, Joe Flacco delivered the gut punch. How ironic.

What else is there to say? Helluva ending to a wild football game, it just didn’t go the way Broncos Country wanted. Now the Broncos have started a season 0-2 for the first time since 1999.

I’m bound to miss someone on this list, so please point them out in the comments.

Winners

Joe Flacco

In his first home start for the Broncos, the quarterback did his part. He gave his team a chance to win, and after that touchdown and two-point conversion, it seemed like Denver would. Flacco finished 35-for-50 for 292 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His throws on both the touchdown and two-point conversion were, dare I say, “elite.”

Emmanuel Sanders

The Broncos receiver balled the entire game, and his two catches on the touchdown and two-point conversion were equally elite. Sanders had 11 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Royce Freeman

Denver’s second-year running back was fun to watch on Sunday. He not only sparked the Broncos’ rushing attack, he provided an added threat out the backfield for Flacco. Freeman led Denver with 54 yards on 11 carries and was second in receptions with five for 48 yards.

Justin Simmons

The Denver safety was flying around the entire game for the defense. Simmons paced the Broncos with nine tackles and two passes defended.

Bradley Chubb

If that’s roughing a passer, the NFL needs to cease playing games. Chubb was all over the field on defense. He had five tackles, two quarterback hits and one tackle for loss. Again, that roughing the passer penalty is straight bullshit.

Losers

Garett Bolles

Broncos Country tried with the left tackle, but he keeps holding it against us. We held out hope for as long as we could. What else is left to say about this guy?

Isaac Yiadom

Is there no one else Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell can throw out there? Hopefully Bryce Callahan is able to make his debut against the Green Bay Packers, though it probably won’t matter.

Officiating

Adrian Hill and his crew were terrible on Sunday, and it’s not just the garbage roughing the passer penalty on Chubb. The roughing the passer the Bears had on Flacco was just as bad. But that roughing the passer penalty isn’t the only reason the Broncos lost on Sunday.

Denver’s defense

How do you leave Allen Robinson wide open in the middle of the field on fourth-and-15? And yet again, no pass rush. Through two games, the Broncos have yet to force a turnover or get a sack. How is that possible?

Von Miller

Once is an anomaly, twice is a trend. Miller has been non-existent the first two weeks. I get that he’s being double teamed, but he’s one of the best, if not the best in the NFL, and this two-game vanishing act is unacceptable.

Broncos fans who left early

I don’t even know what to say about this. You leave early? In a one-score game, as Ryan Koenigsberg tweeted?

Both

Vic Fangio

To steal a line from “Major League II,” Fangio proved he has “huge marbles” after that call to go for the two-point conversion. The Broncos head coach would have been the first winner, too. However, his defense allowed Chicago to get in field goal range for the game-winning kick. Alas, Fangio is both.

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