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The Denver Broncos have problems

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There’s no easy fix for the 2019 Denver Broncos.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

What do you do when there are so many problems that you can’t pick one?

Unlike in year’s past, there’s not one thing that fans can point to as the issue. When Denver fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, it became clear that there is so much more wrong with the Broncos than one or two little things. Forget ownership, management, coaching, and player personnel, that’s a whole other article that I’ll leave to my MHR comrades. Let’s take a look at the things that make great teams great and the 2019 Broncos not that way.

The Broncos are inconsistent

Make no mistake, this year’s disaster in orange and blue has the ability to do great things. We have seen flashes of competency only to have it trounced by bumbling Broncos buffoonery. During the Jaguars game, Denver dominated Jacksonville during the first half and it showed in the 6 points Jacksonville displayed on the scoreboard. As quickly as that dominance was felt by the team and fans, it vanished. Denver’s ability to stop the Jags in the first half turned into a nightmare fiesta of 3rd down conversions that generated 20 2nd half points and the Jaguar victory. It feels like in every game this year, once the Broncos get things going, they are unable to sustain that momentum from drive-to-drive, quarter-to-quarter, and half-to-half. Ironically, it’s this inconsistency that has made them consistent losers in 2019.

The Broncos are not resilient

The moment Joe Flacco threw that interception at the end of the 2nd quarter, the Broncos weren’t able to shake off that misfortune until late in the 4th quarter. The bogus roughing the passer calls in the Bears and Jags games were unfortunate, but it’s how Denver responded that tells the tale of this years Broncos. They didn’t. Be it a turnover, a penalty, an unsuccessful drive, or something else, it’s as though the team expects to be defeated by these passing events and the prophecy self-fulfills. Until the Broncos can keep the little things from becoming catastrophic, this cycle of will repeat loss after loss after loss.

The Broncos are sloppy

All that talk about ‘Death by Inches’, a return to fundamentals, and attention to detail was clearly just that, talk. Leonard Fournette had 225 yards in 29 carries, mostly in the 2nd half. Most of those yards occurred after initial contact. It was the defense’s inability to finish tackles and wrap up that gave ol’ Leonard his career day on Sunday. Factor in all the other things that have stymied Denver over the last month, penalties, dropped passes, ill-advised play challenges, you get exactly the kind of play that nets your 4 losses and 0 wins. Talking about returning to fundamental-focused football is great in press conferences, but after a game like the one against Jacksonville, it makes you look like either a liar or a fool.

I don’t envy the brain-trust in their task of fixing what ails these Denver Broncos. I’m not sure there is a fix. One thing I do know is that with each loss, it’s going to get worse. It’s only week four and it already feels like this season is over. It’s a shame.

HORSE TRACKS

Cover 4: Broncos falter in second half as Jaguars grab 26-24 win
The Broncos gave up a double-digit halftime lead as they fell to 0-4 on the season.

Despite individual successes, Broncos searching for ways 'to be winners as a team'
Denver's 26-24 loss featured a number of good individual performances, but the Broncos again fell short as a team as they dropped to 0-4 on the season.

Broncos Status Report: A start for the record book – The Denver Post
For the better part of two quarters, the Broncos’ offense was at their 2019 best. They scored on three of their first six drives to build a 17-3 lead. But then came the turning point.

Peddlers Outside Empower Field At Mile High Call New Rules ‘Draconian’ – CBS Denver
Vendors selling everything from peanuts to Broncos hats and $1 bottles of water say they are being effectively pushed out of business.

Broncos Start Out Strong Against Jaguars, Fall 24-23 – CBS Denver
Leonard Fournette ran for a career-high 225 yards and Josh Lambo kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

Jaguars beat Denver 26-24 on last-play field goal, continuing Minshew Magic – ProFootballTalk
Denver had multiple chances to break its losing streak. It blew a 14-point lead late in the first half, and a one-point lead in the final 1:32. Josh Lambo kicked a 33-yard field goal into the wind on the final play of the game to give Jacksonville a 26-24 victory.

Patrick Mahomes' TD streak ends but Kansas City Chiefs move to 4-0
Patrick Mahomes failed to throw a touchdown pass in Sunday's victory, ending his streak of throwing at least two touchdowns at 14 games.

Vontaze Burfict ejected for helmet-to-helmet hit - NFL.com
Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been ejected from the game against the Colts for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jack Doyle.

Depleted Bears dominate Vikings – ProFootballTalk
The Bears were without two of their most important defensive players in Akiem Hicks and Roquan Smith today. Then they lost starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on the first offensive series. Against the vikings, that didn't matter at all.

Buccaneers answer Bruce Arians' call to 'Finish,' put 55 on Rams
The Bucs scored four touchdowns on their first six possessions in the first half and never took their foot off the gas, matching their franchise scoring record in a 55-40 win over the Rams.

Frank Gore becomes 4th RB with 15,000 yards - NFL.com
In an AFC East showdown for first place on Sunday morning, Frank Gore became the fourth player in NFL history to rush for 15,000 yards.

Redskins rookie Haskins replaces Keenum in loss - NFL.com
With the Redskins trailing early and the offense unable to get going, rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins made his debut under center for Washington.

Mitchell Trubisky hurts left shoulder in win over Vikes - NFL.com
The Chicago Bears will press forward against the division rival Minnesota Vikings without starting QB Mitchell Trubisky. He suffered a left shoulder injury on the Bears' first drive of the game on a scramble.

Giants win second straight behind Daniel Jones, but give the defense credit for stepping up after schematic tweak - CBSSports.com
The rookie quarterback extended drives keeping the Giants defense fresh and ready to make plays

Sean McDermott escorts Bill Belichick's son off the field during pregame warmups for Patriots-Bills game - CBSSports.com
McDermott didn't like how long the Patriots' staffers were on the field

Larry Fitzgerald passes Tony Gonzalez for second all-time in career receptions - CBSSports.com
Fitzgerald trails only Jerry Rice in career receptions

Odell Beckham gets choked by Marlon Humphrey after throwing punch at Ravens cornerback - CBSSports.com
Beckham gets involved in a scuffle during a frustrating afternoon in a Browns win

Josh Allen in concussion protocol, Sean McDermott believes Patriots corner should have been ejected - CBSSports.com
Sean McDermott is not happy about the Josh Allen hit

Baker Mayfield continues feud with Rex Ryan: 'He does not get any credit for this week's win' - CBSSports.com
Mayfield is fed up with Ryan's comments toward the Browns