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The Takeaway: The Broncos loss to the Browns proves they don’t matter

The spiral into irrelevancy may not be complete, but maybe it is.

I wasn’t sure I was even going to write this article tonight. The frustration with the performance of the Denver Broncos in their loss to the Cleveland Browns pushed me past wanting to recap any of it.

Then Ian St. Clair and I recorded the MHR Radio Podcast postgame show. He brought up a tweet Colum Cronin of Dublin to Denver sent out. It was a reminder of Kyle Brandt’s rant about the Broncos on Good Morning Football during the preseason.

“They don’t matter.” Wow. How prescient. How insightful. How incredibly accurate. And I know that the Broncos matter to you and me. That’s why you are reading this. We love the Broncos. But after the performance on Thursday night against the Browns, that love is feeling more like exasperation.

The Broncos, after starting 3-0, have dropped four straight. They are collapsing right before our very eyes. There are reasons for the collapse. The amount of injuries to the linebackers alone at least displays the uphill battle the Broncos faced.

Until you realize they were playing against a Browns offense that was missing their starting QB and their two star running backs.

Without too much digging, all you really need to do to understand this game is look at the number of possessions for both teams combined in the second half. Six. Total. For both teams. It was a gutty performance from Teddy Bridgewater, but nowhere near enough.

And it was the second possession, the one where the Browns actually scored, that was truly embarrassing. Former Broncos starting QB Case Keenum bulldozed his way to a first down on 4th and 3, extending the drive, and answering the Broncos TD drive to open the second half with a TD of his own.

And while the Broncos would eventually punch it in for another score later in the second half, the defense failed again to stop the Browns D’Ernest Johnson. He rushed for 146 yards. He broke tackles. He made guys miss. He kept the ball in the hands of the Browns. The Broncos had no chance.

The takeaway from this game is the Broncos descent into irrelevancy. As Kyle Brandt said during the preseason, they don’t matter.

I wonder when that will change.