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Broncos optimism hard to find following abysmal week 7 loss to Browns

It can’t all be bad, can it?

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Waking up on Sunday and realizing that the Broncos couldn’t lose was slightly refreshing. Then the haunting memory of Thursday’s debacle against the Browns quickly squashed that relief.

Where do we go from here?

Going into week 8, the Broncos are reeling from four-straight losses, none of them as close as their scores would suggest. The highly touted defense has been eviscerated at linebacker and doesn’t seem capable of stopping anyone from doing anything. The offense continues to be run by someone with the imagination of a warm loaf of Velveeta. Special teams is just happy that other phases of the game have finally become so terrible as to draw focus away from deficiencies there.

There’s not much to be excited about and that stinks.

I’d love to highlight certain players that I think could stick around and weather this storm, but let’s be truthful. The days of the Broncos being buyers at the trade deadline was a long time ago. GM George Paton doesn’t have an obligation of to any of the guys that preceded him. This team is playing poorly and it may be time to strip the value from it and start over completely.

It’s not yet November and broad swaths of Broncos Country believe the season is already over.

So what’s one positive about this Broncos team?

Brandon McManus. In a year when kickers are doinking balls everywhere but through the uprights, McManus hasn’t missed anything, 12/12 on field goals and 14/14 for PATs. So there you go, Broncos Country.

The silver lining of the 2021 Broncos, so far, is the kicker. If this isn’t a great start to your week, I don’t know what is.

Horse Tracks

Karl Mecklenburg: Broncos Defense ‘Made A Third String Running Back Look Like Terrell Davis’ – CBS Denver
Ring of Famer Karl Mecklenburg has been sharing his perspective on the Broncos up and down season on a weekly basis on social media, and his latest comments have reached "trending" status on Facebook.

Broncos Get Pass Rusher Stephen Weatherly In Swap With Vikings – CBS Denver
The Denver Broncos acquired pass rusher Stephen Weatherly in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings.

NFL Week 7 takeaways - What we learned, big questions for every game and future team outlooks
The Chiefs didn't score a TD against the Titans, while the Patriots scored seven of them against the Jets. And Cincy got a big win in Baltimore. What to know for every Week 7 game.

2021 NFL season, Week 7: What we learned from Sunday's games
Around The NFL breaks down what you need to know from all of Sunday's Week 7 action.

Kyle Shanahan doesn't commit to Jimmy Garoppolo as 49ers' starting QB for Week 8 at Bears -
Trey Lance could potentially return to the starting lineup

Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes says he feels 'fine now' after taking hard hit vs. Titans -
Mahomes was cleared to return to the game, but did not

Sam Darnold benched by Panthers in second half of Week 7 game vs. Giants; P.J. Walker in at quarterback -
The Panthers benched a struggling Darnold against the Giants

Patriots' blowout win vs. Jets could be the springboard New England needs to get season back on track -
New England moved to 3-4 on the season after blowing out the Jets

NFL Week 7 scores, highlights, updates, schedule: Kyler Murray, Cardinals surge after sluggish start, now 7-0 -
All the best highlights from Week 7 are right here

Titans provide reminder of potential with shellacking of Chiefs
Jim Trotter reports from Nashville, where he sees a team embracing its coach's approach to downplaying the hype after two impressive victories in the span of six days. Is something special brewing for the Titans?

Party crashers: Bengals officially a contender in AFC after thrashing Ravens
The Cincinnati Bengals are here, and they are for real. Judy Battista reports from Baltimore on the newest contender in the AFC following the Bengals' resounding win over the Ravens.

Jets QB Zach Wilson suffers knee injury in blowout loss to Patriots, will undergo MRI on Monday
The Jets rookie QB suffered a knee injury early in the second quarter against the Patriots and will undergo an MRI on Monday. Mike White played the remainder of the game.

Tom Brady meets 'tough kid' who credited QB for helping him beat brain cancer
On big day for Tom Brady and Buccaneers, quarterback greets a young fan who gave him credit for helping him through brain cancer.

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa on Watson trade chatter: 'I do hear it. I just don't listen to it'
The Dolphins’ purported interest in Deshaun Watson took center stage this past week in the buildup to the NFL’s Nov. 2 trade deadline. Tua Tagovailoa did all he could Sunday to adjust that spotlight.

Patrick Mahomes clears concussion protocol, but Chiefs' struggles continue in blowout loss
Patrick Mahomes expects to be fine for next week's game after taking a shot to the head in Sunday's blowout loss to the Titans.

Rams QB Matthew Stafford throws for 3 TDs in win over former Lions team - 'Glad to have this one over with'
Rams QB Matthew Stafford expressed relief on Sunday that he can finally put the reunion with his former Lions team behind him. "Am I happy it's over with? Yeah," said Stafford, who also recorded his 300th career TD pass in the win over Detroit.

Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury: Felt 'disconnected' in return from COVD-19 absence
Kliff Kingsbury said that while he felt great physically in his return after testing positive for COVID-19, he was a "little disconnected" in the Cardinals' win on Sunday.

FMIA Week 7: Joe Burrow's Bengals Are Scary, And It's Not Even Halloween - Peter King, NBC
Peter King's Football Morning In America begins with Joe Burrow and the Bengals routing the Ravens in Week 7. Plus more notes around the NFL action.

Sunday Night Football: Colts defeat 49ers 30-18 on a rainy night in the Bay Area - ProFootballTalk

Fletcher Cox: Defense not what it's been, you can't be as aggressive - ProFootballTalk