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Broncos have reached the ‘moral victories’ part of the season

Here we go again. Playing for nothing but pride. And that sucks.

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Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Welp, we have reached that part of the season. That part where we can no longer talk about a good outcome for this season and have to start looking toward next season (sure, Broncos could “go on a run” and win their remaining games and ... but we know how this story ends).

Seven games left - practically half the season to go - and we’re already looking forward to the offseason.

And as if that isn’t depressing enough, as Tim Jenkins pointed out, this season we can’t even look forward to having a better first-round draft pick with each additional loss.

And after last night’s game for the 49ers - the team whose first-round pick we own - that draft pick is looking to be pretty late in the first round.

Conversations about this team from now until free agency are going to be brutal.

Technically, at 3-7 the Broncos are still capable of getting 10 wins, the magic-but-not-guaranteed-number for at least playing in the Wild Card game.

But come on.

No way this team can beat the Chargers, the Ravens and then the Chiefs twice. And after Sunday’s loss to the lowly Raiders, there’s no guarantee this Broncos squad can beat the Rams, Cardinals and Panthers either.

So is the team just playing for moral victories at this point? Do those even exist?

Yes. And though it sucks, this is where we are.

But the moral victories are a lot less about focusing on some wins but about keeping team morale from tanking.

After the Broncos waived Melvin Gordon on Monday, players know the “accountability” portion of the game plan is coming down on them long before the coaching staff, so they have some incentive.

But mainly, they need to end this awful season on a high note so that offseason isn’t nearly as brutal.

Last year when players learned the Broncos acquired Russell Wilson, there was instant excitement and energy about the coming season. Now that we’ve all seen that Wilson is not capable of saving the team on his own - and that the play calling has been a disaster - that crucial offseason energy is only coming if guys feel optimistic that they worked out the kinks this season and have something legit to build upon.

“They need to finish strong. I think if there’s any hope this thing gets better this offseason in terms of reports on what the locker room is like, “ Jenkins said on Broncos Country Tonight Monday. “It’s gotta be ‘we’re going to make a run toward the end of the year’ and you potentially get yourself in playoff contention - even if that’s unlikely. But you make yourself a solid run, finish above .500 on the back half of the year. And then you can say, “ok this program feels a lot better.’”

The problem for all of us is it’s really hard to “feel better” about this team. We expected touchdowns. We expected wins. We expected to compete with the Chiefs and Bills and any other team AFC leader. We expected to turn it all around.

Instead, we’re not just at the bottom. We’re deeper and in worse shape than we’ve been in years. Decades, even.

That’s a terrible place to be as a fan. It’s a detrimental place to be as a player.

Broncos/NFL News

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