The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Denver now falls to 0-2 on the season with two games that were winnable.
Here are the six things we learned from Sunday’s loss.
What the heck is going on in the second half?
For the second straight week, the Broncos looked incredible in the first half. Against Washington, the offense scored touchdowns on three straight possessions and the defense looked phenomenal.
Denver had just forced a three-and-out with the ball on the Washington 40-yard line. Given the success of the offense, they were about to get more.
There was a flickering moment where you thought, “This is almost too good to be true.”
Then Russell Wilson fumbles, with the missed face mask penalty, that flipped the momentum.
Yet despite the ugly end to the first half in giving up 11 points, the Broncos got the ball to open the third quarter and proceeded to go three-and-out.
The Hail Mary was about the only thing that went right for Denver in the second half, on offense or defense.
What the heck is going on?
This is the second game where the Broncos have looked completely lost. And that falls on Sean Payton.
Denver is soft
How the Broncos lost this game is still remarkable. And that shows how far this franchise has fallen and how far they have to get back.
It’s going to take a lot of work and patience. Since Denver has been so bad for so long, there isn’t much of the latter to spare.
That doesn’t make up for how soft Denver is as a team. Any sign of adversity and the Broncos don’t know how to respond. They get punched in the mouth and they get skittish.
It also seemed like they thought the game was in control up 21-3 and didn’t play with the same urgency or physicality.
It was just a completely different team from the first half to the second half.
Marvin Mims is a lot of fun
Payton said the Broncos lacked explosive plays in the opening loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, they got them in the first half. They got them from the rookie receiver ... in the first half, at least.
Whether it was protection issues or an adjustment by Washington, Mims didn’t get anything in the second half. That must change.
Mims finished the game with two receptions for 113 yards for a touchdown.
The Broncos defense is not good
At least Denver got pressure this week ... in the first half.
That’s about all it did.
The Broncos were manhandled at the line of scrimmage and got dissected by rookie quarterback Sam Howell.
There are issues up and down this defense, from the defensive line to the secondary. One of the most glaring problems is that no one on this defense can tackle.
There were major concerns over the hiring of Vance Joseph. The first two games won’t alleviate those concerns.
Denver’s offensive line was dominated in the second half
A lot of this is because of how good the Commanders defensive front is, but the Broncos offensive line was bad in the second half. It got completely steamrolled in every facet.
Broncos Country just can’t have nice things
I still don’t know how Denver lost this game, but lather, rinse, repeat when it comes to this franchise.
Until Payton and the coaching staff teach this team how to not lose games, it won’t learn how to win them.
Of course, two weeks in a row of the Broncos coaches and players looking out of their element in the second half doesn’t help.