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Horse Tracks: If the Broncos lose to the Dolphins, it’s time to turn off the bright lights

Only six teams have ever made the playoffs after starting the season 0-3. If the Denver Broncos lose to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, you can kiss those aspirations goodbye.

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Washington Commanders v Denver Broncos Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country.

The Denver Broncos have dropped their first two games to start the year. The hardest part about that? Both of them at home and against teams who they likely should have beat. Very few, if any prognosticators out there, would have made that bet.

The odds were quite slim—almost non-existent. The Broncos were favorites in both those games, but somehow, someway—they managed to lose both of those games. Here is a crazy stat for you—one that is emblematic of the franchise’s struggles and lack of efficacy over the past six seasons.

There was never a time in Sean Payton’s career where he had lost a game being up 18 points. Payton’s streak of 72 wins after accumulating an 18-point lead was vanquished last weekend against the Washington Commanders. Unbelievable, right? You’d like to think that, but then again, it’s been Murphy’s Law for our beloved Broncos over the past six seasons.

Anything that can go wrong has gone wrong. That’s the sad and unfortunate truth of the current state of affairs at Dove Valley.

Losing isn’t fun, but it’s become the norm in the Mile High City. A perpetual habit that they seem incapable of breaking. Is there any hope for Denver this Sunday when they head on the road to Miami to face the Dolphins? Perhaps, but it’s really hard to imagine they come out victors.

Here’s another fun fact for you all courtesy of Mike Klis. The Broncos are 1-8 in Miami. Their last win on the road there? You would have to go back to the Tim Tebow era. Can the Broncos buck the trend and head to 1-2 on the year and save their season? Only time will tell.

But if they don’t, they’ll start off the season 0-3. And if that happens my friends, it’ll be all over but the crying.

Nobody could have imagined such a disastrous start to their 2023 campaign, but that’s the grim reality we are facing. Since I’ve been big on numbers and history in this post, how about another stat? Only six teams who have started their seasons with three losses have ended up making the playoffs.

That doesn’t bode well for this year’s Broncos under Sean Payton, who vowed that he would get the franchise back to their winning ways.

But here is the rub. Is there anyone out there that actually thinks the Broncos are going to roll into Miami and get a win? Probably. I’d wager there are some eternal optimists and folks who aren’t ready to accept that Denver’s 2023 season is going to wind up being another disappointment.

It’s going to be a tough hill to climb in Miami on Sunday and I’m not sure Payton’s Broncos are ready to go toe-to-toe with Mike McDaniel and Vic Fangio’s undefeated Dolphins. Is there anyone out there who can give me some good reasons why we should expect a Broncos victory on Sunday?

I’m eager to hear your thoughts. I’d love to hear your optimism. But as far as I’m concerned, it’ll be time to turn off the bright lights and look forward to 2024 when the Broncos lose this Sunday.

Broncos News & Tidbits

Broncos mailbag: Why talk of ‘tanking’ for Caleb Williams is unrealistic - The Athletic
The Broncos are leading the NFL with 2.89 points scored per drive, but fans are already questioning the future for Russell Wilson.

Broncos’ head coach Sean Payton blames Russell Wilson for team’s collapse
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has started the 2023 season strong, but his head coach, Sean Payton, remains unhappy.

The Denver Broncos are picking up where they left off last year
The team can’t seem to win close games as Russell Wilson has looked both good and bad, and the D less stout

Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins: Game predictions, picks, odds
Predictions and picks for the 2023 NFL Week 3 matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos.

Broncos’ Sean Payton preparing for familiar face in Miami’s Vic Fangio
Broncos head coach Sean Payton in February readily acknowledged that he tried to convince Vic Fangio to return to Denver has his defensive coordinator. Now Payton is game planning for Fangio’s Dolphins as a Week 3 matchup approaches.

Broncos’ Sean Payton aims to fix ‘slow’ communication issues on offense: ‘If we need to wristband it, we will’
Following Denver’s collapse against the Commanders in Week 2, Sean Payton referred to some “slow” communication issues on the Broncos’ offense and referred to having QB Russell Wilson wear a wristband for a smoother operation.

NFL News & Tidbits

Inside the record-breaking rise of Rams rookie Puka Nacua - ESPN
Nacua's transcendent performance through two games has flipped the script on the Rams' offensive identity -- and likely made 31 other NFL teams wish they had picked the rookie out of BYU.

Kareem Hunt returning to Browns on one-year deal worth up to $4M
The Cleveland Browns are signing running back Kareem Hunt to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million, per NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Giants rule out RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) for 'Thursday Night Football' vs. 49ers
The New York Giants have officially ruled out running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) for Thursday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Rams trading running back Cam Akers to Vikings
Los Angeles is sending Akers to Minnesota via trade, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday, per sources. The Rams and Vikings will swap 2026 late-round picks as part of the deal, per Pelissero.

Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigns from position with team
Defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned from his position with the team, the Chicago Bears announced on Wednesday.