The Denver Broncos lost their season finale to their division rival Las Vegas Raiders by the score of 27-14. They fell to an 8-9 record on the season and were swept by the Raiders once again this season. It is a disappointing end to a season that had us fantasizing about a potential postseason run at one point. In the end, that did not happen and the Broncos finished the season with a 2-4 record after winning five straight games.
Let us take a look at the winners and losers from the Broncos season finale 27-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Jeudy ended the season on a high note after having a relatively quiet and unproductive season. He finished the game with 3 receptions for 79 yards, and 1 touchdown which came on an impressive run after the catch effort where he broke tackles to get into the end zone.
There were not many highlights from the Broncos offense in this one, but this touchdown seemed like it would spark the offense early on. Unfortunately, that did not happen, but it was an impressive play by Jeudy nonetheless.
We shall see if Jeudy remains with the Broncos moving forward, He will be entering his fifth-year with the Broncos and has been involved in trade rumors for the past two seasons so we shall see if they continue and if they actually pull the trigger on it this offseason.
Like Jeudy, Johnson ended the season on a high note. He had 4 catches for a team-leading 88 yards in this one and was vying to show he can contribute to the team moving forward.
With uncertainty at the position and if Jeudy will or will not return, Johnson has proven he can be effective when called on at times this season. If he can stay healthy, I think we will see him on the 53-man roster next season.
Improved draft pick
If you were rooting for an improved draft pick, you got your way. The Broncos officially have the 12th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Heading into the game, they had the 14th overall pick so they moved up two spots.
Broncos officially have the 12th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft https://t.co/qOiyyvjmYg v— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) January 8, 2024
As we all know, they will be in the market for a quarterback via the draft, so we shall see how that will all shake out in the coming weeks and months.
It has been a rollercoaster of a season for the Broncos defensive coordinator. He looked like a soon-to-be-fired coach after their 1-5 start that saw them give up 70 points to the Miami Dolphins. However, a five-game win streak that saw the defense force multiple turnovers each game seemed to save his job. However, a 2-4 finish to the season that saw the defense struggle outside of two games vs. Easton Stick and the beat-up Chargers may have put him on the hot seat once again.
Vance Joseph's job shouldn't be safe. The defense played great and came up with timely turnovers during the win streak, but the defense hasn't been wonderful during the final 5-6 weeks, outside of two games vs. Easton Stick.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) January 7, 2024
If a better option is available, flex that Walmart $$
Having some continuity at the defensive coordinator position would be nice but Payton and the Broncos should not be against upgrading if possible. They have Walmart money and have no issue offering top money for a coordinator if they deem them a fit. Also, Joseph wasn’t Payton’s top choice(He wanted Fangio) and was only picked after multiple jobs were already filled. So, it is possible Payton may not be as tied to Joseph as we think.
A terrible start and disappointing finish to the end of the season should put Joseph’s job in jeopardy. If a better option becomes available, they should look into it and pull the trigger.
Fleming has played very little this season as the offensive line has stayed fairly healthy. However, with Mike McGlinchey placed on the injured reserve for the finale, he was called on to start vs. the Raiders. Unfortunately for Fleming, he had to line up against Maxx Crosby, and it did not go well for the veteran tackle.
I do not have the stats, but he consistently struggled and was left without help throughout the game. He has been a solid swing tackle for the Broncos, but he had a rough go in this one.
Stidham was placed in a tough spot. He was starting for the controversial benching of Russell Wilson and Sean Payton hoped he would provide a spark for a struggling Broncos offense. He has been a career backup throughout his career and he played like that during his two starts.
With that said, he did not play badly and put up similar numbers to Russell Wilson but he did not provide a “spark” nor did he show he should be trusted as a starter next season. Again, unfair expectations placed on him but he did not live up to those expectations placed on him.
We shall see what his future with the team will be moving forward. He seems like a favorite of head coach Sean Payton and has a $7 million cap hit for next season so it could very well be Stidham and a rookie for next season.