Good morning, Broncos Country.
Welp, not even I can sugarcoat that dumpster fire of a game.
I am so done with this coaching staff’s game planning.
Fake field goal on 4th-and-10...with just seconds before the half and a chance to get sure points on the board - ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
I'm coming for the Broncos' playbook. pic.twitter.com/RGEddtaGYr— L.Lattimore-Volkmann (@docllv) December 26, 2016
There is so much blame to go around, it’s not even doable in one post. But there is one glaring failure above all the rest - the coaching.
For all the lack of talent in some key positions, for all the poor play, for all the tough opponents, the primary reason this defending Super Bowl champion team is 8-7 is because coaches have consistently put players in the worst position to win.
The play calling is horrendous.
The "coaching up" is embarrassingly insufficient.
The preparedness for an opponent is absent.
I don’t like complaining about individual players sucking or calling for coaches to be fired (cue McGeorge!), but this coaching staff must be held accountable for its complete lack of creativity with the offensive game plan, head-scratching roster choices and in-game decisions all season that have hamstrung this team.
Broncos would have had third-and-1. They take the offsides to set up 2nd-and-5. A penalty, a 4-yard loss & now it's third-and-14.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 26, 2016
But perhaps the biggest evidence of a coaching failure is the lack of fire/readiness to play. In a truly must-win game, not one part of the team looked ready for what was coming. The Chiefs are good, but the Chiefs were beatable.
Yet the offense continued its downward spiral, producing mostly three-and-outs and in the end just two scores.
The defense allowed more than 300 yards in the first half, and most of those in the first quarter when the Chiefs lit up the scoreboard like it was New Year’s Eve. Heck, when a 340-pound lineman can throw a jump-shot of a touchdown pass on this defense, you know the D is worn out and worn down.
It was a colossal failure of a performance all the way around, and Gary Kubiak said as much after the game.
"We haven't given up that type of ball movement in a while," said the head coach. "Disappointed. ...We didn't play well as a team...we're not playing well offensively, and I'm responsible for that. Obviously we're not getting enough out of our opportunities, so I take responsibility for that."
And now for the first time since 2010, the Broncos won't be playing in the offseason. It will also be the first time since 2003 that neither Super Bowl team from the previous year will get a chance for a repeat.
So, the good news?
This team has a whole extra month and a half to add at least a page or two to the playbook before OTAs.
"This one's going to hurt for a long time. We're going to have to hear this s*** for another year." -- Darian Stewart— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 26, 2016
Three Keys Unlocked: Chiefs 33, Broncos 10
The Broncos were unable to overcome and early deficit in Kansas City giving the Chiefs a Christmas night win.
Broncos report card and game balls from Week 16 against the Chiefs – The Denver Post
This unit could receive a failing grade every week for its ineptitude. No one had a good game on this side of the ball from the coaches, quarterback Trevor Siemian, offensive line, running backs or receivers. It's just a bad offense.
Five Key Moments: Chiefs 33, Broncos 10
A look at the five defining moments from Sunday's loss to the Chiefs.
WATCH: Broncos rookie Justin Simmons picks off Chiefs’ Alex Smith – The Denver Post
It was one of the few highlights of the game.
Broncos vs. Chiefs - Game Recap - December 25, 2016 - ESPN
Get a recap of the Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs football game.
Broncos' playoff hopes officially dashed by Chiefs
The defending champion Broncos will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Broncos, Panthers miss playoffs after Super Bowl 50 - NFL.com
For the first time since 2003, both Super Bowl squads from the previous year will miss the playoffs. The Panthers and Broncos will be sitting on the sidelines when the postseason starts in two weeks.
Forty-two things we learned from Week 16 - NFL.com
Significant season-ending injuries marred Week 16. Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota's fibula injuries will keep both quarterbacks out indefinitely. Here's what else we learned in Week 16.
Tired Cam Newton struggles to solve issues - NFL.com
The Panthers are out of contention after a season that failed to get off the ground. Cam Newton seems exasperated by he and his teammates' struggles with the campaign coming to a close.
Minnesota Vikings DBs ditch Mike Zimmer's game plan - NFL.com
Minnesota Vikings defensive backs diverted from coach Mike Zimmer's game plan to cover Jordy Nelson the whole game, deciding instead to each play their side of the field in losing effort.
Ben Roethlisberger's brilliance saves Steelers' season - Pittsburgh Steelers Blog- ESPN
In yet another nail-biter between rivals, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers avoid a fifth straight loss to the Ravens and clinch the AFC North.
Derek Carr of Oakland Raiders helped off field with lower right leg injury
Raiders QB Derek Carr suffered a broken right fibula in Saturday's win over Indianapolis, according to coach Jack Del Rio. Carr will undergo surgery on Sunday.
Baltimore Ravens knocked out of playoff hunt by Christmas Day collapse - Baltimore Ravens Blog- ESPN
The Ravens suffered one of their most painful losses ever, blowing a fourth-quarter lead to the archrival Steelers to get KO'd from the playoffs.
Sheldon Richardson of New York Jets says Brandon Marshall 'should be embarrassed' after loss to New England Patriots
The New York Jets showed signs of fracturing on Saturday in the aftermath of their 41-3 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
David Johnson of Arizona Cardinals ties Barry Sanders with 15th straight game with 100 yards from scrimmage
Cardinals running back David Johnson matched Barry Sanders' record streak of 100-yard games by recording his 15th straight Saturday night in a 34-31 win over the Seahawks.
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions in Week 17 flexed to 'Sunday Night Football'
The Week 17 game between the Packers and Lions has been flexed to Sunday night, as the winner will also take the NFC North division title.