Broncos Record First Shutout in 25 Years
9-7 in 2016 and 3-3 so far in 2017, the Denver Broncos have not been what they were in past years. A 2-0 start was then followed by a loss at Buffalo, a home win against the Raiders and possibly the worst game by a Broncos team facing a then winless team in the Giants, making Denver's record 3-2 going into the bye.
So I know what you're probably thinking. The Broncos take the season series in Los Angeles against the Chargers and are back in the Wild Card race right? Well oh my, are you more than wrong!
For the Broncos, week 7 in LA was filled fumbles after fumbles, offensive miscue after offensive miscue, and poor decision making and coaching by Trevor Siemian and Vance Joseph. It all started with Denver getting the ball and having a three and out on their first possession. But when Phillip Rivers marched the Chargers down the field, Denver's D-line and linebackers made a goal line stand on fourth down resulting in a scoreless contest.
But then the Broncos are stupid enough to punt back to back possessions. But this wasn't just any punt return. It was a line drive punt returned for a 65 yard touchdown, making it 7-0 Chargers. LA would score again on a 1 yard TD pass, doubling their lead. Now at this point you're probably wondering, gee Trevor Siemian hasn't thrown an interception yet. Don't you worry AFC West rivals, you won't be disappointed. Siemian would throw an interception in the fourth quarter, setting up the game clinching 42 yard touchdown run by Travis Benjamin making the Charger lead not even close as the Chargers would win by 21-0. This would be the Broncos' first shutout since 1992 after snapping a league best non-shutout streak.
At this point in the season, the Broncos are going nowhere with a 3-3 record, and their upcoming schedule proves it. Denver goes to Arrowhead to face the Chiefs next Monday night, then go into Philly to face the NFC's best Eagles, then the road trip ends when they return home against the Patriots in Week 10. As far as the quarterback situation is concerned, the Broncos may do one of two things.
One being go ahead and be the NFL's new laughing stock with a sloppy quarterback for the rest of the season, or start/sign a veteran QB (a la Osweiler, Kaepernick, free agency) and play out 2018. From Brister, to Griese, to Plummer, to Cutler, to Orton, to Tebow, and now Siemian, the Broncos have not had much success with rookie or (new) starting quarterbacks since Manning and Elway left despite a 2005 playoff run where the Broncos would lose to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.
Also, given the beaten up O-line in Donald Stephenson, Billy Turner, and Menelik Watson, Trevor Siemian has definitely taken more hits, sacks, and fumbles. If Trevor Siemian is going to beat the AFC and NFC's best teams, he must be protected which means a major renovation for the o-line in the coming weeks.
Now I've heard a lot on social media about the Broncos possibly having another 9-7 or 8-8 season. But for anybody who said it was going to be that way for Denver, you need a major wake up call. It is not about losing Wade Phillips despite less takeaways, or special teams, or o-line, or not even the quarterback situation.
The reason why the Broncos are where they are at this point in the season is the decision to hire former Dolphins D-coordinator, Vance Joseph as head coach. Ever since Gary Kubiak left the team at the end of 2017, leadership was lost and the Broncos needed to find a new head coach to develop Trevor Siemian and continue the Broncos' tradition of winning. After 7 weeks however, POSSIBLY THE WORST CHOICE OF HEAD COACH EVER BY THE BRONCOS SINCE THEIR FIRST IN 1960!!!! I mean seriously, bad play calling, bad leadership, bad decision making and possibly the subject of one of the NFL's most viral (and actually quite funny) memes! I mean you got to admit that the guy at least has a sense of humor but 0% sense of football.
The Broncos must have a Week 2-esque performance in Kansas City Monday Night as they did when they played the Cowboys.
Otherwise, welcome to the bottom of the NFL pecking order Denver.