Mike McCoy was directing an offense averaging only 18.3 points per game, and only 14.6 points since a 42-point outburst against the Cowboys in Week 2.
On the surface, it makes sense to fire McCoy, the offensive coordinator. Something had to be done with the Broncos after a depressing and baffling seven-game losing streak that shows little sign of ending.
Let’s take a closer look:
McCoy was given little to work with.
The Broncos ended last season with an offensive collapse, averaging 13.4 points in their final five games. That’s even less than the 1-15 Browns (the current NFL standard for really bad). The Browns averaged 16 points. During disastrous three weeks in December that doomed the season, the Broncos lost to the Titans, Patriots and Chiefs while scoring a total of 23 points.
What was done to improve that offense?
Very little. The Broncos do not have a top-30 NFL quarterback on the roster. The Broncos offensive line is weak, one of the worst in the league. The Broncos lack a quality collection of running backs.
In other words, McCoy was handed an offense that a reasonable person would look at and say, “That offense will average, oh, about 18.3 points per game.”
In better days, McCoy did spectacular work with a Bronco offense stacked with talent. He’s best known for his imaginative work as offensive coordinator in 2012 when he teamed with the getting-old-yet-still-spectacular Peyton Manning to produce an offense that scored 481 points in 16 games. It was a great show.
McCoy has been fired for the second time in less than a year. He once was a rising coaching star in the NFL, and his rise took him to the head job with the Chargers, who booted him after the 2016 season. It’s a brutal business.
In a way, he’s fortunate. He departs a franchise with a huge hole that he could have never filled this season. There’s no offense to go with a still powerful defense.
When Vance Joseph was hired as head coach, he took an oddly – and blindly – optimistic look at the offense..
"It's a league of scoring points," Joseph said at his introduction. "It comes with confidence. It comes with swagger. For us, 28 points, that's going to be the standard. We do have players in place for that."
The players in place?
No way. Not then. Not now.
McCoy is gone.
The lack of talent that chased him away remains.