August 19, 2013 Updated: August 20, 2013 at 9:57 am
DENVER - In the back corner of the Broncos locker room in Seattle, Rahim Moore answered the only question that mattered.
Does a 40-10 loss to the Seahawks, in the preseason, really mean anything?
"Hell yeah it means something. Of course it does. You just lost. You got blown out," the Broncos safety told me with his usual enthusiasm. "Especially with the starters playing the majority of the game, it's not a good look. I don't care what anybody says.
"It might be the preseason, but it felt like a real game to me. It's pathetic. It's embarrassing."
So, there you have it.
The Broncos are doomed.
Not really, of course. Late Saturday night, I didn't leave CenturyLink Field thinking about what a preseason game meant for this Broncos season, what could be.
I left thinking about the last Broncos season, what should have been.
You say it's time to move on from the Mile High Mistake?
These Broncos are making it hard.
If it's not an injury to Dan Koppen, it's an injury to Derek Wolfe. If it's not an injury to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, it's an injury to Wes Welker.
If it's not a contract dispute with Elvis Dumervil, it's a fax flub with Elvis Dumervil.
If it's not a potential four-game suspension for Von Miller, it's a potential six-game suspension for Von Miller.
If it's not a suspension for one front-office executive, it's a suspension for another front-office executive.
Guys, come on already.
This isn't preseason football; this is Dateline.
Seattle drubbing Denver in August, then celebrating like it was February, told us more about a city desperate to field a winner more than it did about the Broncos and their coming season.
I don't believe we learned a single absolute in this single fake game.
Saturday's game wasn't about the Broncos' future.
It was about the Broncos' past. It told us, again, how good the Broncos had it last season.
It told us this: There may never be a more perfect storm in Broncos Country than what we saw in 2012. How that was such a golden opportunity to bring another Super Bowl championship to Colorado.
Homefield advantage in the playoffs. A healthy roster, aside from running back. A vulnerable AFC, as evidenced by the No. 2 seed, New England, blowing it worse than the Broncos did. At least the Pats knew what was coming in the Ravens.
I tend to think six games without Miller, if that happens, hardly pushes the Broncos toward the panic button.
Remember their record after six games last season? It was 3-3.
That turned out OK.
A year ago, the Seahawks blasted the Broncos 30-10 in a preseason game.
That turned out OK.
"We're going to fix it, because that's embarrassing. You never want a team to go out there and put 40 points on you," Moore said. "I don't care if it's preseason, a scrimmage, a walk-through. I don't care. They out-executed us.
"We've got a lot of work to do."
Know what else I was thinking as I left CenturyLink Field in Seattle? I miss Nirvana.
And how jarring it was to see Champ Bailey taking long, slow steps in a walking boot and on crutches.
The Broncos are hopeful Champ will be available for the season opener. But the alarming image of a true professional, a 15-year veteran who has never played in a Super Bowl, served as yet another reminder:
It is so rare to gallop through a season like the Broncos did in 2012, without roster-wide injuries, and who knows when football's perfect storm forms again.
I don't believe in luck, except when fishing, but at some point it's worth a wonder:
Did so much go right in '12 that so much had to go wrong in '13?