A group effort in futility.
Just when it seemed the Broncos had fallen as far as they could fall, they fell even deeper into the NFL abyss. For the past month, the Broncos offense has been asleep, but a violent, aggressive, stubborn defense allowed fans to retain hope.
Maybe the offense could start doing practical, important things like moving to first downs and scoring points. Maybe the season could be salvaged.
The Broncos defense joined the offense in a frightening degree of awfulness during Sunday’s 51-23 loss to the Eagles. It was bad, really bad, even worse than the loss to the Chargers two weeks ago.
Here are three reasons why the Broncos got trashed by the Eagles:
One – The defense
We can wave goodbye, at least for a week, to the angle of the defense being martyrs. On Sunday, the Broncos defense was shredded by Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz.
Wentz was seldom bothered by pressure. Wentz was able to torment Denver’s proud and stingy secondary.
Remember the fun of watching the Broncos offense when it was led by an elite quarterback? That’s where Eagles fans are now. Wentz is special. The Broncos collection of quarterbacks is, well, not so special.
Which brings us to another problem:
Two – Brock Osweiler
I wondered if the Brock of 2015, the one who led the Broncos to a 5-2 record, the one who played a vital role in Denver’s march to a Super Bowl title, would suddenly return to revive the offense.
Instead, we saw the Brock of 2016, the one who inspired the Texans to dump him less than a year after handing him $37 million guaranteed cash.
Brock was not an improvement over Trevor Siemian, benched last week. But he was not a drop from Siemian, either.
The Broncos have a serious quarterback problem that is unlikely to be solved this season, or maybe even this decade.
Three – Penalties
The Broncos had zero chance in the madness that is the Eagles home field.
They will have a chance later in the season. The Broncos could still finish, say, 8-8.
But sloppiness could send the Broncos to a truly atrocious season. On Sunday, the Broncos collected 14 penalties.
Vance Joseph faces a mountain of problems as his rookie season tumbles into chaos.
Discipline is near the top of those problems.