The Super Bowl 50 champion has morphed into a nonconference directional team, a homecoming opponent, a Hostess CupCake on the schedule.
Eastern Colorado State Plumbers Institute lost in Philadelphia on Sunday, 51-23. It was over long before it was over.
On the road this season the Broncoids are 0-4 after being scorched for 127 cumulative points (30.7 average) while scoring a meager 58 (14.5). In their past six games away from home (since Dec. 11 of last year) they have averaged 13 points and been beaten in all.
Denver has terrible travel troubles.
One week the Broncos are shut out for the first time since 1992. Two weeks later they are trampled on for more than 50 points for the first time since 2010. In between they were barely competitive.
The Broncos have been forced to endure more points than the Eagles’ 51 only 10 times in franchise history, and seven of those debacles occurred in the first decade when the Broncos were among the worst teams in the scoring-berserk AFL.
Philadelphia probably could have put up 70 against what was reputed to be the league’s No. 1 defense. The Broncos, one of the most offensive offenses, was fortunate to score more than 9 because of two touchdowns in dumpster time.
Who’s got next? Paxton Lynch? Chad Kelly or Wyoming’s Josh Allen in 2018? What’s Peyton’s telephone number in Cherry Hills Village? Dare I mention a free agent quarterback the Broncos once tried to sign? Oh, Romo, oh, Romo, where art thou, Romo? How do you like Kyle Sloter now?
On Sunday, Brock Osweiler played a lot like Trevor Siemian, completing just 50 percent of his passes, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
"Ball security is job security,’’ Osweiler said upon learning he was the new quarterback last week. Osweiler should keep renting.
The No-Fly Zone was atrocious as the Soaring Eagles scored six touchdowns.
The Broncos were penalized 14 times for 105 yards. The lack of discipline was despicable.
The Broncos are on to the New England game. Ugh.
Before the season I predicted the Broncos would finish 8-7-1. They aren’t headed back to the Super Bowl. They may not even win enough games (6) to qualify for a minor NCAA postseason game. The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl in St. Petersburg wouldn’t invite them.
Vance Joseph stands and suffers on the sideline.
At one point in the third quarter, as Osweiler flung another wild pass, Joseph crossed his arms, as if he were trying to pass a kidney stone.
Joseph is in danger of finishing with the least number of victories for a Broncos first-year coach since 1972 – when John Ralston compiled a 5-9 record.
The last seven head coaches won at least eight in the inaugural season in Denver. Two had 12, another 10.
When Joseph accepted this job, he said the Broncos weren’t rebuilding; they were retooling.
They are regressing.
Both Bill McCartney, who coached Joseph at Colorado, and Gary Kubiak, who hired Joseph with the Texans, described him as a “leader of men.’’
He’s not leading these men and a team with half the Super Bowl roster remaining.
Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat has faded badly after a 3-1 start.
The coach’s dilemma is reminiscent of Josh McDaniels winning his first six games in 2009. Then, the Broncos lost eight of 10. Like Joseph, McDaniels suffered through a four-game losing streak – twice. He never reached five because, in his second season, McDaniels was fired.
Can Joseph survive the four seasons of his contract? Or even two?
John Elway is not a patient, passive president of football operations. He fired a coach who went to the playoffs four consecutive seasons and reached a Super Bowl.
Three of the past five Broncos head coaches didn’t make it to a third season.
Joseph’s role during a game is not very obvious. He failed to challenge on one offensive play call that should have been overturned. When he did issue a challenge, it was way too late to affect the outcome. Joseph doesn’t have to scream, shriek or squawk, but the occasional emotional, passionate response to the game and his players is necessary.
As the coach was standing by idly Sunday, the Broncos got kicked in the grass again.