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Woody Paige: With unexceptional coaching and QB, Broncos go from bad to worse

October 22, 2017 Updated: October 24, 2017 at 6:11 am
Caption +
Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian walks off the field after a 21-0 loss against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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CARSON, Calif. – The Broncos were busted brutally, and the head coach and his three chosen coordinators must be blamed.

In a despicable, deplorable and disgraceful display of ineptitude, the Broncos were shut down, shut up and shut out Sunday.

This is an apathetic team headed from La-La Land to Nowheresville.

The Broncos managed a big, fat, round zero, just as the Rapids did in the same soccer stadium in September.

It’s time for another Come-to-John meeting.

For the second time in a quarter century, John Elway had to glare and watch the Broncos fail to score in Los Angeles. On Nov. 11, 1992, with Elway the quarterback injured and on the sideline, the Broncos were shut out by the L.A. Raiders, 24-0.  On Oct. 22, 2017, with Elway the president of football operations in a suite and a sweat, the Broncos were shut out by the L.A. Chargers, 21-0.

In 394 games between those dates, the Broncos at least scored points in every game.

Yet, in the past 16 quarters, the Broncos’ offense has managed three meager touchdowns while losing twice to last-place teams and once in Buffalo.

Who’s responsible?

Trevor Siemian? He’s just an ordinary quarterback who shouldn’t be demanded to throw 84 times against the Giants and the Chargers. The Chargers forced the man with the injured left shoulder and the shaky right arm into two fumbles, one interception and five sacks. It could have been worse. But the Chargers dropped one sure thing, and the Broncos recovered one of his fumbles. Trembling Trevor has eight touchdowns and seven picks this season as the Broncos are a .500 team and trending lower.

Although I’ve intimated that the Broncos could lose five in a row and disappear from view, an expert said to me Sunday morning that NFL teams don’t lose five straight. Tell the Browns.

On a Sauna Sunday, with a kickoff temperature of 90 degrees, the Broncos looked lackadaisical and lethargic from the start with a fumble by tight end A.J. Derby on the third offensive play. The Chargers, wearing their retro powder-blue jerseys, took over before their first sellout crowd – 25,388 (swell!) – with more than half wearing orange jerseys.

The Broncos’ defense stopped the Chargers on four consecutive Melvin Gordon runs at the Denver 1-yard line. The stand should have energized the Broncos. Instead, they couldn’t stand the prosperity. After one first down, the Broncos bogged down and punted from the 19.

Chargers punt returner Travis Benjamin raced 65 yards, and the Broncos were behind 7:33 into the game, and never caught up or caught on.

The game plan by offensive coordinator Mike McCoy must have been familiar to the Chargers. He was their coach last year, and this blueprint was compatible. The Broncos’ defense would allow two touchdowns, but coordinator Joe Woods is offering nothing unique. The Broncos’ No-Fly Zone, a turnover machine under Wade Phillips, didn’t have an interception or a fumble – again.  Opponents realize if they don’t make major mistakes, they can beat this bunch.

And Broncos special teams coordinator Brock Olivo hasn’t been special.

Speaking of Brock, let’s.

Vance Joseph is determined to stay with Siemian, even though his backup did help the Broncos get to the Super Bowl as a starter two years ago. How long, oh, how long, before the Broncos actually give Brock Osweiler a chance? In the second half last Sunday and this Sunday, he certainly couldn’t have done any worse than Siemian. Who among us thought the Broncos would come back to win in the fourth quarter of either game?  Nobody outside the Broncos coaching staff.

Joseph continues with his Alfred E. Neuman attitude:  “”What? We worry?’’

The responses in the locker room Sunday afternoon were: “It’s early’’ and “We’ll get it turned around’’ and “We’ll look at the film so we can get better.’’ It’s getting later, and the Broncos are not turning anything around, and these films are horror movies.

In previous years Elway, who hired these guys, would come down from on high and address the team. The Broncos are two games behind the Chiefs in the AC West and play in Kansas City next. Calling John. But a pep talk probably won’t matter.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen said his Cason Chargers “did a good job of wearing (the Broncos) down . . . and we scored more than they did.’’ You think?

The novelty act is over, Vance, Mike, Joe and Brock. The Broncos are bad. La-La that.

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