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Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio was deep in thought on the sidelines during a game against the Bengals. The Broncos played the Bengals at Mile High Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

The Broncos are lost in their own space and place.

At this rate they may not be found until Arch Manning is available in the 2027 draft.

Sunday at dis-Empower-ed Field, the Broncos lost at home for the fourth time in 2021; they lost quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who, truthfully, was playing poorly before being scarily injured; Drew Lock lost the ball at the Bengals’ 11-yard line on a fumble; the Broncos lost their passing attack; the offense and the coaches completely lost their minds at the end of the first half and the end of the game.

The Broncos lost to the Bengals.

The Broncos have lost their way entirely in the playoff chase – with only a 5 percent chance; loyal fans have lost hope, based on the continued alarming Mile High number of no-shows and the few spectators left in the stadium late in the fourth quarter; the Broncos obviously have lost a realistic possibility of finishing above .500 for the first time in five seasons.

A lot of Broncos jobs will be lost before next season. The head coach, the offensive coordinator, the quarterbacks coach, the offensive line coach, a dozen unrestricted free agents and a whole bunch of other marginal players will be gone.

In the first half the Broncos lost the three most talented receivers on the team — Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and especially Jerry Jeudy. Garett Bolles lost his ability to play left tackle cleanly. Albert Okwuegbunam lost a pass right to his gut. The secondary got lost on Cincinnati’s Tyler Boyd 56-yard catch-and-race touchdown.

In the latest of the most significant games the Broncos have played in years, the offense looked lost and confused.

The offense couldn’t have beaten the Lost Boys of Peter Pan on Sunday.

Vic Fangio lost for the 22nd time in 23 games when the Broncos are trailing at halftime. And he acted lost when the Broncos had the most pathetic two-minute offense in the first half and a worthless effort to win the game on the team’s final possession that went backward until the Broncos almost were out of the stadium.

The awful offense has scored less than 20 points in seven of the last 11 games after starting the season with three victories against teams with a total of 33 losses.

The Broncos have beaten two teams with winning records. They have won only four home games.

Lost.

The Broncos don’t belong in the playoffs. They don’t deserve to be in this sentence with Broncos of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s or the first half of the 2010s.

They are as despicable as the Broncos of the 1960s.

The Broncos should finish last in the AFC West.

Thank God, Greyhound and goodness that the franchise soon will have new ownership.

Two offensive possessions in the second quarter and one defensive situation in the third quarter summed up the Broncos of the Van Joseph-Vic Fangio errors.

The Broncos were tied at 3 when they got the ball at their 20 with 3:30 left in the first half. There was enough time for a touchdown to take the lead. The Broncos reached midfield before Fangio called his first timeout with only 28 seconds showing. Clock management is a Fangio flaw. The Broncos ground to a halt at the Cincy 33 with fourth-and-one and just 14 seconds remaining, and Brandon McManus missed a rare field goal.

The Bengals took over with nine seconds left and completed a pass and kicked a field goal.

In the second half Bridgewater was seriously hurt once again this season on a scramble, and Lock came on for the third time and guided the Broncos to what would be their only touchdown. Two plays later the Bengals scored what would be their only touchdown on a total muck-up by the Broncos.

Lock would drive the Broncos to the 9-yard line, and they could have taken the lead. But, on a play that had no purpose or planning, the former starter went left. Defensive end Khalid Kareem pulled the ball out of the hands of Lock, who has a propensity for turnovers. After a Kareem re-fumble, a mess and a review, the Bengals were given the ball.

And the game and the season became a Lost Cause for the Broncos.

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