Magician David Copperfield mysteriously caused various objects to vanish in a showroom at the MGM Grand resort Sunday afternoon.

At the same time a mile high away in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium, a trick less impressive was performed.


The Raiders made the Broncos disappear.

For the third week in four the Broncos were nothing more than lounge lizards.

The offense scored a total of three touchdowns against the Chiefs, the Bengals and the Raiders. And the one Sunday was a one-yard – yes – one-yard drive.

Broncos Raiders Football

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (98) sacks Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Las Vegas.

Thus, the Broncos’ chances now of reaching the playoffs are slim (less than one percent) and none.

Poof! They’re gone.

What happened in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. The football famine in Colorado persists for six years.

Head coach Vic Fangio, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, quarterbacks coach Mike Shula and seven other offensive assistants must start packing. The real estate market is strong for selling.

The Broncos’ offense is strong for smelling.

Broncos Raiders Football

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) catches a pass for a touchdown against Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson (22) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Las Vegas.

The Raiders rushed on 40 plays for 160 yards. The Broncos rushed 18 times for, get this, 16 yards, and quarterback Drew Lock had 10 of those yards on two scrambles.

In eight games this season the Broncos have scored 7, 19, 14, 17, 13, 9, 10, 13, What else is new?

Over the past five seasons the Broncos have scored fewer than 20 points in 43 games.

Attention, George Paton. If you don’t do something about this offensive offense, your tenure in Denver won’t last long. The first-year general manager used seven of his 10 draft picks on defensive players, and one of the three offensive players was a bust. Paton, who knows more than the rest of us, decided the Broncos didn’t need a world-class quarterback.

If Paton doesn’t fire Fangio and the offensive coaching staff Jan. 4, then the final defiant act by CEO Joe Ellis and president of football operations John Elway should be to fire Paton. Of course, nobody can fire Ellis and Elway, who have been in charge during this disgusting drought, because they have no boss.

The Broncos are the only franchise in the four major professional sports without an owner.

The Green Bay Packers have thousands of owners. The Packers are 12-3. Since Super Bowl 50, which seems like it was 20 years ago, the Broncos have finished 9-7, 5-11, 6-10, 7-9, 5-11 and, this season, probably 7-10. The Broncos belong in a division with the Lions, the Jets, the Giants and the Jaguars.

Instead, the Broncos have lost 12 in a row to one of their rivals, the Chiefs, and the streak will be 13 in two weeks. The Broncos have lost four straight to their primary rival, the Raiders, and seven out of nine.

Fangio may wind up winning only 19 of his 49 games in Denver. He’ll rank down there with Vance Joseph, Josh McDaniels, Lou Saban, Jack Faulkner and Frank Filchock.

There is no reason to fire Fangio Monday. He should be forced to coach the final two, and who would replace him, anyway, as an interim – Shurmur? The offensive coordinator should have been dismissed three months ago.

Here’s an example of the Broncos’ ineptness:

Jerry Jeudy was the team’s No. 1 draft choice in 2020. He was supposed to become the Broncos’ long-distance receiver. The Wright Brothers were the first to fly in America. Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and Jeudy were supposed to become the Right Bros. and fly down the field this year. Shurmur forgot they are on the roster.

Jeudy has been transformed into a fake diversion for the Broncos. Shurmur had Jeudy again run a jet sweep at least a dozen times against the Raiders, and not once did he ever get the ball. What a waste.

Meanwhile, Derek Carr wasn’t overwhelming the Broncos’ defense, but he did injure his left shoulder and his left leg in the game while handing off to Josh Jacobs on 27 occasions for 129 yards, and he completed 20 of 25 passes for 201 yards.

Lock didn’t hurt the Broncos with a fumble or an interception, but he certainly didn’t do enough to win his first start since losing four of his last five starts in 2020.

The Broncos have no magic. They crapped out in Vegas Sunday.

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