It seems like every week, I come on here and highlight some significant issues that the Broncos need to correct if they want to avoid another loss. And yet every week, without fail, the Broncos go out and commit all the same blunders and miscues en route to another pathetic loss. I’ve got to hand it to them. They are consistent at making their fans miserable.
Last night was no different. The Patriots came in and devastated the Broncos like we all thought they would, and with any hope at the playoffs all but gone, now there are some very serious questions to be answered over the last seven games. Does this coaching staff even survive to see 2018? Should the team fight for what little dignity it can muster or should it fully embrace the tank and play for next year? And how many punts does Isaiah McKenzie have to muff before he gets benched? I guess time will tell.
In the meantime, while I hate watching my team lose as much as the rest of you, I’m fully in support of embracing the tank. Anyone with a pair of eyeballs can tell that the Broncos have several glaring issues on their roster and if they want this dumpster fire of a season to be a one-time occurrence, then they’re going to need some quality draft capital. If that’s too hard for you to stomach, then my advice would be to spend a little more time at the Pepsi Center and Magness Arena until April.
That’s where the competitive teams in Denver are playing.
Last week, I spoke at length about the Sunk Cost Fallacy, and that moving on from Trevor Siemian at quarterback was in the best interest of the team. No matter how long the Broncos believed he was the answer at that position, it was better to wash their hands of the problem now rather than continuing to try and salvage it.
After watching the Broncos get annihilated in Philly on Sunday, it’s become rather clear to me that these sunk costs exist all across the roster, and the Broncos’ brass are going to have to decide just how long they’re willing to put up with them before they blow the whole thing up and rebuild it from scratch. Brock Osweiler is not saving the season. Vance Joseph appears to be in way over his head. The defense, while still very good, is worn out from carrying this team for the last three seasons and has some of the same crucial weaknesses that have been around for what feels like forever.
John Elway’s motto was always that he didn’t only want to win now, but from now on. The Broncos aren’t winning much right now and things may very well get a lot worse before they start winning again in the future. Maybe the motto should be, “Everything is terrible, who wants a shot of Jack?”
You may not know this about Kevin, but he studied economics and is something of an expert on the subject. He recently introduced me to this concept called the Sunk Cost Fallacy, which is essentially a person’s refusal to abandon a resource because they don’t want to waste it, even though they are never going to get a full return on its value. I’m probably paraphrasing just a tad, but basically if I have tickets to a concert and can’t sell them or find someone else to go, I’ll still go to it myself to avoid having to eat the tickets.
And that’s where the Broncos currently find themselves with their quarterback situation, particularly as it relates to Trevor Siemian. Sure, it may not have cost them a whole lot to acquire the seventh rounder out of Northwestern, but they have certainly devoted a lot of time and energy into making him the starter for this team. He’s started 21 games for two different coaching staffs and seems to be regressing more with each one.
Moreover, the Broncos displayed a disconcerting amount of support for a player who didn’t deserve it based on his performance, and that’s where the Sunk Cost Fallacy kicks in. Saying things like “he’s our starter” or “he’s a young player and could get better” are highly irrelevant compared to what is actually happening, especially when everyone outside of Dove Valley could tell that Siemian is not the answer at quarterback.
And when you find yourself at a crossroad, the choice that you make could very well define the rest of your season. That choice for now is going with Brock Osweiler to try and salvage these last nine games. The Broncos may not fare any better with Brock at the helm, but they were going nowhere with Siemian. Kudos to the team for finally abandoning their sunk cost, even if it’s a bit overdue.
You may not have known this, but the Nuggets are kicking off their 2017-18 season tonight. They’ll be wearing new uniforms and featuring a new star player, hoping that they actually register on the NBA’s radar this season. They are definitely already on mine.
For the second straight year, I’m predicting that the Nuggets will find themselves back in the playoffs for the first time since George Karl was roaming the Denver bench. But what does making the playoffs even mean in the NBA anymore? I suppose it’s all about perspective.
Oh, and yes that is Nikola Jokic messing around with Paul Millsap in the photo above. If that doesn’t get you excited for this season, I’m not sure anything I can say is going to do the trick. But I’ll try anyway.
There’s not much to say after a loss like this. When you get your ass kicked by a bad team at home despite having plenty of time to rest and prepare, there aren’t really any excuses either. You just have to hope that the stink of your pathetic performance will wash off and not carry over to the following week. And that’s the reality that the Broncos woke up to yesterday after they laid an egg and were embarrassed by the lowly New York Giants.
I’m sure that adjustments will be made. You’ll hear a lot of soundbites this week about how the Broncos just came up short against a desperate team and didn’t play their best game. A lot of players will be pissed off and will vow that it won’t happen again this season, and I hope that proves to be true. I really do.
But, as Kevin said in a group text with me and our buddy Ryan yesterday morning, “I thought we lost because we secretly suck.”
To which I respond, unless last night was just an aberration, then the secret is out.
“Little too close for comfort there at the end.”
My buddy Ryan’s synopsis of the Broncos’ win over the Raiders hit the nail right on the head. That was more or less my first thought after the game concluded, as it was just an ugly win overall and much closer at the end than it needed to be. But after reflecting on it for a bit, I remembered that the 2015 season was littered with ugly wins and that turned out pretty well for the Broncos.
Not to say that the Broncos can make it that far this year without improving in some crucial areas. They can’t. All I’m saying is that it’s a reminder that the defense is and has been the backbone of this team, and that the offense doesn’t have to be the best in the league for the Broncos to win most Sundays. For instance, if McManus makes that field goal he missed yesterday and Siemian and co. come away with just one more touchdown, the outcome of the game isn’t even close to being in doubt. And I don’t think it’s too much to ask of this offense to score 20+ points per game and give their defense a cushion to work with, especially when it’s already happened twice this season.
We’ll see if they are improved or not after the bye, but for one week at least, we were all back in the glorious year of 2015, watching the dominant Denver defense close the door for another hard fought win. Almost brings a tear to my eye.
Welp, that was about as frustrating a loss as there is in the NFL. On a day when the Broncos needed to dig deep to overcome a resilient foe, they came up empty. And for a team that has made so much progress from the mediocrity that defined their 2016 season, Sunday was a step backward.
Games like this will happen. Buffalo has never been a kind venue for Denver, as the Broncos haven’t won there since 2007, and one glance at the scoreboard will show that there were upsets and near upsets aplenty for week 3, so it could’ve just been one of those days. However, the fact remains that the Broncos had plenty of chances to reverse their fortunes and come away with a hard-fought win, and they just didn’t get it done. It’s really as simple as that.
Does this mean that the Broncos are no better than last year’s squad and are destined to miss the playoffs again? Of course not. It just means that they have a lot of things to improve on if they want to keep pace with Kansas City and Oakland, despite the latter getting routed last night by Washington. They’ll have a chance to do the same thing to the Raiders next week, and so long as they get back to what made them successful in the first two games, there’s no reason why that can’t happen.
Hopefully it does. On the bright side, the Raiders lost on Sunday too. It wasn’t all bad!