It’s going to get worse for the Broncos
Hint: Look at Elway
Well, this just got really, really bad in a hurry.
Not only did the Broncos lose in spectacularly heartbreaking fashion on a last-second field goal to Jaguars — the second time in as many home games the local 11 got clipped at the buzzer — to fall to 0-4, but now Bradley Chubb is out for the season.
And it’s not getting any better with the upcoming schedule. The Broncos are at the Chargers (with Melvin Gordon), followed by home for the Titans and Chiefs and at the Colts.
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The Broncos had their first win with 17-6 lead against Jacksonville, and then Joe Flacco turned into a pumpkin by throwing a critical pick. From there, the Jaguars owned the second half, gashing the Broncos with Leonard Fournette early and often. The defense played well, but couldn’t get off the field during the second half, and that was all she wrote.
The Broncos are decent enough to tease you into thinking they’ve got a chance, but not good enough to win in the NFL on a weekly basis.
And if you’re thinking “Tank for Tua!,” unfortunately, the Dolphins are doing a better job of that when it comes to Tuavailoa in next spring’s draft. Plus, the Broncos will stumble into some wins against the Raiders, Bills, Browns, and Lions later this season, while Miami is so brazen in its tank job.
The bigger issue is general manager John Elway. He put this hot mess together.
We told you that Flacco wasn’t going to work. We’ve told you that Elway doesn’t draft well. We told you that the coach — be it Gary Kubiak, Vance Joseph or Vic Fangio — isn’t the problem.
Here’s a fun stat from The Athletic: Under John Elway, Denver is 55-17 with Peyton Manning and 29-41 without. Since Elway essentially stumbled into Manning — not many Hall of Fame quarterbacks are available on the open market without them having had career-threatening neck surgery — this is pretty telling of Elway’s ability to evaluate talent.
Were John Elway named John Smith, he’d be on the hot seat, if not already gone. But he’s John Elway, the deity of the Broncos and savior of the Centennial State.
We speculated that Elway would never be dismissed while former owner Pat Bowlen was alive, which turned out to be correct. More problems, though, appear on the horizon.
Joe Ellis, president and CEO of the Broncos, and Elway are chummy, so the former isn’t firing the latter. Then there’s the mess of who’s going to own the Broncos after Bowlen’s passing. Bowlen’s daughters from different marriages are fighting for control of the franchise.
Ergo, Elway remains the most identifiable member of management and more indispensable, even though he really needs to be dispensed.
Good luck, Broncos fans.
• The NFL made Vantaze Burfict the poster child for head-to-head hits this weekend, even though it would be fun to count how many head-to-head hits there were this weekend. (A lot.) Burfict has the resume of a repeat offender, so he’s justifiably suspension material.
But don’t kid yourself that the NFL really cares about safety. This is a C.Y.A. move.
• The best teams in the league struggled (Pats and Chiefs) struggled, and some of them lost (Rams and Cowboys) last week. This is again why we don’t go crazy after one game or two. Case in point, the Ravens have lost two in a row, while the Browns are back at 2-2. The Bears are back at 3-1 after Mitchell Trubisky looked awful in Week 1.
Chill out, peeps.
• Games to watch this week:
Ravens at Steelers … Always fun.
Packers at Cowboys … Two good teams coming off their first loss.
Browns at Niners … Shut up, Freud.
- Patriots … Annoying, but true.
- Chiefs … Mahomes still a stud.
- Bears … Love that D.
- Cowboys … In Dak we trust.
- Rams … Best in the West
- Dolphins … Tua may retire.
- Redskins … Worse than the Broncos.
- Broncos … Egad.
- Bengals … The Bungles.
- Giants … Just for Will in Avon.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.