The Denver Broncos are 3-6 and have lost five straight games. Denver has been outscored 165-68 during the losing streak, and they have been outscored 55-9 in the first quarter of those games.
On Friday night, the media asked Broncos general manager John Elway about the team’s struggles, and the Hall of Fame quarterback said he thinks the team “got a little bit soft.”
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) November 18, 2017
John Elway's full quote when asked what he believes went wrong this season for the Broncos: pic.twitter.com/XqwAMeM3cS
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) November 18, 2017
That’s some eye-opening honesty in the middle of the season, and especially when it’s just nine games into Vance Joseph’s tenure as Broncos head coach.
And, while the Broncos’ defense isn’t playing to the level they were the previous few years, the team’s problems all start at the quarterback position.
Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler have combined to throw 11 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, with a 73.5 passer rating. Barring an outstanding effort from the defense, that level of quarterback play isn’t going to be able to hang with teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, and New England Patriots. Those are the teams that just pummeled the Broncos over the last three games. It’s also harder for the defense to play to the level they’re capable of when they’re constantly on the field due to the ineptitude of the offense.
So, while the team probably shouldn’t be this bad, Elway still deserves a fair amount of blame for the team’s quarterback situation. Maybe 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch can still develop into a starting-worthy quarterback, but he’s failed to impress in his first two camps and he’s been out since the preseason with a shoulder injury.
Until the Broncos get the quarterback position settled, their ceiling isn’t very high unless the defense performs like the once-a-decade unit that won a Super Bowl two seasons ago. And those days appear to be gone.