The Broncos remain in a “disturbing world,” which is deeper than any coach and any player

Denver – It’s been about 1,145 days since Emmanuel Sanders said the Broncos were in a “world full of bad.”

In that span, the world went through a pandemic, and the Broncos fielded four offensive players and eight starting quarterbacks—including one who wasn’t actually a quarterback. They’ve been final sellers three times – including a trade for Sanders himself. All that kept Denver from selling a major deadline player for five consecutive seasons — including 2018 — was the aforementioned pandemic.

The roster was so completely flipped that only nine players who got dressed on a wet Wisconsin afternoon in 2019 remained on the roster. Sanders now works in broadcasting. Joe Ellis was the man in charge of the entire operation that day; By Sunday, he was just a fan in the stands, seen bundled up in an orange puffer jacket at the 300th level, and was one of 69,094 people who took part in the proceedings.

The world has changed.

Broncos didn’t.

Oh, the faces behind the face masks and the nameplates on the jerseys. They changed coaches once; Unless they make a detour in the next seven weeks, it looks increasingly likely that they will do it again. They have a new owner and general manager who now faces the same scrutiny his predecessor did.

But they are still stuck in this world.

“The sucking world.”

It’s greater than one defeat, the latest being Sunday’s 22-16 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

It’s greater than slipping 6 losses in 7 games. Akbar is a quarterback who seemed to find rhythm at times on Sunday, but is still on a steady pace in what has been his worst season. Bigger than embattled coach Nathaniel Hackett, who handed the play to passing coordinator Clint Kubik, to see the offense finish with 16 points for the fourth time this season and exactly one touchdown for the seventh time this year.

It’s my system.

It’s a world where your enemies find ways to win, and you find more painful ways to lose.

Being in this world means that it only takes one pull of the string to cause everything to fall apart. Because one mistake becomes two or three or four or more before it becomes too much to overcome.

Being in this world means walking on the brink of disaster. If you’re a Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, or other member of the NFL’s elite tier, you can make a mistake once and that’s okay; The odds are very good that you will be able to get back on track.

But when you’re in the “absorbing world,” all it takes is one touch—even the one you recover from—to start sending you over the edge.

And with that, all the work and preparation ends up being wasted.

“It sucks. It’s probably one of the best locker rooms I’ve been in and with one of the greatest coaches I’ve been a part of – and with them being so young,” defensive end Draymont Jones. “It’s just annoying because part of it feels like all our hard work is for nothing.”

The confusion was just the beginning

The thing is, the Broncos recovered a Melvin Gordon fumble. This came about because he was fighting for extra yardage. Most of his fumbles happen this way, when his legs swing, defenders’ arms fly, his arm scrambles or the football.

Max Crosby punched the ball. The crowd, racked with anticipation of landing, gasped, groaned and then rained a storm of boos on Gordon. But Quinn Meinerz fell head over heels for football. The Broncos lost a touchdown, but still had a chance for a field goal and took a 13-7 lead.

It shouldn’t be a lingering problem.

Then Crosby – perhaps the best player on the field on Sunday, on either side – Brandon McManus blocked a 25-yard attempt.

Then unrelated errors started piling up.

This is the way things are when you are in the “absorbing world”. One mistake becomes another, and another, until the end of the game, even the most reliable aspects of the operation fall apart.

So, it goes beyond Gordon. It’s more than just allowing a field goal attempt to be blocked. Or maybe Pro Bowl quarterback Pat Surtain would bite into a double kick from Davante Adams that left him wide open, no one within 10 yards.

“It’s not all on one person. There are plays everywhere today that many of us could have made,” Justin Simmons said of safety. Who knows how that will change the outcome of the match? “

Which is more than asking for a pass on third-and-10 with less than two minutes remaining at the time when running safely could have drained the clock to where Las Vegas only had about 60 seconds in the final moments, and the drive associated with the game.

“If the defense had been able to stop in a two-minute situation… we’d have won the game — point blank, period,” Simmons said. “It doesn’t matter what crime you do.”

It is a torrent of mistakes – some self-inflicted, some involuntary – that lead to the same sad outcome they knew so well. They’ve gone 3-11 in their last 14 games, 7-17 in their last 24 games, and 11-22 since the infamous no-quarterback game of 2020.

What’s more, they are 35-62 since starting the 2016 season 7-3. This averages to a record of 6-11 per 17 games played. And if the New York Jets make the playoffs, the Broncos could potentially inherit the league’s longest active streak in the absence of the postseason.

When it happens more often, it’s more profound

It’s easy to dive into the details of each defeat. Yes, every objection has a story, as the cliche goes. So does every fumble, every missed tackle, every gag, every flaw.

But one thing seems clear, and serves as the connective tissue for all the defeats, all the sub-outs of the 17-point attack, and all the missed opportunities.

(As noted last week, the Broncos had a better-than-50-percent winning probability at some point in the second quarter or later from all of their losses this season; on Sunday against the Raiders, they had a 90-percent winning probability on Mondays. —minute warning in the fourth quarter).

Connective tissue is culture.

Yes, it looks like this dressing room together. Pointing fingers is not present. But the loss continues.

“This sucks,” Simmons said. “The big talk we’ve had lately is culture. As players, they take responsibility. It’s my seventh year. Cook Hackett is my fourth coach. And that’s a wild thing to think about.”

“And there’s a lot of sales. Everyone wants to blame certain people. I was just talking to a lot of the guys who’ve been here — the select few that’ve been here over the years — and we’re talking about culture.

“We have a tight-knit group, but something’s clearly not going right. It’s our job—my job—a guy who’s been here now for a while, to find out.”

Simmons is one of the few people in the locker room who knows what the Broncos’ winning culture is like. He arrived just in time for what seemed like a disappointing 9-7 season at the moment, but now stands as the crowning achievement to date in the post-Peyton Manning era.

But still, he saw it. So, it was worth asking: Is there anything he can take away from exposure to a Super Bowl-winning culture that can help these Broncos now?

“I’ve been trying. Trying to figure out — you know, Ross says that all the time,” Simmons said. He says he will do whatever it takes to win. I’ve been trying. I was asking.

“I was trying to learn and grow. You know, it’s not easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it.”

Simons Wilson mentioned. With him, the Broncos have the quarterback who’s only had one losing season in his first 10 years — and that came when he missed three games with a finger injury.

He, too, has been dragged into the bosom of a losing culture.

Wilson is now part of the “Absorption World”. And if he’s worth the Broncos’ investment in him, he should ultimately help guide the team out of him — before he consumes him, too.

“You always have to remind yourself that we are a team and [that] Jones said. “[There are] More weeks to play.

More weeks, yes, but diminished chances of avoiding a sixth straight losing season and seventh year of the playoffs.

Escaping the “absorbing world” can take a lot longer than anyone realizes.



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