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By: Christopher Hart
After their devastating loss to the Washington Commanders, frustration levels have hit fever pitch at Dove Valley, with coaches and players sounding off about yesterday’s performance. But what will they actually do to get things back on track?
Frustration. One definition is “the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something.”
For the Denver Broncos that seems to revolve around being able to win football games.
That frustration shouldn’t be surprise. Winning is a concept that seems foreign to this franchise. After all, the Broncos have only won three games dating back to October of 2022 and six losing seasons over the last six years.
I don’t think it’s off-base to state it is hard to win games when you have very few players who have experienced winning at an NFL level. In some ways, it seems like the Broncos’ psyche is completely broken and that winning, as a concept in and of itself, is too difficult for them to grasp.
On top of that, it is also difficult to win when you turn over the ball, a point Head Coach Sean Payton emphasized in his post-game presser.
“The number one key in this game with this team, and we looked at it—every one of their losses—every one of their games last year where they didn’t have a takeaway, they lost the game.” stated Paton. “We give them the ball at midfield, and that momentum shifts at that point with the fumble.”
In addition to the turnovers, Payton also expressed his disappointment with Vance Joseph’s defense. Without question, they performed horrendously in yesterday’s loss to the Washington Commanders and had one of the biggest meltdowns we have seen in this six-year stretch of losing.
“I didn’t think we played well, and we’re going to see a lot better offenses than that,” added Paton.
Now let’s think about that for a bit, Broncos Country.
The Commanders just put up 35 points on the Broncos at home. They face the Miami Dolphins next weekend who have a better quarterback, better skill position players, and arguably a better coached team. Not only that, the Broncos have to face Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and other high-profile quarterbacks the rest of the season.
If Sam Howell, who barely has any NFL experience could carve up the Broncos’ defense just imagine how much damage some of the league’s best quarterbacks could inflict on the dejected Broncos if they don’t get things back on track.
“It is just frustrating to see all the work we put in. We had a good week leading up to it, and you can see that in the first quarter. We have to continue with that play and get better,” stated third-year outside linebacker Jonathon Cooper.
Safety Justin Simmons also made note of how frustrated he was with the defense’s performance yesterday and kept it short and simple.
“Very. We didn’t do our end of the deal on defense. Too many points, too many yards, too many penalties. We just hurt ourselves.”
In my opinion, there likely isn’t a quick fix for the Broncos’ defense to get back on track. They have some serious talent issues on their defensive line and have struggled to be consistent in the trenches. Is there anyone out there available in free agency that could be a difference maker? Doubtful.
The Broncos’ secondary, which was lauded as one of the team’s deepest units, has looked absolutely pitiful outside of Patrick Surtain II. I think it’s quite clear the Broncos need to find an immediate upgrade to second-year pro Damarri Mathis, who has once again started off slow and has given up too many big plays.
But would Riley Moss, who missed most all of preseason and training camp with a core muscle injury be any better at this point? Possibly, but even that presents a great risk, though it’s hard to imagine him being much worse than Mathis to date. If he plays next week over Mathis, he will get reps against Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle. That’s a tough match-up for the third-round pick out of Iowa.
Can the Broncos defense get back on track? We better hope so, but as of now, it’s hard to be optimistic in that regard.
What Broncos Country witnessed yesterday simply isn’t acceptable. It was absolutely embarrassing. If they continue to play like that, they will be lucky to win a half dozen games the rest of the season.
Originally posted on Mile High Report