The Denver Broncos are one of three 0-4 NFL teams (assuming no tie, there should be one more after Bengals-Steelers tonight), and they’ve achieved that record thanks to generous helpings of incompetence and rotten luck. Also, they’ll now have to ride out the rest of this season without one of their best players, as edge rusher Bradley Chubb is done with a torn ACL.
Chubb returned from what seemed like a less serious knee injury during Sunday’s game to force a fumble, and he was able to do so because his ACL was only partially torn. The pass rush projected to be the team’s only effective unit, and now it’s short a star. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of everything happening in Denver right now:
- After the Week 3 loss in Green Bay, the Broncos became the first team in recorded NFL history to fail to record a sack or a takeaway through the first three games of a season.
- Cornerback Chris Harris, one of the remaining Super Bowl 50 players, wants out, as he said after yesterday’s defeat, “I ain’t saying nothing. Thirteen more weeks for me.”
- Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post reported “intense words exchanged between veteran and younger players” after the game. The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala reported a similar exchange, and ominously wrote that “this team is on the brink.”
- The 0-4 start is both the worst start in 20 years for the Broncos and the worst-ever start of a season for Joe Flacco. They have lost eight straight dating back to last season, and are 20-32 since they won Super Bowl 50. They’ve won one out of their last eight home games.
- The Broncos came into the season with the second-most difficult schedule in the NFL, and they’ve already played the two weakest teams on the docket.
- Thanks to Gardner Minshew’s game-winning drive, Denver has now lost twice this season on last-second field goals after taking a lead within the last two minutes.
- The majority of the Broncos’ 2019 free agent class is injured already.
A rebuild would be a good idea, though the larger problem is the man who would lead this rebuild. John Elway has shown himself to be in way over his head as a talent evaluator and drafter. The Bowlen family battle for ownership of the team is also still not settled, which means Elway—the man who spent a first-round pick on an offensive lineman who might not know what holding is—is even more entrenched in his role than he should be.
Everything hurts. There isn’t a happy ending in sight to this World Of Suck.