When Broncos have stumbled this season, they've stayed down

From ESPN - December 7, 2017

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Eventually, plenty of theories will be tossed around, and piles of numbers will be crunched in and around the Denver Broncos as they try to sift through the mess of 2017.

But mired in their current eight-game losing streak -- their longest since 1967 -- it's clear the Broncos are a team that does not rebound from mistakes and does not come from behind. Their 3-9 record reflects their pile of mistakes, how much they have trailed in games and their inability to rebound from any of that.

Until they fix that, they might have experienced their last win until the next season rolls around.

"You hear it from V.J. [coach Vance Joseph] every day for the last eight weeks," running back C.J. Anderson said. "The same thing has been on the board many different ways, if you have been paying attention. Us as leaders, we try to let them know we have got to stop doing this and we have to work on it. To be honest, in practice it does not happen. We are just trying to figure out how that transfers over to [games].

It can be a chicken-or-egg argument: Have the Broncos' mistakes robbed them of the confidence that won a Super Bowl two seasons ago, or do they make mistakes because they do not work with enough confidence? The fact is in each of the Broncos' three wins -- albeit the last one came two months ago -- they held the lead at least 67 percent of the time.

In eight of their nine losses, they held the lead less than 7 percent of the time. In five of those defeats, they never led. Certainly their minus-16 turnover margin -- 31st in the league -- is at the foundation of it all, but it does not explain the inability to bounce back.

The Broncos have two losses this season -- the last two -- in which they have been even in the turnover battle, and they were minus-1 in the season-opening win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Joseph and the players talked about the need "to play a clean game," but that might not be as important in the short term as showing a more resiliency in a messy one.


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