The 2017 regular season has come and gone and it did not go the way any Broncos fan, coach, player, or John Elway had anticipated. The Broncos started the season on the right note, going 3-1 in their first four games. At that point, I figured, “Oh hey. This is a great start. We just have to go week by week and we’ll be back in the playoffs.”
I was dead wrong. After the week four bye week, Denver lost ten of their last twelve games, including eight straight. The season was plagued with GREAT PRACTICES, poor decisions, and more GREAT PRACTICES. Vance Joseph said that he is a big believer in practice. Unfortunately, no matter how many practices have been great, it didn’t translate to the field this year.
The beginning of the losing streak started against the New York Giants, who were winless at the time and finished the year 3-13. It was a game the Broncos were sure to win. They should have breezed through it, with the G-Men lacking depth at the receiver position. There was no excuse.
A large issue this season has been from the quarterback position. Throughout the year, Denver committed one of the biggest sins in the NFL: they played three different quarterbacks. That alone spelled disaster. The three quarterbacks combined for 19 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions.
Let’s talk about the offensive line. It has been terrible, to say the least. As a unit, they gave up 52 sacks in 16 games, or 3.25/game. Sure, you could always blame the offensive line, but to get a clear picture of each situation, you have to watch the film. Sometimes the line didn’t give the quarterbacks time to throw. Other times, the quarterback, whoever it may have been, just held onto the ball far too long.
On November 20, the day after the 20-17 loss to the Bengals, Denver fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, expecting the offense to become a lot better than it had been. Did that happen? Not even close.
Fans were baffled at the decision to play rookie Isaiah McKenzie on punt returns after he fumbled the ball 6 times. McKenzie was benched for receiver Jordan Taylor, but McKenzie did see the field again later in the year.
Most people in Broncos Country wanted Joseph to be canned during the long losing streak. However, that did not happen and Denver won two more games. Those two games were against a Colts team without any (Andrew) luck, and a Jets team that finished with the same record as Denver. Not very impressive.
Now comes some big changes. As of this article, Denver has fired: Eric Studesville (Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs), Brock Olivo (Special Teams Coordinator), Jeff Davidson (Offensive Line), Johnnie Lynn (Assistant Defensive Backs), Fred Pagac (Outside Linebackers), and Tyke Tolbert (Wide Receivers).
With all of the changes on the coaching side of things will be changes to player personnel. The 2018 Denver Broncos will likely look a lot different from the 2017 version and it likely will start on the offensive side of the ball. Will quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler be let go? Likely. Will there be additions to the offensive line? There better be. Running back? There could potentially be a change there, too.
All I know is, this offseason has already started out to be interesting. There will only be more to talk about as we continue to get closer to the draft, offseason work, and the 2018 NFL season.