Nobody likes losing, especially the Denver Broncos and their fan base.
That said, the 2019 season is off to a bumpy start for the Broncos who sit with a record of 0-3. Beginning the season winless is never ideal, however, it’s the harsh reality Denver has faced so far this year.
One reason Denver’s sluggish start is so disappointing is because of the amount of work the front office put into reimagining the team for the 2019-20 campaign.
The Broncos were hailed for the hire of Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio as their head coach. Fangio made a strong first impression when announced as the new head honcho and vowed to revamp the culture of Colorado’s favorite team.
With Fangio came a new set of coordinators in Ed Donatell and Rich Scangarello.
Donatell was Fangio’s right-hand man when he was with the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears, and came over to Denver to lead the Broncos’ defense.
Scangarello was poached from Kyle Shanahan’s coaching tree, an interesting decision considering Denver opted not to hire Shanahan as the team’s head coach when the position was vacant a few seasons ago.
Scangarello was heralded as an offensive guru, a visionary of the likes of Sean McVay and Matt LaFleur.
With Scanarello’s new-age offense and the proven success with Fangio and Donatell’s defense, there was reason to believe the Broncos could be a fringe playoff team in the 2019-20 season.
However, instead of reaching for the stars, the Broncos have fallen flat on their face this season and are already on the brink of irrelevancy around the game and within the city.
Social media has been filled with Denver sports fans spewing their frustrations at the blue and orange, calling for a change, John Elway’s head and the start of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche seasons.
It’s easy to understand why fans are upset, but the Broncos play through the first weeks should still yield some optimism about the future.
Granted, people hate talking about playing for next season or years down the line, but the 2019 season is preparing the franchise for what’s to come in the years ahead.
You are what your record says you are, and for the Broncos that is winless; however, the manner in which the team has lost is not as bad as the other winless teams in the game.
The Broncos have been within arms reach of victory in all three of their games this season.
Not to make excuses, but if DaeSean Hamilton does not drop a touchdown in Week 1 versus Oakland and the clock somehow manages to have a single second left versus the Bears, the Broncos could very well be 2-1 this season. Additionally, a controversial holding call on Emmanuel Sanders in the Broncos Week 3 loss to the Green Bay Packers stalled momentum for the team and flipped it in favor of Green Bay.
Again, not making excuses, but if a few plays go in the Broncos favor, this team could easily have a winning record or possibly even be undefeated.
Additionally, the AFC has struggled collectively this season with 10 of the 16 teams in the conference owning a 1-2 record or worse.
The Broncos needed an upgrade at quarterback, so they went out and traded for Joe Flacco. While Flacco has not been sensational, he’s been solid, throwing for 773 yards while compiling a 69.1% completion percentage to pair with a 87.4 quarterback rating.
The Broncos have endured some obvious growing pains this season, but it’s better to experience these struggles now as opposed to later in the year.
Did anybody really believe the Broncos would contend for a Super Bowl this season? No.
This year isn’t a lost cause for the team, but the season was originally viewed as a stepping stone, an opportunity to start anew with a strong-minded head coach and versatile assistants to reshape the culture around the team entering the next decade.
While starting the season winless is not ideal, the Broncos have been taking steps in the right direction in regards to building the team up for the future. Given this season was regarded as a year of growth, do not put much stock into Denver’s shortcomings thus far.
One thing is absolutely certain: The team is in much better hands under the control of Fangio as opposed to Vance Joseph. Not to discredit Joseph, but Fangio has done a much better job of instilling discipline, work ethic and continuity within Denver’s locker room.
Coaching and playing in the NFL is tough. Even the greatest franchises struggle from time to time, but it’s clear that the Broncos have a plan, one that should come to fruition given their talent and coaching. It takes time to transform a sinking vessel into a luxury liner, and that’s what Fangio and company are trying to do for the Broncos franchise.
Scanarello’s offense will take time to develop, and Drew Lock is considered the future of the organization at quarterback. While the lack of impact from the defense has been startling, Fangio and Donatell have decades of coaching experience between them, so expect them to get things figured out.
Give it time, let things breathe and remember the 2019 season as a building block when the Broncos eventually return to the top of the NFL.