The Denver Broncos have lost three straight critical games and are officially bounced from post-season play. On top of that, the team will finish with a fifth straight losing season.
After losing to the Chargers, Vic Fangio may be coaching his last game in Denver today, and the same is likely true for many of his assistants.
What were your bright spots from Sunday’s loss to the Chargers?
JT Matthews (@JTMatthews01): As I wrote earlier in the week, Garett Bolles was an absolute monster against Joey Bosa and Co. last week. He has continued his dominant play from last season and has been by far the most consistent player on offense. The Broncos are lucky to have him as an anchor for years to come.
Lindsay Bebout (@lindsaybebout): Brandon McManus kicking a personal career-best 61-yard field goal.
Nicholas Manning: I can never present losing as a good idea. The difference of a few selections does not equal beating a Chiefs team with everything to play for. Going into the offseason with some positive vibes could be good for this franchise. I trust George Paton to be able to make up the difference in draft positioning with a key move here or there.
JT Matthews: At this point, give me the better draft pick. In all likelihood, there will be a lot of turnover from this roster, as well as in the coaching rooms. Give whoever the new owner(s) will be an additional point of motivation going into the 2022 season and get the more valuable draft pick while you can.
Zach Segars: Improving draft positioning for sure. That draft pick will be huge in Denver’s play to acquire a superstar QB, so the higher the better.
Rich Kurtzman: Winning should always be the No. 1 priority. Some, if not many, of these players won’t be in Denver next year, so they don’t care about draft position. But, we all know Kansas City is going to run over Denver with ease.
If the Broncos win against the Chiefs Sunday does that impact your view on Fangio’s return either way?
JT Matthews: No. Fangio has not done enough on the field to garner consideration for another year at the helm. He hasn’t been terrible and the team has seen strides with him as the head coach, but finishing last in the division again and his management of offensive personnel and game-planning has left us wanting much more. Let’s move on and try to find someone better equipped to re-establish the Denver Broncos as a winning franchise.
Zach Segars: No, not really. It’d be kinda fun and exciting, but basing an important head coaching decision on one game is foolish. Fangio brings some nice things to the table, but the head coach chair is too much for him.
Rich Kurtzman: Fangio should return if they win, yes. And he may either way. Although, I’m sure there are other, better coaching candidates out there. I’d like to see someone young, exciting, and offensive-minded as the next head man.
When Black Monday comes, does any of the coaching staff remain?
Nicholas Manning: I assume a handful of position coaches could and should be kept around. Zach Azzanni (wide receivers), Mike Munchak (offensive line), Chris Kuper (assistant offensive line), Curtis Modkins (running backs), Reggie Herring (linebackers), Bill Kollar (defensive line), John Pagano (outside linebackers), and Christian Parker (defensive backs) have all done some good things. Whether or not they mesh with the new coordinators or head coach coming in will be the question.
JT Matthews: It feels like if they are going to axe Fangio, so they may as well clean house. Shurmur and Tom McMahon have had far too many slip-ups and a new coach will likely want to bring in his guys. It’s time for a new regime.
Zach Segars: I think some of the better position coaches will, but the coordinators and Fangio will be swept out. It’d surprise me if Munchak left, and Kollar, Azzanni, Modkins, and Harman — among others — have a good shot of sticking around too.
Rich Kurtzman: Maybe Fangio? The rest should already have their bags packed. Or, maybe they want Mike Munchak to be the next head coach? He has experience.
Score predictions and why?
Nicholas Manning: Denver just does not have enough horses in this matchup. With some key defenders out, the Broncos will likely surrender some big plays to the Chiefs. Thus, Kansas City wins 31-17.
JT Matthews: I am guesstimating a 35-20 loss for the Broncos against the Kansas City Chiefs. This is a team that is currently decimated by COVID and has nothing left to play for. Some young guys and contract players will give it their all, but at this point, the season is as good as over.
Zach Segars: 27-10 Chiefs. Drew Lock has shown some really nice things over recent weeks, but he’s still struggling to move the offense and generate points. A matchup with his kryptonite — Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo — won’t help any.
Rich Kurtzman: Broncos lose 41-10. Kansas City has won the division six straight times for a reason. They have a ton of firepower, they need to win for positioning and the Broncos are really hurt right now, too. This one will be ugly (much like last week).