The more things change, the more the Denver Broncos stay the same.
At this point, nothing changes with this franchise. The pieces are exchanged, but the failure remains.
For the third time under a first-year head coach, the Broncos are 3-8. And now Denver is facing a Baltimore Ravens team that just lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sunday should be fun (source of sarcasm). At least the game starts at 11am MT, so we got that out of the way.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Broncos as massive +8.5 point underdogs. Like the record, Denver is 3-8 against the spread this season. The total for Sunday’s game stands at 38.5. The under is 10-1 in Broncos games this season, largely because the offense is flaming trash, which is an insult to flaming trash.
denver: Twenty-fifth in overall offense (319.1 yards per game), 24 rushing (104.3), 20 passing (214.8), 32 scoring offense (14.3 points per game).
baltimore: 11th in overall offense (356.1 yds per game), 2nd in rushing (162.7), 26th in passing (193.4), 9th in scoring offense (25.0 ppg).
denver: Third in overall defense (306.4 yards per game), 19th in rushing defense (121.6), third in passing defense (184.7), third in scoring defense (17.6 points per game).
baltimore: 15th in overall defense (335.8 yards per game), 2nd in rushing defense (82.0), 27th in passing defense (253.8), 12th in scoring defense (20.6 ppg).
Here are the keys to the MHR squad for Sunday’s game.
Take the headphones off Nathaniel Hackett
He does not ask for plays. He needs help with clock and game management, which hasn’t gotten much better, so take the final step and just take off your headphones. Everybody knows he’s gone, so stop fooling around. —Ian St. Clair
Score. What a novel concept, but yes, score more points than the Ravens and good things will happen. Of course, scoring points is something Nathaniel Hackett’s scheme just doesn’t know how to do, so I suspect we’ll rack up L number 8 of 9 this week. —Tim Lynch
Dre’Mont Jones gets at least 15 snaps at quarterback. No kicks of any kind are allowed except kickoffs which are all onside. Basically, he’s playing an 8-year-old by Madden’s rules. Have Brandon McManus do a few reps in literally any other position. Play fan vote calls via Twitter. Go crazy. —Mike DeCicco
Third Chance Progress
I’m going to keep the bar low this week. There is no way for them to win the game, so let’s try to get them at least one moral victory. With the frequency with which Hackett talks about his failure on third down, maybe it’s time they really progressed in that category. I’ll be happy if they can cover 40% of third downs in this game. I might be happy enough to settle for 35%, but that might still be asking too much. —Ross Allen
The fact that we can’t look at this team and take any of this seriously is incredibly disappointing. Watch the game. Hope they lose. If they win it will be like a little infusion of joy into your life. If they lose, shrug and walk away. I don’t like it more than you do, but to keep your sanity for the rest of the season, try this. And stop looking at the Seahawks’ first-round pick of the Broncos. It is a sunk cost. It won’t come back, so move on. —Adam Malnati