By WOODY PAIGE
Some days you’re the horse’s head; others you’re the horse’s posterior.
The Broncos were the hind kind in their last game.
In fact, they’ve been bringing up the rear the past two games.
I had predicted before the season that the Broncos would have a 4-2 record at this juncture in the season. But not quite like this. I thought they would lose to the two C’s – Carolina and Cincinnati, two seemingly potential playoff teams. But the Panthers and the Bengals have fallen, and fallen on hard times. The Falcons are better than believed – what everyone believed – and the Chargers are floundering about like fish at San Diego’s Seat World. But doesn’t matter. The Broncos are 4-2 and headed in the direction of a treacherous season and that 10-6 record, a struggle to win the division and a fight to the finish for a playoff spot.
And if they lose on Monday night at home to the Texans, according to a media friend, “”the wheels will start falling off.” And the transmission will drop out.
The Broncos only play one game at a time. I look at big picture. With 10 games remaining, at least four look more difficult that some people might have surmised. After watching the Broncos’ feeble offense against Atlanta and San Diego, we all have to wonder about trips to Oakland and Kansas City in the AFC West, and can the Broncos sweep at New Orleans, Jacksonville and Tennessee even though those are mediocre teams?
And the New England Patriots loom ahead in mid-December?
So, there are a few among us who would take 10-6 now and be content, if not joyous Those last two games of the season at Kansas City and at home in No-Name Stadium at Mile High will determine if the Broncos are going to win the division, get a playoff spot or remain home after New Year’s Day.
If the Broncos are to end up even 10-6, the offense has to be fixed. No, make that a complete overhaul. Ever gone to a mechanic, and he says: “”Uh, gonna have to leave in the shop, and we’ve got take a look at everything, and it could cost a lot, and we won’t know ‘til we take her apart’’? That’s the Broncos’ dilemma. It was start-over time for Gary Kubiak when he returned from his health-induced respite.
These two games of late have proven that playing with a true freshman (Paxton Lynch) and a redshirt freshman (Trevor Siemian) causes concern – and even panic among Orange loyalists. Both have serious flaws. Lynch dances in the pocket as if he were auditioning for a reality show – “”Survivor’’, not “”Dancing With The Stars.’’ And Siemian seems afraid of throwing deep, as if he will be thrown in an alligator pit if he is intercepted.
What did you expect, people?
My friend owns an oil exploration company. He went to a Caribbean island where oil was discovered, put up some derricks and started to teach the locals how to take oil out of the ground. They don’t know what they’re doing, and the project is not, uh, getting off the ground. Maybe someday they’ll learn, but not today.
Same with Siemian and Lynch. They just don’t know yet.
And when you add an offensive line that is about as effective as the Maginot Line in France during World War II – it did not stop the Germans (because they went around and over) – and a running game that Kubiak wants to emphasize, but can’t because C.J. Anderson has not played like the sixth highest-paid running back in the league.
And when Demaryius Thomas continues his theme dropping and fumbling (13 drops, four fumbles in the past 20 games, including in a crucial situation late in the fourth quarter against the Charger), and when there’s a crater at tight end similar to the one in Arizona, the boy band – The Quarterback Street Boys – can’t pass; they can’t run; they can’t hide their deficiencies.
There is one other possibility. The Broncos’ third-string quarterback is Austin Davis, who has started 10 games in the Big-Boy Pants League for St. Louis and Cleveland. Do you the Broncos try a third QB?
Problem is, Davis won only three of those starts. And when the Broncos turn to Davis, you’ll know that the end is in sight.
Some days you’re a peacock; some days you’re a feather duster. The Broncos were peacocks of the walk for the first four games of the season; they’ve been feather dusters the past two.
Now returns Brock Osweiller,
If the Broncos don’t win Monday night against their ex-QB, they could end up being Headless Horsemen by Halloween.