Denver Broncos: 3 Honest Assessments from the Jets Loss

Denver Broncos (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Pat Bowlen was more than the name on the checks.

There have been some big performances in the Denver Broncos world since Bowlen took over ownership of the team in 1984.  The thread that runs from John Elway‘s first Super Bowl appearance in 1986 to the Super Bowl 50 victory is Bowlen.  He relinquished day-to-day duties for the team in July of 2014.

Bowlen is nominated as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  His contribution to the League transcends his Broncos ownership, he is well-respected among the fraternity of owners.

Since taking over as owner, he also owns the highest winning percentage in the NFL, the Broncos winning at a .612 clip.

This is the standard and the expectation Mr. Bowlen has for the Denver Broncos.  Are they currently living up to the bar that Bowlen raised?


The Broncos are in danger of their first back-to-back losing seasons since 1972.  They mistakenly installed Joseph without retaining Wade Phillips. Joe Woods time will come but it is not now.  A Phillips, Joseph, Musgrave combination feels like it would be at least more resistant to criticism than the current regime.

Fans like to lay the blame on Joseph exclusively but all the things we’ve detailed here point to just one office:  The General Manager.  John Elway.

We’ve tried before to lay the appropriate share of responsibility at Elway’s feet only to be admonished by fans that have lifetimes of Elway worship under their belts.  I don’t blame them, I was already a big Broncos fan when Elway arrived in 1983, I know what he brought an dcontinues to bring.  I haven’t forgotten SB50.

The issue is what’s happened since that title, since Peyton Manning rode off into his sunset.  Each decision, including the one to hire Joseph belongs completely to Elway.  The quarterback efforts provide particular pause.  Sports Illustrated recently profiled Elway and the takeaway I can’t avoid from the article comes from San Francisco GM and former Elway teammate John Lynch.  Lynch admits that for all his experience, he is a terrible evaluator of safeties.  Elway, it seems, has a tough time with quarterbacks.

We’d like to think that with Gary Kubiak back in the fold, there might be some better evaluation at QB but let’s not forget that’s the pair that gave us Brock Osweiler.

In the end, the question for this season remains whether the Broncos feel they can salvage anything from the rest of the season or if it’s time for interim Coach Studesville and Chad Kelly?