That budding optimism after a 2-0 start, with a veteran quarterback leading the way and a pair of rookie running backs igniting the offense, is long gone.
The Denver Broncos’ season is quickly eroding. A 34-16 loss at the New York Jets on Sunday is their third straight and exposed what once was a formidable defense. Denver (2-3) allowed two touchdowns of more than 75 yards and was run over by a Jets team on coming in on a three-game losing streak.
How bad was Denver’s defense? The Jets rushed for 323 yards, had a 200-yard rusher and a receiver amass more than 100 yards. Isaiah Crowell had 77 of his 219 yards rushing on a touchdown run in the first quarter and Robbie Anderson had a 76-yard TD catch, marking the first time since Oct. 29, 2007, a team has two scoring plays of more than 75-yards against the Broncos.
That came against Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers – Sunday was rookie Sam Darnold and the hapless Jets.
Anderson had 123 yards receiving on just three catches.
Case Keenum passed for 377 yards and a touchdown but much of it came after Denver fell behind 34-10.
The grumblings about head coach Vance Joseph were full-throated on Twitter during and after the game:
Joseph, after praising his team’s grit in losing to Kansas City on Monday, at least admitted his team has flaws after the loss.
“We have no excuses,” he told reporters after the game. “That team played better than us. We can’t surrender to the noise.”
The players were none too happy, either.
Monday should be interesting at Dove Valley.