Posted Tue Nov 24th by Monty
In his rookie season, Head Coach Josh McDaniels has the Broncos standing precipitously close to an edge over which they haven’t tumbled in nearly two decades.
Denver has four days to regroup after its fourth straight loss to prevent a fifth, a losing streak McDaniels’ most recent predecessor never experienced. In 14 seasons as Broncos coach, Mike Shanahan, never lost five straight games.
The last time the Denver Broncos suffered such a mid-season five-game slide was with Dan Reeves at the helm, way, way back in 1990. Wade Phillips also technically surrendered five straight games as Broncos coach from 1993-1994, although his losing streak took place across those two seasons.
“I’m done feeling the loss. I’m sick of it,” Kyle Orton said, echoing the sentiments of Broncos faithful everywhere. “It’s been a long time since we’ve won, so let’s get back on the field and win a game. That’s all we are talking about from here on out is just winning.”
If there’s anything to be gleaned from this Broncos free fall, it’s that losing breeds frustration breeds more losing. Mental errors compound, turn into penalties and botched plays, and the athletes take themselves out of games.
“It is very difficult to pull a team out of a nosedive like the one they’re in right now,” Broncos great John Elway said, “especially if you’ve never been through it.” [CBS4 Denver]
Getting the Broncos back into the mental sharpness they displayed in the first six games, despite the mounting frustrations, is the first real test of McDaniels’ coaching mettle, and he is as aware of it as anyone.
“Until we find a solution to be able to play a 60-minute game a lot cleaner than we have the last few weeks here, we are going to continue to struggle,” McDaniels said. “That is going to continue to be our challenge going into the New York Giants.”
In other words, enough worrying about playoff races, division titles, and Weeks 1-6. It’s time for the Broncos to stop paying lip service to the One Game at a Time mantra and actually act according to that principle. It’s time to play a complete game of football.
“We’ve got to do things well, early in the game so we can stay balanced and do the things that got us success in the beginning of the season,” McDaniels said. “Obviously in the last four weeks we haven’t done that.”
The excitement has officially vanished from the 2009 season’s hot start, the luster blurred. Now McDaniels is at risk of a historic blemish. Can the Broncos gut out a win?