The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Broncos are awful combo of bad, boring

Dec 4, 2022, 4:13 PM
Russell Wilson...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

At this point, is there anything to be excited about with the Broncos?

Not even this season, but beyond? It’d take a head-coach hiring like Deion Sanders in Boulder to energize this fanbase. Nathaniel Hackett is hopeless. Russell Wilson is lost. And an offense that couldn’t get much worse somehow looked it on Sunday, settling for just three field goals in a painful 10-9 loss to the Ravens.

How did it happen and what were the biggest takeaways? Let’s dive into it with our 12th edition of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good

Greg Dulcich continues to look the part of a future franchise tight end in Denver. He was the only piece of the Broncos offense that felt scary, hauling in six catches for 85 yards. Wilson’s found a new favorite target, and it’s clear the rookie out of UCLA is a darn good player.

Every time Wilson hit Dulcich, it was for a big play. He doesn’t catch little dump-off passes like so many other players in this offense — he stretches the field. His longest catch went for 30 on Sunday, and Dulcich averaged 14.2 yards per reception. Wilson threw for just 189 yards, so nearly half of those went to Dulcich.

No one could have predicted when he missed the first five games of the season how much the Broncos would ultimately need Dulcich, but it’s tough to imagine where this anemic offense might be without him. That’s how low things have gotten, but he was a rare bright spot in Baltimore.

The Bad

The Broncos defense wasn’t bad against the Ravens. At all. But the final, painful drive in which Baltimore backup QB Tyler Huntley led his team down the field was, unfortunately, bad.

No one is blaming Denver’s defense for this loss. Justin Simmons had two interceptions. They forced six punts. And once again, did more than enough for the team to have a happy flight home. Yet, when the defense needed to get off the field, they couldn’t.

Huntley engineered a 16-play, 91-yard drive in the final five minutes to leave the Broncos stunned and heartbroken. Baltimore stole an improbable win after a Brandon McManus desperation field goal came up short at the buzzer. The Ravens converted on fourth-down twice on the final drive, and were aided by a personal foul penalty committed by inside linebacker Alex Singleton.

Even Simmons said after the game the Denver defense has to find a way to get one more stop in that situation. It didn’t happen.

The Ugly

At this point, the Broncos are the dreaded combo in the NFL that no one wants to be. They’re bad and boring.

The game against the Ravens was borderline unwatchable. It kicked off at 11:00 a.m. MT and wasn’t even the biggest football story in Colorado during the fourth quarter. Nope, that was Prime’s introduction press conference at CU, as local media flocked to Boulder and ignored the Broncos. That’s a shocking and stunning development, but it was the right decision. Sanders introducing himself to our great state was the place to be.

And that will ultimately cost the Broncos in their final five games. Three of them are at home, and attendance will suffer. Next week against the Chiefs should see a lot of red in the stands, and contests against the Cardinals and Chargers will be littered with empty seats.

That’s a problem for the team’s new owners, or at least it should be. You can’t have a bad football team that’s also boring. It’s the worst kind of product out there, and that’s who the Broncos are at the moment.



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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Broncos are awful combo of bad, boring