A quick look at a team that has not met expectations and is struggling:
What’s gone wrong: The Denver Broncos’ biggest problem heading into Week 7 was their inability to finish games. Save for a beat down in Baltimore, the other three losses in the first six weeks of the season were all competitive games in which Denver could have easily won. The Broncos outplayed the Jets in Week 6 and at 2-4 looked like a team that would always be in games. Now? Who knows? In the biggest stinker of the NFL season to date, Denver was decimated in a 59-14 home loss to the 2-4 Oakland Raiders who were using their backup quarterback. The Broncos are now 2-5 and are floundering. How can this team overcome that defeat and become a factor this season?
How to fix them: It’s probably a good thing Denver has to travel to London to play San Francisco on Sunday. It gives the Broncos a chance to regroup and become united to try to get over the embarrassment of the defeat to Oakland. Also, the Broncos are getting healthier on defense which should help. This team has been ravaged by injuries since the start of training camp. It needs a dose of good health to help it turnaround its season. A key on offense is the health of second-year running back Knowshon Moreno. He has had two long bouts with hamstring injuries since the start of August. The result has been the worst run game in the NFL to go with one of the best passing offenses in the league. If Moreno can give Denver’s offense balance, it could help it win some games.
Panic meter: High. Anytime a team loses by 45 points at home to a team that lost to a winless team the week before (as Oakland did against San Francisco) you have to worry.
Coach on hot seat? The Broncos’ brass likes Josh McDaniels, but he is not a popular figure in the city this week. If he loses a few more of these type of games this season, he could be out in Denver after two seasons.