The Denver Broncos regret the fall in December, another missed post-season – NFL Nation

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LOS ANGELES – The Denver Broncos were formally eliminated from their sixth straight season and secured – with 7-9 – their fifth losing season in a row with a 34-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.

It was emptied enough that safety Justin Simmons, who has played through all six playoff misses, was only left to search for a way to describe it.

“It stinks,” Simmons said. “I, I, it’s hard man, you put so much work and have that kind of performance all around. It’s hard. I do not know if I can put a word on it … it just, uh, it’s a shame . “

The Broncos were 7-6 after a Dec. 12 victory over the Detroit Lions and stuck in the playoffs before their deep-rooted problems finally overwhelmed their optimism.

Since the win in Week 14, the Broncos have scored 10 points, 13 points and 13 points in three losses. Submit their worst COVID-19 problems of the season over the past week, and Chargers and quarterback Justin Herbert slammed the door on their last hope.

Special teams also continue to damage their case. Returner Diontae Spencer dampened a point on the Broncos’ 49-yard line in the second quarter with the Chargers with a 10-3 lead and the Broncos had just made a defensive stance. The Chargers took that revenue and knocked off the defense for an 11-game touchdown drive. So early in the fourth quarter, after a Brandon McManus field goal made it 20-6, the Broncos allowed a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

“It’s disappointing, of course – it’s been six years now,” said McManus, who is the last remaining player on the list to have worn a Broncos kit in a playoff game. “You lose a lot of division matches, it does not help … we gave ourselves a chance at 7-6, we did not do enough to win enough matches down here.”

With Saturday’s season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs back, the Broncos are 1-4 in AFC West games this season. They are also 1-4 in matches with one score.

Overall, the Broncos are 6-12 in Fangio’s tenure as head coaches in matches settled with seven or fewer points. And the prospect of 10,000 feet may be that post-season chances both this year and in his first with the team – 2019 – were really lost somewhere in those 18 games.

“We have to pull them out … we have not answered the clock in that aspect this year and it’s up to us,” said Broncos tight-end Noah Fant. “It’s up to us as players.”

Offensively, the Broncos’ receiving corps certainly got a hit in the past week as both Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick tested positive for COVID-19. To add to their problems, guard Dalton Risner left Sunday’s game in the first quarter with an elbow injury. With right tackle Bobby Massie also out on COVID-19 / reserve and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on the sidelines due to a concussion, the attacking fights were essentially more of the same.

Denver was 1-of-3 in the red zone against the Chargers, 3-of-11 on the third down and ventured within the Chargers’ 5-yard line three times only to get away with a touchdown. The Broncos rushed 83 yards against a Los Angeles defense that had surrendered at least 140 yards eight times this season and had been ranked 29th in the league against the run.

“Apparently we can not find a rhythm and a consistency in our offensive to keep drives sustained, make first downs and eventually get touchdowns,” Fangio said.

Asked if the Broncos are giving up on things that work too quickly, especially in the red zone, Fangio said, “Yeah, that’s probably a fair question to ask, and maybe it’s possible, yes.”

Despite improvements – especially in defense – the Broncos are left with the same frustrating, empty feeling they had last season with just five wins. Players, coaches and general manager George Paton have been saying all season that they thought they were better now than in 2020.

But there are still no matches left to play after Saturday, just like after the previous five regular season finals.

“There’s a certain barrier that I’ve noticed that we just haven’t gotten over,” Simmons said. “When it comes down to it, you have to find ways to win the close matches. There are some matches when things happen, the ball does not roll your way, no matter what, the matches that we have a chance to win. the closest ones, they are the ones that matter.Now when you get to the end of the year, you have room for a little bit of error.When you put yourself in a corner that way and you do not find a way to win the close fights, that’s when things start to get out of hand. “

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