Trouble brewing for Broncos: How they got here, what’s next

11:35 PM ET

A storied NFL franchise with an all-time great quarterback at the controls got blown out Sunday. That team was the Denver Broncos. The all-time great quarterback is John Elway, the team’s top football executive since 2011 and general manager since 2012.

Embarrassing as the 51-23 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles might have been, the outcome could not have surprised even a Broncos optimist. Philly is rolling behind dynamic young quarterback Carson Wentz. Denver lacks the ground game and pass protection to support its lower-tier quarterbacks, and if 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch does not clear those hurdles when his turn behind center inevitably comes, then what?

The Broncos’ four-game slide into a 3-5 record at their season’s midpoint has been brewing for a while. Denver was 9-7 last season despite a statistically dominant defense. Vegas oddsmakers set the Broncos’ win total at eight in 2017 under the assumption little would change. Peyton Manning’s retirement and a series of less-than-stellar drafts are taking a toll, bringing Elway face

Article source: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/21304802/nfl-denver-broncos-nosedive-brewing-long

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