ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The question is no longer about whether change is coming to the Denver Broncos after the season.
It's coming. As dismissed offensive coordinator Mike McCoy can attest, it already has come. The question is, to what degree.
Weeks become months, and the defeats continue to accumulate and grow more embarrassing as the Broncos reach depths they haven't known since the 1960s. Sunday's 35-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins might have been the most humiliating defeat of all.
Denver only led once -- by a modest 3-2 score early in the second quarter -- didn't score an offensive touchdown and allowed the Dolphins to score two safeties. In one final indignity, the Broncos were the victims of an onside kick with a 33-9 deficit.
It was Denver's eighth straight loss.
"It's the lowest, definitely," cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said.
"We're just losing to teams that are not very good, in my opinion," he added later. "That's what makes it very hard."
It's traumatic for a core of 20-plus players such as Harris, outside linebacker Von Miller and others who contributed to the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 win and are now part of a team that has collapsed entirely.
"We've got some definitely talented players," Harris said. "But when you lose, man, to the outside world, they think everybody is playing bad."
"We definitely have talent on the team," inside linebacker Brandon Marshall added. "You look at the Denver Broncos on paper, I think you would say at every position they have guys. It's not like we're lacking in the receiving corps, DBs or at linebacker."
But they are lacking at quarterback. After the game, head coach Vance Joseph did not commit to starting Trevor Siemian next week, although he did point to dropped passes and penalties as other causes of the offense's inability to score a touchdown.
Denver's offense has now accounted for a meager nine touchdowns in its last eight contests. Three of those scores came when the Broncos were down by 16 or more points in the fourth quarter, i.e., in "garbage time."
A change in coordinators didn't help. Changing the quarterbacks -- from Siemian to Brock Osweiler, from Osweiler to Paxton Lynch, and from an injured Lynch back to Siemian -- didn't help, either.
So what's the next change? It could be Joseph, although he said he was "not concerned" about potentially losing his job after just one season.
"I'm concerned about one thing and that's the Jets on Sunday," Joseph said. "I've been in the league a long time. I'm not concerned about that."
Just trying to find a way out of the Broncos' longest losing streak in 50 years seems to be enough of a daunting task for these Broncos.
REPORT CARD VS. DOLPHINS
--PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- The early-season success for Trevor Siemian seemed as far away as Miami is from Denver. Siemian completed just 19 of his 41 passes for 200 yards. But aside from late first-quarter strikes to Virgil Green and Bennie Fowler, the vertical passing game was non-existent. Demaryius Thomas' performance included two drops, and he and Emmanuel Sanders combined for just four receptions on 17 targets as Siemian frequently overshot his receivers. A bad snap on a third-and-10 resulted in a safety. One of Siemian's three interceptions was returned for a touchdown.
--RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- This was the one aspect of the Broncos' offense that worked, as C.J. Anderson averaged 4.5 yards on his 15 attempts. Anderson, Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker combined to pick up 87 yards on 20 attempts. Denver seemed to get away from the run too quickly, especially given their struggles in pass protection and ball security when Siemian dropped back to throw.
--PASS DEFENSE: B -- Denver's defense made Jay Cutler pay for his miscues, intercepting him twice, including one that Justin Simmons returned 65 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to give the Broncos hope of a comeback. Bradley Roby also forced a fumble after a completion. But Cutler also beat the Broncos for a pair of touchdown passes, and found gaps in coverage that allowed him to post five connections of 20 or more yards.
--RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus -- With Domata Peko and Derek Wolfe injured, Denver bent, and then broke, in trying to contain Miami running back Kenyan Drake, who became the first runner since the Giants' Orleans Darkwa in Week 6 to go over the 100-yard mark against the Broncos. Drake had 120 of the Dolphins' 145 rushing yards Sunday.
--SPECIAL TEAMS: F -- After two games in which the third phase stabilized its performance, it had a cataclysmic day Sunday. Isaiah McKenzie returned to punt-return duty and fumbled, leading to a safety after he recovered the ball in the end zone. Protection on punter Riley Dixon collapsed, and he had a punt blocked for the second time in the last four games.
--COACHING: D -- Every move seemed to backfire. The Broncos reinserted Trevor Siemian, and he threw three interceptions. They put Isaiah McKenzie back on punt returns after deactivating him for two games, and he fumbled once again, leading to a safety. Vance Joseph and his staff seem to be pulling on every lever, but none of them seems to work. What's worse is that during this eight-game losing streak, the Broncos have lost by an average of 16.6 points, with half of the losses coming by 21 or more points.
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