Professional sporting events don’t really get any worse than what happened to the Denver Broncos yesterday at Invesco Field. The 59-14 loss to the Oakland Raiders likely ranks among lowest points fans and players have ever seen, dropping the Broncos to 2-5 on the season and leaving little hope of improvement this year. “The whole Broncos organization, country, team, fans, players, coaches, owners, from top to bottom, that was an embarrassing performance,” admits defensive back Nate Jones (via The Denver Post).
The game was out of hand early, with Oakland leading Denver 21-0 six minutes into the first quarter. The Raiders were up by 38 points before the Broncos managed to score at all, although they did eventually muster two touchdowns to avoid the shutout. The NFL.com box score reads like a video-game scoring sheet, in which one player uses cheat codes on an unsuspecting friend.
And there’s no shortage of opinions on the disaster. “The Broncos have completed their journey to the bottom of the NFL,” writes the Colorado Springs Gazette. “The Denver Broncos, for the first time in my near 21 years, made me embarrassed to be a fan,” writes one blogger at Mile High Report. Another blog, Bronco Talk, thinks the only question worth asking is whether the team has totally quit on Josh McDaniels, its brash, young head coach. The Denver Post’s Dave Krieger wonders the same thing, as well as whether team owner Pat Bowlen was the victim of a bait-and-switch when he hired McDaniels after firing Mike Shanahan for the 2008 season.
The Broncos will now take the horror show on the road, battling the San Francisco 49ers in London next Sunday—a showdown between two of the NFL’s worst teams in front of a crowd that has never truly accepted American football in the first place.