The Denver Broncos’ 27-17 loss to the Washington Redskins yesterday was a triple-decker serving of bad.

First off, the Broncos lost to a team that came into the game 2-6 and that was criticized for the dysfunction created by its owner, who is trying to force the head coach to quit by stripping him of most responsibilities.

Second, the Broncos lost quarterback Kyle Orton at the end of the first half, after he injured his ankle. Backup Chris Simms came in and proved he’s every bit the quarterback who hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL in more than nearly three-and-a-half years. Denver had negative-eight yards passing in the second half with Simms at the helm. Broncos fans may have to get used to this: The Denver Post (free registration required) reports Orton could miss up to three games.

Finally, the Broncos are now tied with the San Diego Chargers at the top of the AFC West, after holding a three-game division lead. Next Sunday’s game at Invesco Field at Mile High will be for the outright lead, and the way the Broncos are playing, things don’t look very good.

The Broncos’ season appears to have already lasted too long, writes Sports Illustrated, and the team is in real trouble in the division. ESPN takes it one step further, saying the Broncos are “plummeting” and pointing out that the team has scored just 34 points over three losses, while their opponents have scored 85.