3 Disheartening Takeaways from Broncos’ …

The season finale is a glorious exhibition game, but the Denver Broncos, who proudly host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday afternoon, may foreshadow the team’s trajectory in 2024. It must have been a big deal for coach Sean Payton for the Broncos to snap a four-season losing streak to the underperforming Raiders.

Unfortunately, the Broncos were outrebounded by the Raiders 27-14. It was the latest fatality for a mistake-prone team in overcoming adversity.What else did we learn from the Broncos’ eight-game losing streak to the Raiders? Let’s take a look at Denver’s streak that will end this season with a big sigh and a shrug.

Not so Jarrett Stidham Stidham’s two late starts are familiar territory for the former Raiders backup, but the Broncos will actually hope he realizes he needs to fill a spot on the clipboard and on the sideline. Sticking with Stidham next year would lead to more attrition, and Payton didn’t return to the NFL coaching ranks to avoid missing a year from his return. Sure, the 27-year-old Stidham has some talent, but his overall limitations don’t make him a good long-term option.

In Stidham’s defense, the pressure on Maxx Crosby and company all day gave the quarterback few chances to throw them. But if the Broncos are serious about winning, they need to be brave, bold, creative and put a young, talented quarterback under center as soon as possible. Now, it’s safe to say that Stidham is not that kind of guy.

Here’s hoping for another black hole lossEvery spot the Broncos could move in the 2024 NFL Draft was pure gold dust. Denver is now projected to take the 12th pick in the first round, which doesn’t guarantee one of the hot QB prospects, but puts the team within striking distance. Sometimes a quarterback falls into a team’s lap, and while Broncos fans can only dream, Payton is facing a harsh reality. Don’t worry, there are some sisters on both sides of the ball to get them back. The Broncos payroll will be under a lot of pressure. The fallout from the Broncos’ failed marriage to Russell Wilson will be addressed. Hopefully coughing up a meaningless game for the Raiders can serve as a warning.

Especially if it forces Denver to settle in the middle. The pressure on Payton will increase after Wilson is benched.If Payton was confident the Broncos would be a playoff team, his initial assessment was wildly wrong. The two losses on Sunday showed how far this team is from being a true contender.

Plagued by repeated limitations on offense and defense, Payton must look in the mirror to explain his first year as coach.

How divided the Broncos are in Week 18 says a lot about the team struggling to piece together its identity. Payton wanted them to accept. Wilson is at the top of the Broncos’ list of disgruntled people, and the way Payton is putting the pieces together makes his position a few degrees warmer than anyone would have imagined a few months ago. That doesn’t mean Payton’s job is in jeopardy. As far as we know, far from it.

However, Payton enters the 2024 season under significant pressure and criticism following his controversial decision to trade Wilson.

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