Vance Joseph done as Broncos’ head coach

Fands won't find Vance Joseph at Broncos Stadium next season. Photo: Isaiah Mancha · The Sentry

Fands won’t find Vance Joseph at Broncos Stadium next season.
Photo: Isaiah Mancha · The Sentry
After only two seasons, Broncos force Joseph out

Vance Joseph’s time in Denver has come to a miserable end. After a dismal record of 5-11 a year ago and a disappointing but slightly better record of 6-10 this year, Broncos Executive John Elway felt the need to pull the plug on his head coach after seeing his team suffer their first back-to-back losing seasons since the early 1970s.

Joseph, who had signed a four-year deal as Broncos head coach back in 2017, only lasted two seasons. His 11-21 record as a Broncos head coach was the worst winning percentage (.343 percent) of any other in the franchise. Also, adding insult to injury, Joseph is recorded as having the team’s first back-to-back 10-loss seasons since the late 1960s.

“I want to be the head coach of this team,” Joseph told an ESPN reporter. “I think two years is just too short to judge a coach and a team.” 

Yet in those two seasons, the Broncos have missed the playoffs, three years after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl Champs.

In 2017, Joseph received a lot of backlash and criticism due to the lack of quarterback play and inconsistency of balance within the offense. Through 16 games, the Broncos rotated a trifecta of quarterbacks from Brock Osweiler, to Trevor Siemian, and Paxton Lynch, each barely mustering a quarterback rating of at least 72.0. 

In 2018, however, things seemed to be on the verge of change.

The Broncos signed a stable passer in Case Keenum, who had just completed one of his best seasons as a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. However, it still did not change the lack of inconsistency that followed them into the new year. The offense was 20th in points scored, 19th in both total and passing yards, and 12th in rushing yards. 

Considering that the Broncos still had a vaunted defense in 2017 and 2018, the lack of offense tired them out—their opponents winning the time of possession by an average of four minutes per game. With this, the team would faulter in late game heroics.

This past season, Joseph’s team pushed some of the best franchises in the league to the limit when playing against the Kansas City Chiefs (twice), the Los Angeles Rams, and the Houston Texans. However, they suffered losses to these teams by a combined 16 points. The team was in position to win at least three of these games but uncharacteristically self-destructed in the end, blowing a 10-point lead against the Chiefs in the fourth quarter in Denver and missing a 51-yard field goal against the Texans on the last play of regulation.

Vance Joseph and the Broncos were unable to keep the swing of momentum on their side whenever it was in their favor. In both his years of tenure, the Broncos had quality starts but faltered to a losing streak. A 3-1 start followed by eight straight losses last year and a 2-0 start this year followed by four straight losses is not the mindset of the Denver Broncos of old. So now begins a long offseason of rebuilding for 2019. And with that, the Broncos have already chosen their new head coach, Vic Fangio.



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