The Denver Broncos are having quite the eventful weekend.
First up was a divisional showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.
Vic Fangio had a chance in the national spotlight to prove he deserved another year as head coach.
But his team literally fumbled the game away late and the Broncos fell by a 28-24 final.
That sent them to 7-10 and Fangio was fired Sunday afternoon.
His firing came after a third consecutive losing season at the helm of the team.
More notably, the Broncos are out of the postseason for a sixth consecutive year.
That makes some NFL history considering the team won the Super Bowl during the 2015 season.
Following their Super Bowl 50 win, the Broncos have missed the playoffs in each of the last 6 seasons.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 9, 2022
Denver made the postseason every year from 2011-2015 and finally won the Super Bowl in that 2015 season.
Then Peyton Manning retired and nothing has been the same.
Broncos Seeking Another Reset
Gary Kubiak left the franchise for health reasons following a 9-7 record in 2016.
That was not good enough to reach the postseason, but the Broncos appeared to be on the right track.
Then came two losing seasons under Vance Joseph and three with Fangio.
Vic Fangio’s answer to my question about what separates the other teams in the AFC West from the Broncos.
He opened by saying, “Those other three teams have top-shelf quarterbacks, which is obvious to everybody."pic.twitter.com/MXPq2Mknfo
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 9, 2022
It is no coincidence that this playoff drought coincides with Manning’s retirement.
The franchise has failed to sign or develop a proper replacement and that remains true heading into 2022.
Otherwise, the options do not look great.
Fans will recall that the Broncos had Tim Tebow before lucking into Manning.
He then retired without a proper succession plan in place.
Winning a Super Bowl is the ultimate goal and the Broncos reached that mountaintop again in 2015.
But fans will not care in the present if the team keeps missing the postseason.
The hope now is that the team will find that quarterback to lead them back to the postseason, along with a coach who can stick around for more than a few years.
Those two things obviously go hand in hand.