The disaster that has transpired this season for the Denver Broncos has been painful to watch for their fans and even fans of other teams.
The team is just 4-11 despite trading for future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson, and as a result, it fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Monday.
The Broncos will not make the playoffs this season, but it’s even worse than it looks, as the franchise has failed to reach the postseason ever since winning Super Bowl 50.
Adam Schefter of ESPN shared that it is the longest such drought immediately following a Super Bowl win.
The Broncos have missed the playoffs in 7 straight seasons since winning Super Bowl 50 — the longest drought in NFL history by a team immediately following a Super Bowl win.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 26, 2022
With Wilson looking like an old car that is headed for the scrapyard, Denver’s playoff drought could easily continue for a while longer.
Denver Is Discovering How Hard It Is To Find A New Franchise QB
When the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, it marked a Hollywood-style ending to the career of Peyton Manning, who retired shortly afterward.
Since then, their QB1 position has resembled a merry-go-round, as Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, Brett Rypien, Joe Flacco, Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater have all had their chance at the controls.
With the Broncos giving Wilson a fat five-year contract extension, one has to wonder if they made a fatal mistake in trading for him in the first place.
NFL history is littered with teams that experienced glory with a Hall of Fame quarterback, only to go many years or even decades wandering the wilderness before finding their next true franchise signal-caller.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers are two flagship organizations that have experienced that type of purgatory, and it looks like the New England Patriots are starting such a journey themselves.
Unless Wilson finds the fountain of youth in 2023, the Broncos could be stuck between a rock and a hard place for many more years to come.