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Published: November 24, 2009
It is always easier to point the finger at someone else.
The Denver Broncos' recent four-game losing streak has pointed out weakness after weakness, but maybe not coincidentally, the horrid slide can be traced back to one roster move.
Earlier, I suggested that the Broncos' four game losing streak was due to lack of an elite quarterback. That is still partly true, but how is this for a statistic:
The Denver Broncos were 6-0 with Brett Kern at punter and are 0-4 without him. Inversely, the Tennessee Titans were 0-6 before signing Kern and, since bringing him in to be their punter, the Titans are 4-0.
Probably, but the evidence is undeniably odd. Obviously, the Broncos' major problem is not the lack of the second-year punter, but that Josh McDaniels foolishly messed with his roster.
Prior to the Broncos' Week 8 matchup with Baltimore, McDaniels gave Kern the boot in favor of long-tenured veteran Mitch Berger. Berger proceeded to punt the ball a grand total of nine times against the Ravens in the Broncos' first loss of the season.
Then, just days before the Broncos' Monday night showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team's first home game in over a month, McDaniels and company showed promising second-year cornerback Jack Williams the door in favor of the older, slower, but more savvy Ty Law.
Williams appeared to be a player on the rise with the Broncos. He was considered to have a similar skill-set as former Bronco Darrent Williams and he is probably best known for his play in the end zone to help the Broncos beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4.
When the Broncos cut Williams, they ranked first in the NFL in pass defense. Since his departure, their pass defense has decreased to third in the league.
Now, don't get this wrong. I'm not trying to say that Jack Williams and Brett Kern are the difference between the Broncos being 10-0 and 6-4. But Josh McDaniels tried to fix a team that was not broken.
Was the punting game a concern? Maybe.
Was Williams a liability to the secondary? Possibly, at times.
The fact remains that McDaniels tampered with team chemistry by cutting two lesser-known players in favor of veterans who are far past their prime.
Thus, the Broncos' Thursday night game against the New York Giants is solely the responsibility of McDaniels. He needs to get his players jacked up. He needs to renew the chemistry this team had when it was rolling with a six-game winning streak into the bye week.
If not, he may be kissing his own season goodbye.
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