Broncos Panthers Football

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson passes under pressure during the first half of an NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

Can Elon Musk buy the Broncos, too?

The Broncos are so OK with awful it calls into question the commitment level of new owners Rob Walton, Greg Penner and their super-rich buds. After Sunday’s 23-10 loss to the pitiful Panthers, if general manager George Paton won’t pull the plug on the Nathaniel Hackett error, the billionaire owners must step in and remind everyone who’s the boss around here.

There is a boss around here, right?

The Broncos are so bad that Russell Wilson tied John Elway with 300 career touchdown passes and Wilson couldn’t wait to move on: “The John Elway thing, I’d rather win,” Wilson said Sunday.

The Broncos are so bad that Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold made his first start this season and beat them. The Broncos are so bad no team in 22 years has averaged fewer points, 14.27. The Broncos are so bad raking leaves is a far better way to spend a Sunday.

During the worst loss of the season, and that’s saying something, Colorado man Mike Purcell trudged to the sideline and screamed at the $245 million starting quarterback: “Let’s (expletive) go!” Wilson relayed after.

“Mike and I are on the same page,” Wilson said.

Same here. Instead of watching the Broncos, let’s (expletive) go rake leaves.

You know the first order of business when Musk bought Twitter, a company that was losing money and trust? He started firing people. While the Broncos have years before they can remove themselves from the giant contract awarded to Wilson, they should have done the humane thing and pulled Wilson out of the game Sunday.

Anyone could see Wilson was a sitting turkey.

Instead of the Pro Bowl quarterback the Broncos signed up for, Wilson looked like a hockey goalie absorbing goal after goal after goal. Just before halftime, he had minus-1 passing yards. Minus-1.

The Broncos left him in the game when backup Brett Rypien would’ve been the humane option.

Mike Shanahan was known for scripting the first 15 plays of the game. Slacker. You and I could script an entire Broncos game: punt, punt, punt, punt, TV graphic on quarterbacks since Peyton Manning, punt, field goal, punt, injury to key player, punt, lose. At least they’re consistent.

And at least “Groundhog Day” was a great movie. The Broncos go straight to the half-off DVD bin.

Yes, the Walton crew is new around here. But Broncos Country is here to remember the good times and find hope in a dark tunnel, and they’re all out of reunions from Super Bowls past.

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Ease the pain, fire Hackett, name Dom Capers interim coach. It can't possibly be worse than this. This is the worst Broncos outfit I've seen.

Mr. Musk fired much of Twitter and the social media app still operates just fine — while he fires off space rockets in his free time. Imagine what @elonmusk could do with the Broncos.

Kidding, of course. Kinda.

Sunday, the Broncos had 31 coaches, 53 players, six owners — and one touchdown.

What exactly does everyone do around here?

The Broncos went 20-plus possessions without scoring a touchdown. They scored in the first quarter vs. the Raiders and didn’t score another one until the fourth quarter vs. the Panthers.

Congrats to a man named Brandon Johnson, who caught Wilson’s No. 300 touchdown pass.

The Broncos lost to both NFL coaches who were fired midseason. Lost to the Colts, who fired Frank Reich. Lost to the Panthers, who fired Matt Rhule. Nice guy, but how on God’s green earth is Hackett still employed by the Broncos?

"It starts with me," Hackett said Sunday.

Again, and I sound like a broken record here, the mess on aisle Broncos won’t be cleaned up by firing the coach. As former team president Joe Ellis once said, the issues are “systemic.” But the new owners are playing with a fanbase’s loyalty by continuing down a dead-end road.

The Broncos haven’t won fewer than four games in a season since 1982, and it’s hard to spot another win for the 3-8 Broncos. Next Sunday at Baltimore? Good luck. The Chiefs? LOL. The Cardinals at home? The Chargers at home? OK, those are possibilities. You got me there.

Problem is, losing out doesn't help the Broncos. Their first-round draft pick goes to Seattle. The Broncos are so bad, losing does them no good.

“This organization, this tradition here, everything else, we’ve got to honor it. We’ve got to honor it by winning,” Wilson said.

The real ones remember another Broncos tradition that fits the current predicament: win or kick rocks. Ask Wade Phillips, John Fox, even Shanny. With the beloved losing to the Panthers and in shambles, now's the time to learn.

Is the Walmart crew a part of Broncos Country or not?

(Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.)