John Elway: Broncos 'fighting for our lives' vs. Cards


The Denver Broncos entered the 2018 regular season feeling optimistic with hopes of a turnaround from last year's 5-11 campaign.

A 2-0 start only fed the positive vibes, but the Broncos have now lost four consecutive games and sit three games out of first place in the AFC West. Denver hoped to rebound after a Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Broncos were trounced by the New York Jets in Week 5 and lost a close game in Week 6 to the Los Angeles Rams.

Now, the Broncos face heightened urgency to fix the issues that have plagued the team throughout the defeats heading into Thursday night's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

"It's a broken record right now," Broncos general manager John Elway told the team's official website. "We've got to change some things and things have to change this week. Our veterans have to play better, coaches have to coach better. On short week it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter how physically how you feel. We got to go into Arizona on Thursday night fighting for our lives cause that's what we are."

Broncos coach Vance Joseph agreed emphatically when asked about Elway's comments.

"Absolutely," Joseph told reporters, via the team's website. "We've lost four games in a row and everyone is fighting for their lives. That's the way we have to play each game we play. In this league, if you're not desperate for it, you don't win. That doesn't change anything from week to week for us. Every week we feel like we are desperate to win a football game, so that won't change."

Meanwhile, the Broncos' defense has been a disappointment, especially against the run.

Coming off a 2017 campaign in which the Broncos ranked fifth in the league, allowing just 89.4 yards per game, opponents have gouged Denver during the four-game losing streak, totaling an eye-popping 812 yards rushing and seven touchdowns over that span.

Additionally, the Broncos have allowed three straight 100-yard individual efforts by opposing running backs, including two straight 200-yard performances.

Still, Denver could catch a break Thursday when considering Cardinals running back David Johnson has yet to top 75 yards rushing in a single game this season, and Arizona has struggled on offense, ranking last in the league.

Should the Broncos address the defensive woes, a much-needed win could wash away the bitter taste of their losing ways and potentially jump-start their season.

"You would hope so and you get some confidence," Elway said. "We're not playing with a lot of confidence. Any time you go through what we're going through, you lose a lot of confidence."