After loss, Fangio says fans have right to be 'angry'

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Though the Broncos' start to the season was equal parts frustrating losses and nailbiting defeats, consecutive wins for Denver suddenly brought about hints of promise and fortune turned for the better.

That all came crumbling down on Thursday with an ugly setback at home to the rival Chiefs, who lost reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes but still cruised to a one-sided 30-6 win.

As Denver has returned to its doldrums at 2-5, first-year coach Vic Fangio had a very blunt message to a vocally disgruntled fan base.

"With that performance, they have every right to be angry and they have every right to boo," Fangio told the media on Friday, via team transcript. "We probably deserved it. It's a loyal fan base and one that I've grown quickly to appreciate. We're doing everything we can to get this fixed as quickly as possible."

Just what exactly Fangio, Broncos general manager John Elway or anyone else is doing remains to be seen with no time frame for improvement outlined.

There really wasn't a facet in which the Broncos did not struggle on Thursday. Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco's uninspired play has some believing he should be replaced. Flacco's struggles were compounded by a horrendous outing from the offensive line in which the Chiefs' pass rush remedied its seasons-long ills in 60 minutes. And the Broncos running game of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman that had begun to gain steam in the wins was running in place against a previously porous Chiefs defense. Denver's defense wasn't outstanding, but it was the offense that was the biggest problem.

Though stating that fixes needed to be made, Fangio offered no evidence that immediate alterations are in store.

"[Flacco] was part of the offense and the offense obviously didn't play well enough and he was 1/11th of that. Obviously, your quarterback is a big part of your offense and I think he was -- just like the rest of our offense -- we didn't play well enough. We got dominated," Fangio said in regards to his QB's struggles.

Fangio later simply replied, "No," when asked if he was thinking of making a change under center.

Left tackle Garrett Bolles, who struggled with penalties and pass rushers all night, remains the starting left tackle as of "right now."

Tight end Noah Fant, the team's 2019 first-round draft choice, continued to struggle and his tribulations were more apparent and abundant on Thursday than in previous games.

"All he needs to do is come up with a couple of those catches and his confidence will be better," Fangio said. "He'll start to soar, but we're going to keep playing him. He's a young player. It's our job to develop players and the only way you develop players is to play them."

With a first-year coach, a struggling first-round draft pick, a new quarterback and on and on, there's a lot of changes that were made in the offseason that have not come to fruition, the aforementioned development lacking more often than not.

Fixes need to made, but Fangio nor the front office is not letting on how they will be made -- giving the benefit of the doubt that a plan is in place.

Trade talk has swirled around the Broncos for weeks, but been shut down. Following the loss, it was once more a topic at hand, but Fangio denied any talks with Elway about shipping off talent.

"We haven't had any of those discussions yet. I don't know that we will," Fangio said. "We'll see."

In a season so far marked by struggles, the we'll-see approach is likely something that must be augmented, also. Nothing much has changed from Week 1 through now and with the Chiefs' loss as evidence, nothing has been fixed.

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