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Broncopacalypse Now: Josh McDaniels experiences the horror

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As soon as I saw that Chris Simms was starting under center for the Broncos against the Chargers yesterday, I expected a loss -- a bad one. But even in my worst nightmares, I didn't expect the resulting 32-3 drubbing, which was made worse by the ingredients that went into this recipe for catastrophe.

Virtually everybody involved with the Broncos organization had their worst game, with Josh McDaniels leading the pack. Argue if you'd like about whether McD should have gone with Simms out of the gate -- but he clearly pulled the plug on the spleen-challenged one too early, putting a clearly hampered Orton in what was literally a no-win situation. The result was a demoralizing performance that gut-shoots team morale going into a nationally televised Thanksgiving matchup against the Giants. Stupid -- but not quite as moronic as the coach getting sucked into trash-talking with the Chargers.

Just because he looks like he's twelve doesn't mean he should act like it.

Yes, there's plenty of blame to go around. The Broncos defense has been exposed, with opposing teams having figured out how to quash a pass rush that looked revived early in the season -- and without pressure, QBs ranging from super-dick Philip Rivers to otherwise underwhelming Redskins signal-caller Jason Campbell have had way too much time to hit receivers.

As for what I can refer to as the offense only because it's been so offensive, the running game briefly looked like it might get untracked -- but that, too, proved to be a fleeting dream. If the Broncos don't find a way to move the ball on the ground more effectively, thereby controlling the clock to at least some degree, we won't even be able to look forward to guaranteed wins against the Chiefs and the Raiders (which won yesterday against elite competition).

For a while, watching the Bears continue to lose, as they did against the Eagles, provided some compensation for the Broncos' precipitous decline -- but no more. This is what doubters expected Denver to look like throughout the season, so I guess we should be happy that six wins preceded the swan dive. But that doesn't make it easier to stomach.

Below, find "highlights" of the game, to be used in case you need to induce vomiting:

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