The Broncos' recent downturn, capped by an epic choke job versus the San Francisco 49ers, bummed out fans -- but who knew it would also surprise objective observers like Yahoo! Sports' Shane Bacon. In his list of the ten most disappointing NFL teams of 2010, Bacon awards the Broncos fifth place despite the fact that most pro-football experts had fairly low expectations for the squad -- an unusual accomplishment, and not a very proud one.
Here's what Bacon had to say about the Broncos, who place behind the Cowboys, the Vikings, the Bengals and -- irony alert -- the 49ers on the disappointment scale:
Denver Broncos (2-6): A little high here for some because nobody thought the Broncos would be that good this season, but they did start the season 2-2 before dropping four straight, with the last two coming at the hands of the Raiders and 49ers. One of my favorite sneaky stats of this season? Brady Quinn makes more per salary year than Kyle Orton.
This last embarrassing factoid plays into our recent list of the top 10 ways Josh McDaniels has destroyed the Broncos. After all, McDaniels shipped out Peyton Hillis as part of the Quinn deal -- and Hillis is now a mainstay for the Browns, while Denver's running game is the least funny joke since the heyday of Andrew "Dice" Clay.
Of course, the Broncos are only halfway through the season, and things could improve, perhaps edging all the way up to competitive mediocrity. But the situation could also deteriorate further, begging the question: How low can they go?
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More from our Sports archive: "Tim Tebow should start at QB for Broncos, says almost half of America on ESPN's SportsNation."