KANSAS CITY—It is part of John Elway’s job as an NFL general manager to always consider worst-case scenarios.
Perhaps, because his team is already there after suffering its third consecutive discouraging defeat, Elway took a more philosophical approach Monday night.
“The effort’s there,’’ Elway said, as he walked out of Arrowhead Stadium following the Broncos’ 29-19 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. “And the defense had a great day. This isn’t because of lack of effort. They’re playing really hard. We’ve just got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot.’’
About those self-inflicted wounds. The Broncos committed five turnovers, three on interceptions by quarterback Trevor Siemian, against the Chiefs. Denver gave the ball away three times the previous week against the Los Angeles Chargers, twice by Siemian in a 21-0 loss.
And in the Broncos’ stunning 23-10 loss to then winless New York Giants two weeks ago, there were another three turnovers, two on Siemian interceptions.
After a poor start against the Chiefs, Siemian rallied and even got in a rhythm for a while. But then Siemian made arguably the worst decision of his still young career by throwing long across the field and was intercepted for a third time.
Elway was asked his thoughts about Siemian.
“We’ll have to evaluate that and see what happens,’’ he said.
It was the type of abrupt response that suggested Siemian is in danger of losing his starting role. Brock Osweiler is the Broncos’ backup quarterback.
“That’s not my job,’’ Siemian said when asked about a possible change. “My job is to play quarterback, play it as best I can. And I’ve got to play better. Can’t turn it over.’’
Asked if he has been pressing, Siemian admitted, "At times, yeah."
Vance Joseph, the Broncos’ head coach, will ultimately make the decision on whether to pull Siemian. He hasn’t so far, explaining each of the past two weeks that because the Broncos were within two scores for the bulk of the game, their best chance to win was to stick with Siemian.
That doesn’t mean a quarterback switch isn’t coming before the Broncos play the 7-1 Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
“I’m not sure,’’ Joseph said. “But losing three games in a row and having five turnovers tonight, anything’s possible.’’
Siemian did show signs of fighting through his slump. When Bennie Fowler III dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone with 8:15 left in the third quarter, Siemian to that point was 6 of 17 for 63 yards with two interceptions.
He went an encouraging 13 of 19 for 136 yards the rest of the way with a touchdown pass to A.J. Derby, but also the cross-field pick that doomed any chance of completing the comeback.
“We got Trev comfortable and when he’s comfortable he’s really good,’’ Derby said.
“Trevor’s our quarterback and we have 100 percent faith in him when he’s in there,’’ said Broncos right guard Ron Leary, who played most of the game with injured left biceps. “We can’t start pointing fingers or blaming this and that. It’s a team effort and offense as a whole, that’s how we roll. He’s the leader of this team so we’re going to roll with him till the wheels fall off.’’
Thing is, after a 3-1 start, 3-4 is not exactly a ride of smooth stability.
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