DENVER -- When the Broncos held a 10-point lead with 12:47 remaining against the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago, the possibilities seemed endless.
Beat the Chiefs, previously unbeaten, improve to 3-1 and take over first-place in the AFC West, a division they once ruled with an iron fist. Win that game, and the view of this season and this head coach improve dramatically.
Instead, quarterback Patrick Mahomes pulled a John Elway on Elway's team. He had a meager 151 passing yards entering the final two drives. He collected 153 over the last two possessions, engineering a 27-23 comeback victory.
It set the stage for a critical road contest. The Broncos needed to rebound against the one-win Jets, not only to restore confidence, but to create a new chapter in the road script. The same old story played out as the Broncos lost for the 11th time in their last 12 road games. The Broncos are 7-14 under Joseph, with 10 of their losses by double digits. The Jets debacle led to Joseph's admission on Monday.
"You don't play that brand of football and not change," Joseph said. "Everything is being considered."
The Broncos must be open to fixes across the board. Here are some possible changes as the Broncos return to work Wednesday in preparation for the Los Angeles Rams, one of two remaining undefeated teams:
1) Joseph's gameday role: The expectation remains Joseph will be more active in calling the defensive signals, if not take them over entirely. He participates in the gameplanning, but after the Broncos permitted 512 yards to the Jets, I would look for his gameday role to increase. Joseph believes the players are confident in coordinator Joe Woods. Woods knows football. However, his inability to make quick in-game adjustments is impossible to ignore since he replaced Wade Phillips, who returns with the Rams on Sunday.
2) Lineup switches: Cornerback Bradley Roby experienced the type of game you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Robbie Anderson beat him twice for touchdowns, and he missed a tackle on a long scoring run. Pro Football Focus ranks Roby as the 100th best cornerback this season, not what he expected when he moved from a nickel role to a starting spot with free agency looming. What's next? Roby, dealing with an illness, arrived to the facility Monday afternoon, not communicating perfectly why he wasn't there in the morning. That has been cleared up. Regardless, given his recent struggles, his role could change. It's possible Tramaine Brock, expected to be fully healthy this week, could start with Roby moving back to a nickel role.
3) Messaging: Time to hit the reset button. The question remains: Does a good culture create winning or does winning create a good culture? I am not privy to the messaging, but the meetings this week need to enforce the idea of urgency and accountability before the season spins out of control.