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Mason's Mailbag: Team's history shows tough times usually don't linger

Posted Nov 18, 2017

The Broncos are in a rough patch right now, but turnarounds have usually come in short order, which is how you have more conference titles than losing seasons over a 40-year period.

You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.

Is there anything you would do to enhance the Ring of Fame?

-- Lou Shield

It's tough, because I think the Ring of Fame is executed beautifully. The Ring of Fame Plaza at the south end of Sports Authority Field at Mile High is perhaps the best spot any team has created to honor its legends, as it is a gathering place at any time of year, even when there is nothing taking place at the stadium. I'm surprised more teams and stadiums haven't developed a spot outside of the stadium bowl to honor team greats like that plaza.

The only thing I could think of is giving orange jackets to its members. Pro Football Hall of Famers get gold jackets; Broncos Ring of Famers could get orange ones. When I suggested this to Steve Atwater during one edition of "First and Ten at Ten," our weekday show on Orange and Blue 760, his face lit up at the idea. (That being said, we've got to get him the Canton-issued gold jacket he truly deserves.)

What is the best concession-stand item at the stadium?

-- Christopher Miller

I'm partial to the chicken street tacos.

If the Broncos win, their draft status drops. If they lose, their season gets worse. Isn't this a no-win scenario?

-- Tom Hubbard

As Captain Kirk said, "I don't believe in the no-win scenario." Besides, it's still too early to think about draft status when the team in the No. 6 playoff spot (Buffalo) is just two games in front of you and will insert a first-time rookie quarterback (Nathan Peterman) against a team with two elite edge rushers (the Chargers, with Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa). There will be plenty of time to ponder the draft in future months.

My question is this: What are some other comparable losing streaks in team history? I recall the 2010 team going on four- and five-game losing streaks but I don't believe the margin of defeat was as wide during those games. I ask because it might be good to remind fans that even though we've experienced tough losing streaks before, the organization has a history of bouncing back. Anyways, "We're on to Cincinnati!"

-- Eddie Blob

The four-game losing streak in 2010 saw an average margin of 17.75 points -- just a bit below the 19.4-point average margin during the current streak. The later five-game skid saw an average margin of 14.8 points, with three of the games decided by 16 or more points.

Indeed, it is the margin of defeat during the current streak that particularly frustrates President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway, as he noted Friday night when he answered questions during the Ring of Fame festivities.

“You’re going to lose football games in this league, but the way that it’s gone about and not being competitive is probably what concerns me the most," Elway said. "I think we have it on our football team. We have to learn to be able to battle through those [mistakes]. Obviously they’ve come in clumps and we haven’t been able to overcome them.

"Until we do overcome that, we’ve got to learn that it’s going to be tough to win football games. That’s why we’ll continue to play hard, and if we keep working hard, then good things will happen."

And you spoke of the organization bouncing back ... remember, the last time the Broncos had a season in which it had a losing streak longer than this, a six-game streak in 1990, the Broncos rebounded to go 12-4 in 1991 and come within a field goal of Super Bowl XXVI.

If the Broncos' history over the last 40 years has taught us anything, it is that while the club occasionally hits a pothole, it rarely gets knocked off course for long.

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The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

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