ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **One thing is clear above all else to Head Coach Vance Joseph in the wake of the Broncos' 51-23 loss at Philadelphia: The status quo isn't working.
“Well, you have to change something. We can’t continue to go down the same path and expect different results. That’s insanity, right?" Joseph said Monday. "We have to change something, whether it’s personnel, whether it’s how we game plan or how we call plays or how we play as a football team together -- offensively, defensively and teams together. That’s also a thought. I have to figure it out.
"That’s obviously being explored. How do we win as a team -- and win cleaner and play a cleaner, competitive game on Sunday?"
For Joseph, that starts with his own work.
"I have to coach better and get our coaches to coach better," he said. "Things in the football game that are happening are not by accident. We have to figure out a way to coach our players better and to have better game plans and to manage the games better from my perspective.
"Obviously, it’s a hard league. I’ve been in the league a long time, so it’s not my first go-around as far as having adversity during the season. I understand this. We have time, but time is running out. We have to fix it right now."
With four consecutive losses, the Broncos have plenty to fix in all three phases of the game.
“The truth about our team at this point of the season is that we are 3-5. That’s who we are," Joseph said. "We’ve won three games and we’ve lost five. We’ve lost all five the same way. Again, it starts with me.
"I say that because I’m not just ‘coach talking' to you guys. I say that because we have to figure out our brand of football to maximize our chances of winning. That comes from me. I have to figure out what’s our best formula to win as a team."
PART OF THAT INVOLVES LIMITING PENALTIES**
After being whistled for a season-high 14 penalties for 105 yards in Philadelphia, Denver now has averages of 7.9 penalties for 64.3 yards per game. Those figures place the Broncos in the bottom seven teams in the league in both categories.
Not all penalties are created equal, of course, and Joseph can live with some infractions, such as some offensive holding calls and the roughing-the-passer penalty against defensive end Zach Kerr in the second quarter Sunday.
"He was told all week to finish the play because this quarterback [Philadelphia's Carson Wentz] doesn’t slide," Joseph said. "He finished the play and he was penalized for roughing the passer. That happens."
The bothersome and preventable penalties are ones that happen before the snap, such as offsides and false-start calls. The Broncos were flagged for seven pre-snap penalties in Philadelphia: four on defense (three neutral-zone infractions and one offsides call), two on offense (one false-start penalty and one delay-of-game call) and one on special teams, for delay of game.
"The one before the whistles, that’s undisciplined, and we can’t have that. We had Von [Miller] and Shane Ray jump offside four times, I think two times on third downs," Joseph said. "It’s third-and-10, it goes to five. That changes the entire down to getting off the field to now half and half. That we can’t have.
"That’s undisciplined. We have to fix that. We have to simply watch the football and get off on the right count and rush the passer."
Penalties after the whistle, such as an unnecessary-roughness penalty against left tackle Garett Bolles with 1:24 remaining in the game, are also frustrating, even though that particular infraction did not impact the outcome of the game.
"We can’t have it. It’s undisciplined. That’s been addressed with him on numerous occasions, so we have to fix it," Joseph said. "We have to fix him because after the play is over, it’s over. Go back to the huddle and play the next play. So that part, we have to fix."
A collection of black-and-white photos from the Broncos' game against the Eagles in Philadelphia. (Photos by Gabriel Christus unless noted)