How many times has a Broncos head coach started 0-2 in their first year?

Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton is off to an 0-2 start after a loss to the Washington Commanders in Week 2. How many times has this happened in team history?

Sep 17, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton talks with quarterback
Sep 17, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton talks with quarterback / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Dating back to 1960, when the Broncos were part of the old AFL, the team has had 20 different head coaches. That's if you include interim head coaches. And believe it or not, a coach starting 0-2 with the team is quite rare.

But there's where Payton sits after a devastating loss to the Commanders. With losses against the Commanders and Las Vegas Raiders — what appears to be two of the easier games on their schedule — you have to wonder just how bad this season could get.

The Broncos have been searching for an answer at head coach in the same way they have been looking for an answer at quarterback ever since the Super Bowl-winning combination of Peyton Manning and Gary Kubiak left the team. It was assumed that the answers to those questions, finally, would be Payton and Russell Wilson.

But to this point, there are just as many questions as there are answers. And now, Payton holds the distinction of starting his Broncos career 0-2, something that has only happened for one other coach in team history.

Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages

Vic Fangio started his Broncos coaching career 0-2

Vance Joseph, who is once again making a mockery of the job on the sidelines, as the team's defensive coordinator, didn't start 0-2. Nathaniel Hackett might be one of the worst coaches in NFL history (just ask Payton), but he won two games after losing in his coaching debut.

The only Broncos head coach with the distinction of starting 0-2 in all of team history, is Vic Fangio, who lost his first four games to begin the 2019 season. Now for clarity, this is not taking into account every season, just the first season for each coach in Denver.

Eric Studesville, who took over for Josh McDaniels after McDaniels was fired in December 2010, lost his first two games, but that hardly counts considering the mess that team was at the time.

Next. Stephen A. Smith says Sean Payton wanted Chargers job. Stephen A. Smith says Sean Payton wanted Chargers job. dark

Payton is now in the same spot that all of the failed coaches before him were in. Joseph, Fangio and Hackett all proved to be terrible hires and though no one in Broncos Country is going to be ready to say the same of Payton, one thing that can't be disputed is that when the Broncos brought those coaches aboard, they didn't have to give up a first and second-round draft pick to do so.