The 2020 Broncos were just as bad
The 2020 season will always be one that carries with it an asterisk of sorts as that was the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. But Fangio had a chance to get things off on the right foot and he was unable to do it.
The Broncos dropped the opener against the Tennessee Titans 16-14 in a game they should never have lost. After a loss in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team sat at 0-2 again.
Fangio is the only coach other than Payton to start 0-2 in his first year as coach with the Broncos and he is one of three coaches — Jack Faulkner and Mac Speedie from the AFL days being the others — to be on the 0-2 list twice.
The Broncos also lost to the Buccaneers in Week 3 before beating a terrible New York Jets team on Thursday Night Football and then getting a win over the Patriots. But a 43-16 drubbing at the hands of the Chiefs the following week put that Broncos on the road to nowhere for the rest of the year.
The Broncos lost five of six games to close the 2020 season and finished the campaign with a 5-11 record. Fans were calling for the job of Fangio, but the front office chose against that, giving him one more chance to see if he could get the team back to its winning ways.
The 2023 Broncos are up against long odds and undeniable history
Here is a statistic you may not want to read. Broncos teams that have started 0-2 have an overall record of 42-90-2. That is a winning percentage of .320, which is not at all good.
None of those 0-2 teams have made the playoffs and if the Broncos lose to the Dolphins on Sunday and drop to 0-3, that 11.5 percent of teams that have started 0-2 and made the playoffs drops down from that, as only a handful of teams have ever accomplished that feat.
These stats are not a coincidence. These things are rare because it's extremely tough to do. Though it's completely fair to believe that Payton can still turn this around, eventually, one also has to be realistic and realize that this season may fall into the same line that every season since 2015 has fallen into.