If you want to talk about the worst case of deja vu you've ever had the misfortune of witnessing, you can most certainly begin the conversation by talking about the 2019 Denver Broncos.
Over and over again, the Broncos have seemingly put themselves in a situation to win a game only to shoot themselves in the foot with a costly defensive penalty that leads to a game-winning field goal.
For the third time this season, the Broncos dropped a game that they should have won by losing in heartbreaking — though very predictable — fashion.
This time, the final dagger of a series displayed a missed sack of Jacoby Brissett by Von Miller, a horse-collar tackle by LB Alexander Johnson, and another game-winning field goal added to the legacy of Adam Vinatieri.
Denver had several opportunities to put this game away early and often. And they should have.
Through a massive array of costly penalties, mind-numbingly poor offensive play-calling and clock control, and another failed defensive stand within two minutes of closing the game, Denver has effectively closed the door on any hopes of making a Cinderella story playoff run.
This season is all but over for the Broncos. If there was any glimmer of hope coming into Indianapolis, it was completely distinguished in their 15-13 defeat.
What did we learn from Week 8's collapse? Here are my biggest takeaways from Sunday's loss.
Lack of a Killer Instinct
Again, this is the third game that the Broncos have lost this season on a game-winning field goal attempt. The defensive play calling in the last two minutes shows very little aggressiveness and when the Denver defense absolutely has to make a play to close out the game, they completely wet the bed that the offense had made for them.
Denver's defense once again had an elite showing for 58 minutes of the game. Indianapolis only had 130 total yards of offense through the first half, but couldn't hold the line when it mattered most.
But don't forget about the offensive ineptitude in critical situations.
Denver's offense had an opportunity to close out the game late in the fourth quarter but for what seems like the millionth time this season, they couldn't find footing when they needed to. Predictable play calling and poor execution upfront led to the Colts getting the ball back shortly after the two-minute warning. Simply put, Denver's offense let the Colts off the hook and allowed them the opportunity to win the game.
This team simply does not know how to win close games. The lack of a killer instinct has now cost this team three wins, and now they are well on their way to a third straight losing season.
Scangarello in Way Over his Head
Whether it's a complete ineptitude, lack of experience, or a lack of faith in quarterback Joe Flacco, OC Rich Scangarello has proven that he is not worthy of calling plays at the professional level.
His ego from the success that he had at Wagner College (?) has completely tainted this Broncos offense, and his seat should be red hot following another despicable showing.
Twice the Broncos had the ball within the 10-yard line in the first half, and twice the play calling was far too cute to be effective enough to put the ball in the endzone.
Denver had opportunities at the ends of both halves to put points on the board and close the game, only to see extremely conservative play-calling allow the Colts to get the ball back.
Honestly, it almost seems like Scangarello doesn't trust anybody but himself, and that is drastically killing the effectiveness of the Broncos offense. Flacco doesn't appear to have the freedom to adjust his protection schemes, audible out of obvious play calls that are doomed based on his sight adjustments, or play outside of the play design.
If any changes are to be made over the course of the rest of this season, this is the biggest one. Rich Scangarello's performance through half the season calls highly into question whether he's the right offensive answer for this team.
Sutton is Going to be a Monster
Even prior to Emmanuel Sanders being traded to San Francisco earlier this week, Courtland Sutton was tasked with taking a major leap as a pass-catcher for the Broncos offense. Sutton has done so valiantly, but there were questions as to if he could continue that effectiveness following Sanders's departure.
Sutton not only answered those questions, but he made people look foolish by even muttering them.
Forget the stat sheet for a moment, because Sutton didn't have a huge game in that aspect. While he did have a handful of receptions, the biggest aspect of his effectiveness came in the penalty department.
Sutton drew multiple pass interference and holding penalties from Colts CB Rock Ya-Sin while also making a couple of huge plays catching the football against Ya-Sin, including an incredible body adjustment on a back-shoulder throw down the left sideline.
Sutton is truly developing into a big-time receiver, and it's not going to be long before he is mentioned amongst the league's elite.