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Head coach Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos watches a replay during their NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 26, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
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Clough: 2017 Broncos the ‘worst NFL team’ the club’s ever fielded

Head coach Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos watches a replay during their NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 26, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)

Sandy Clough’s tenure covering Denver sports, including the Broncos, spans nearly four decades.

So, when the 104.3 The Fan host says the 2017 squad is the “worst NFL team” the organization has ever fielded, it carries some weight.

During the Fan War Room on Tuesday, Clough said the situation at Dove Valley isn’t as bad as the 2010 Broncos, who went 4-12, earning Denver the No. 2 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

“It’s worse than 2010,” Clough said.

Clough lumped in the current squad with the Denver teams of the AFL 1960s, not only the first decade of the franchise’s existence but also a low point in terms of on-field production.

“… The Broncos are at the bottom of the weakest division in the league in the weaker of the two conferences, and any historical similarity takes you back to before the time of the merger,” Clough said.

In their time in the AFL, 1960 to 1969, Denver cracked more than five wins just once, which happened to be the only non-losing season (1962 at 7-7).

There were no winning seasons during the period.

“The fact that the Broncos exist in this atmosphere, and their very record puts them at or near the bottom of the barrel, I think, speaks volumes of how lost the Broncos are,” Clough said, “both in an absolute sense and relatives to their previously held behavioral and performance standards, which were always of the highest order.”

And sitting at 3-8, it appears Denver’s heading toward its seventh losing season since owner Pat Bowlen purchased the team in 1984, a trend Clough said could mean a bleak couple of years for Denver.

“In previous losing seasons, few that the Broncos have had over the last 40 years … the Broncos have always bounced back and at least made the playoffs next year,” Clough said during the panel discussion.

“Is there anybody in this room who would, with any conviction, make the forecast that the Broncos will be in the playoffs in 2018?”

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.

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