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OAKLAND, Calif. — Know what’s most embarrassing for the Broncos? While this might be a proud franchise’s worst losing streak in 50 years, that was far from the worst of it during a 21-14 loss to the Raiders here Sunday.

Quarterback Paxton Lynch cried like a baby. Captain Aqib Talib acted like a punk. Coach Vance Joseph griped like a coach who has lost his grip on this team.

When it was over, after the Broncos had lost for the seventh straight time and players laughed in the locker room about the fight that got Talib ejected, Lynch said the most outrageously stupid thing in this whole embarrassing season.

  • Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) breaks away from a tackle by Denver Broncos inside linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) during the first quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts (10) gets wrapped up by Denver Broncos defensive back Will Parks (34) and strong safety Justin Simmons (31) during the first quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) trips up Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) for a loss during the first quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green (85) can't hold on to a pas sin the end zone as the ball bounces up and gets intercepted by Oakland Raiders middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) for a touchback during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) intercepts a pass in the end zone on a pass intended for Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green (85) during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders cornerback Sean Smith (21) ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders cornerback Sean Smith (21) puts a hit on Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) after a short gain during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) gets sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Denico Autry (96) during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) gets sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Denico Autry (96) during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer (14) puts a hit on Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard (30) after his punt return during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos free safety Bradley Roby ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos free safety Bradley Roby (29) knocks the ball away from Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) as Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) comes in on a late hit knocking Cooper out of the game with a concussion during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos free safety Bradley Roby ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos free safety Bradley Roby (29) knocks the ball away from Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) as Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) comes in on a late hit knocking Cooper out of the game with a concussion during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos free safety Bradley Roby ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos free safety Bradley Roby (29) stands over Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) as he lays motionless after a hit by Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart (26) during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) gets hit by Denver Broncos cornerback Brendan Langley (27) during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Oakland Raiders wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) reaches out for the ball for an apparent touchdown during the second quarter against the Denver Broncos on November 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. The rule was incomplete and a penalty on Denver Broncos cornerback Brendan Langley. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

  • Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes pass Denver Broncos inside linebacker Todd Davis (51) for a touchdown during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) flips up in the endezone after his touchdown during the second quarter against the Denver Broncos on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Bruce Irvin ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (51) sacks Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) catches a touchdown pass in front of Denver Broncos cornerback Brendan Langley (27) during the second quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard (30) leaps in to the stands with the fans to celebrate his third quarter touchdowns against the Denver Broncos on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Treyvon Hester ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Treyvon Hester (90) trips up Denver Broncos running back Jamaal Charles (28) after a short gain during the third quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) throws a pass down field during the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders running back Jalen Richard (30) returns a punt for a gain as Denver Broncos outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (48) comes in for the tackle during the third quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos training staff looks over ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos training staff looks over quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) sits dejected on the bench in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. Paxton left the game with a right foot injury.

  • Denver Broncos training staff looks over ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos training staff looks over quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) sits dejected on the bench as C.J. Anderson offers some words of encouragement during the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. Paxton left the game with a right foot injury.

  • Denver Broncos nose tackle Domata Peko ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos nose tackle Domata Peko (94) sits on the cooler with his right knee wrapped with ice during the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. Peko was later carted off the field to the locker room.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) scrambles out of the pocket during the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph looks over at offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave late int he fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) can't hold on to a pass in the fourth quarter as Oakland Raiders cornerback T.J. Carrie (38) and middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) defend on the play on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) gets sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) during the fourth quarter on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.

  • Oakland Raiders wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Oakland Raiders wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) catches a pass on Denver Broncos cornerback Brendan Langley (27) on 3rd down and 8 on the Broncos 15 yard line on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. The play went for 54 yards to seal the game for the Raiders.

  • Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave ...

    John Leyba, The Denver Post

    Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) stand on the sideline stunned as time runs out on Nov. 26, 2017 in Oakland, CA at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 21-14.

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“I thought I played pretty well,” said Lynch, flushing what little credibility he has as a starting NFL quarterback.

Say what?

Pretty well? Lynch looked like a lost kid in the supermarket, then sat down and cried. He completed only nine passes against the Raiders. For a total of 41 yards. When Lynch tweaked his ankle in the third quarter, he went to the Denver bench and was so inconsolable that everybody in Broncos Country wanted to give him a hug.

Well, don’t know about anybody else, but I don’t know how it could have possibly gone better for a young quarterback whose third NFL start felt like Lynch’s last chance to prove himself.

In defeat, the first player out of the Denver locker room, making a beeline for the team bus, was Talib. No surprise there. More than three hours earlier, he deserted his teammates, all because of a feud with Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree that Talib won’t let go, any more than he will loosen a grip on the gold chain around the neck of his nemesis. This is a don’t mess with Texas thing, between two guys from Dallas.

“There’s no way I’m going to be able to control Lib and Crab,” Broncos linebacker Von Miller said.

Yes, Talib and Crabtree have a history. It’s also true Crabtree began the game in a darker mood than the California skies that poured rain on both teams. In the first quarter, Crabtree took a cheap shot to the gut of Chris Harris,  knocking the wind out of the Denver cornerback, who yelled his objection to the Raiders’ bench as soon as there was enough air in his lungs to protest.

“He just sucker-punched me,” Harris said.

On the very next snap, Crabtree flanked out to the right side of Oakland’s formation, staring at Talib across the line of scrimmage. They engaged in a block and wrestled and, as Talib grabbed for the jewelry around Crabtree’s neck, tumbled into the Denver sideline. A melee ensued, and Broncos linebacker Shane Ray jumped in the middle of it, as fists flew.

“Stuff happens, man,” Ray said.

Before the refs could break up the fight, Crabtree threw a punch at Talib in the end zone. Both men were ejected from the game, as was Raiders offensive lineman Gabe Jackson, who bumped an official.

Make any macho excuse you want for Talib, but the truth of the matter is this: In his absence, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr picked on reserve cornerback Brendan Langley. On a touchdown pass. On a pass interference call that led to another Oakland score. And on a third-down completion that ended any hope of a Denver comeback late in the final quarter.

Talib might be a bad dude in a street fight, but he’s a sorry excuse for a captain. The Broncos needed Talib on the field. He thought proving a macho point was more important than sticking around to help his teammates break the franchise’s longest losing streak since 1967.

“I don’t like it, and it’s unacceptable,” Joseph said. “We can’t lose our best players because of personal battles. That’s a personal battle. This is about the Broncos, so it’s unacceptable. We can’t have it. It’s nonnegotiable.”

If it’s truly nonnegotiable, Joseph will discipline Talib. Strip him of his duty as a captain. Suspend him for a game without pay.

But what are the chances of Joseph actually taking meaningful action against Talib?

Slim and none.

Joseph, touted as a leader of men when hired to coach the Broncos, has failed to put his foot down and has been slow to recognize problems before they fester into full-blown football crises.

With the Broncos in a free-fall, Lynch hiding his shame in a towel and Joseph with no clue how to keep Talib under control, this is more than embarrassing.

It’s sad, and maybe there’s nothing sadder than the realization Miller is nearing the end of his seventh NFL season, and at this rate, the Broncos might not be playoff contenders again until one of the premier defenders in the league is on the wrong side of age 30.

“Wasting a prime year,” said Miller. “That’s the frustration.”

I think this is going pretty well.

Don’t you?

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