Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

We can no longer mistake Denver Broncos general manager John Elway for a man with a firm grasp of reality.

The embattled front office head and his team head into Week 4 as one of only six winless squads around the NFL. Denver is in the midst of pretty much its worst run since the 1960s. It has a washed quarterback in Joe Flacco starting under center and just lost elite pass rusher Bradley Chubb for the season with a torn ACL.

Despite this, Elway seems to think his team is on an upward trajectory.

“Well I think we’re on the rise,” Elway said, via ABC 7 in Denver. “I think when you look at it, defensively, we’ve got to play better. But, offensively, I think we’ve continued to make strides, and gotten better each week, which I am excited about.”

There’s optimism. There’s also blind optimism. This would qualify as the latter. At 0-4 on the season, Denver has no hopes of earning a playoff spot. The team has been on a downward spiral for years now.

Elway is to blame for the most part. He has continued to struggle finding a starter-caliber quarterback since Peyton Manning’s backslide and ultimate retirement following the 2015 season.

Meanwhile, Von Miller appears to be unhappy. Veterans such as Emmanuel Sanders and Chris Harris Jr. are impending free agents and could soon be traded.

Some will take Elway’s comments are mere PR talk to light a fire under his team. However, he firmly believes that a rebuild should not be in the cards in the Mile High City. That’s hard to fathom after what we’ve seen over the first four weeks of the season.