The Denver Broncos broke new ground on Sunday, September 15, by finding a new way to lose. According to ESPN Radio, the squad became the first team since the two-point-conversion rule went into effect circa 1994 to take the lead in the fourth quarter on such a play after trailing by one point...and still taste defeat when the final whistle blew.
And it took only about thirty seconds for it to all go to hell.
After the Chicago Bears walked off Empower Field at Mile High (sounds tortured, doesn't it?), savoring their bizarre 16-14 victory following a 53-yard field goal by instant Illinois hero Eddy Piñeiro Jr., Broncos loyalists took to Twitter to vent their spleen. An enormous number of them decided the referees caused the defeat by way of a ludicrous roughing-the-passer penalty called on Bradley Chubb as the clock wound down — most of them forgetting that a similarly bogus foul had been called on the Bears earlier in the tilt. But there was plenty of blame to go around.
Let's start with head coach Vic Fangio, whose recent experience as defensive coordinator with the Bears resulted in a grand total of zero sacks. And while the defense as a whole surrendered just one touchdown (and three field goals) over the course of four quarters, the outfit was going up against a quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, who looks like the second coming of Paxton Lynch. Worse, the D still had a chance to seal a Broncos win after the aforementioned two-pointer simply by preventing a completion with single digits on the clock. Instead, the vaunted crew surrendered a 25-yarder that gave Piñeiro a chance — and unlike double-doinker Cody Parkey last year, he cashed in.
Then there's offensive lineman Garrett Bolles, who struck us as Denver's riskiest number-one draft pick since Tim Tebow when he was selected in 2017 — and after another putrid display in which he produced mainly holding penalties and fan agony, he's looking more and more like a mega-bust. But the O-line as a whole was consistently mediocre, failing to open nearly enough holes for running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman — and that forced new QB Joe Flacco to throw the ball a dumbfounding fifty times. That's a recipe for futility, and the Broncos cooked up extra servings.
Even team executive John Elway was taken to task for failing to assemble a unit capable of challenging for the playoffs — and if Number 7 is in the crosshairs, no one is safe.
Does the Broncos' 0-2 start mean the team should tank for Tua (a reference to Alabama hurler Tua Tagovailoa, expected to be the top pick in next year's draft)? Plenty of Twitter users are already thinking along those lines, which demonstrates just how little confidence they have in Denver's odds of turning around a season that already smells like an epic stinker. Peruse our picks for the twenty most memorable tweets about the game to see what we mean:
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