The Broncos' 2020-2021 season started out miserably and didn't exactly seem bound for glory despite a win over the woeful New York Jets in its last contest, way back on October 1. But that didn't stop fans from celebrating an unlikely 18-12 road victory over the New England Patriots on October 18 by trashing losing QB Cam Newton, who lost to Denver in Super Bowl 50 and hasn't been able to best the squad during the regular season, either.
The celebratory mood on social media over the oft-delayed contest ignored obvious flaws in the Broncos' performance. Signal caller Drew Lock's return from injury fell well short of astonishing; he went 10-24, which translates to a 41 percent completion percentage. Furthermore, he was unable to get the team into the end zone a single time, despite scads of opportunities provided by an unexpectedly opportunistic defense. The only person who scored for Denver was Brandon McManus, who booted six balls through the uprights over the course of the day.
The last of these scores happened thanks to an inexplicable assist from alleged greatest-coach-of-all-time Bill Belichick, who could have moved the Broncos out of range with a penalty but chose to decline it, only to watch McManus drill one from fifty yards-plus. And that wasn't Big Bill's only bizarre decision. By going for a two-point conversion after the Pats' first and only touchdown, and failing, he allowed the Broncos to cling to a two-possession lead when an extra point would have reduced it to one.
Of course, the Broncos nearly wasted this unexpected gift in the final moments because of the stupidity of head coach Vic Fangio, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur or a combination thereof. Rather than playing it safe and eating clock, the pair directed the inconsistent Lock to get pass-happy — a decision that led to two late interceptions that gave Newton and company life. Without one last stand by the D, the match-up would have gone down as among the biggest choke jobs in Broncos history. And given how many triumphs have been turned into defeats during the Fangio era alone, that's really saying something.
Of course, the Patriots have been ravaged by COVID-19, with Newton among those who tested positive, and the team's offensive line was a mess as a result. But considering that the Broncos' next opponent is Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, no one can begrudge loyalists for enjoying themselves at Cam's expense.
Below, find twenty examples, including a few from frustrated New England boosters.