As Broncos boosters know all too well, the squad's fall since its triumph in Super Bowl 50, way back in 2016, and the subsequent retirement of Peyton Manning, has been steady and gut-wrenching, with occasional flickers of hope quickly snuffed out by real life. Indeed, the win over the Giants was the first September victory since head coach Vic Fangio was hired in 2019.
Following another failed campaign in 2020, John Elway stepped away from his de facto general manager's gig in favor of new GM George Paton. But after a flurry of excitement over the possibility that Green Bay Packers MVP Aaron Rodgers might be coming to Denver, the franchise engaged in the least interesting quarterback competition ever. That Teddy Bridgewater, whom Paton knew from his days with the Minnesota Vikings, emerged victorious over erratic doofus Drew Lock was the biggest surprise since the sun rose in the west this morning.
Rooting for Bridgewater comes naturally, given the way he's fought back from an injury so devastating that doctors actually considered amputating his leg. But while he's smart and competent, he doesn't have much of an arm by pro-football standards these days; even his intermediate passes tend to lack zip, and any hurl over thirty yards usually either floats or wobbles. As a result, Denver's formula for victory calls for Bridgewater to manage the offense, minimize mistakes and take advantage of opportunities provided by the outfit's stellar defense.
That's precisely what the team did on September 12. Bridgewater connected on 28 of his 36 passes, and while his average completion went for fewer than ten yards, he managed to notch two touchdowns despite wideout K.J. Hamler dropping a sure score; he was left wide open by a Giants secondary that clearly didn't think Teddy could toss the ball as far as he did. Along the way, the field general got solid support from running back Melvin Gordon and his young receiving corps (Jerry Jeudy had to be carted off the field, but the initial prognosis is a high ankle sprain). And the D, led by resurgent double-sacker Von Miller, bent but didn't break. The Giants would have been held to a single TD had bust-in-the-making signal caller Daniel Jones not run into the end zone with no time left on the clock.
Yes, the Giants are several kinds of terrible. But Denver has made a habit of losing to terrible teams in recent years, and Bridgewater's performance made it clear that there's an adult in the room. So who can blame local Twitter users for immediately leaping to the conclusion that the Broncos are headed back to the playoffs, or maybe even the Super Bowl? Not us. Although these leaps in logic are incredibly premature, they're also totally understandable. After all, it's been a long time since fans who bleed orange and blue had something to celebrate.
Continue to count down our favorite Twitter overreactions about the Broncos' W, interspersed with a few concessions to reality.
Awesome job Teddy, keep it up. Let’s go all the way to the Super Bowl !!!— DEBORAH JONES (@GODinUSAworks) September 13, 2021
No doubt!! If @Broncos are going to be a playoff team I think they have to go 3-0!! I thought @Broncos would lose close road game today but TB played even better than I hoped he would and defense played great!! Only downer was @jerryjeudy injury.— Robert Johnson (@BroncoRob) September 13, 2021
First weekend overreactions:— Austin (@AustinPlanet) September 13, 2021
• Falcons might be the worst team in the NFL
• Jameis Winston for MVP
• Brees was holding the Saints offense back
• Packers will barely get over .500
• Texans win more games than the Jags
• Broncos make the playoffs #NFLKickoff
Broncos going to the Super Bowl— Luis (@kikiluis96) September 13, 2021
I don't want to overreact here, but I think it's gonna be a Broncos - Texans AFC Championship game.— CJ (@CJ_Initial) September 12, 2021
It was against the Giants, calm down— Brian Loeffel #MSAwareness (@StormingB81) September 12, 2021
If the Playoffs Started Today [AFC]— Bryan Knowles (@BryKno) September 13, 2021
1. Texans (over MIA/KC/PIT via points)
2. Steelers (over CIN via conf; over MIA/KC via points)
3. Dolphins (over KC via points)
4. Chiefs (over DEN/LAC via conf)
5. Broncos (over LAC/CIN via points)
6. Chargers (over CIN via points)
I’m reserving judgment as far as the playoffs are concerned, but that was a great road W.— Colorado J-Lo 🇺🇸 (@JosephL303) September 12, 2021
Hoping those who supported Lock move into Teddy's camp,when's the last time a #Broncos QB played that well in a game that mattered and/or they were not eliminated from playoff contention? #Broncos #Giants #DENvsNYG #Week1 #NFLSunday #NFLonFOX #BroncosCountry--btw #Chiefs lucky af— Keith Russell (@KeithBeingKeith) September 13, 2021
A GOAT performance— Ben Fleck (@conny_pro) September 13, 2021
Broncos going to the superbowl.
Possible overreaction, but this is the best QB play I have seen in a game from any Broncos quarterback since Manning. #BroncosCountry— Mitch (@MitchReeves25) September 12, 2021
teddy 2 gloves gonna lead my broncos to the playoffs i can feel it— matthew (@__dyrek) September 12, 2021
The Broncos are a legit playoff contender and could threaten the chiefs https://t.co/RF5ZS6PvVM— Tler (@tylersumner22) September 12, 2021
I won't overreact I won't overreact I wonTHE DENVER BRONCOS ARE BACK— Bishop Sycamore Defensive Coordinator (@SirAutobee) September 12, 2021
SUPERBOWL BOUND— Ty (KJ Hamler SZN) (@emmastoner27) September 12, 2021
Me: How long do I have to wait to order my Teddy Bridgewater shirt?— Mandy (@TheCMS1) September 13, 2021
Stu: Give it a month. I need you to understand the Giants are straight garbage.
His honesty is good. In my mind, the Broncos were already headed to the playoffs.
It’s so fun reading all the happy #Broncos tweets— Lynn Duray (@LynnDuray) September 13, 2021
“ My Giants who I thought were making the playoffs got absolutely dominated by the Broncos” https://t.co/IWbLatWcd5— Bammy Adebutler’s Burner (@BammyBurner) September 13, 2021