If NFL games lasted only 59 minutes, your Denver Broncos would have a 5-3 record and be tied for the division lead with the Kansas City Chiefs after the latter fell to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. Unfortunately, however, league contests last an hour, and Denver has now choked away three of them in the last minute, including yesterday's 15-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The result is a 2-6 record, not to mention rivers of hate flowing through social media.
After Colts field-goal legend Adam Vinatieri kicked his squad to victory, Broncos loyalists on Twitter began casting about for someone to blame, but there was a problem: They've already been calling for the firings of team executive John Elway and head coach Vic Fangio. Who was left?
The answer was provided by quarterback Joe Flacco, who correctly figured out that the best way to avoid personal culpability was to shower fault on someone else — and his target of choice in a post-game press availability was offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.
Flacco focused on a third-down play with two minutes to go. The Broncos were clinging to a 13-12 lead and had the ball on the Colts' 43. But rather than call a play with a reasonable prospect of picking up the five yards Denver needed to maintain possession, Scangarello dialed up a hand-off to Phillip Lindsay that was doomed to fail — which it did.
"I mean, come on," Flacco told the assembled media. "I just look at it like we're now a 2-6 football team and we're, like, afraid to go for it in a two-minute drill, you know? Like, who cares if you give the ball back to the guys with 1:40 left? They obviously got the field goal anyway. Once again, we're a 2-6 football team, and it just feels like we're kind of afraid to lose the game."
It's tough to argue with this logic — but that was hardly the only example of Scangarello's timidity. His play-calling wouldn't have been innovative during the period when Red Grange was in his prime, and it's a big reason that the Broncos' offense is about as explosive as a firecracker left floating in a bucket of water. The defense is finally rounding into form (Von Miller got a sack and a half yesterday, while Derek Wolfe notched two), yet its efforts are regularly being wasted.
Hence the ire sparked by Scangarello, who has avoided a lot of previous criticism in part because his name's so difficult to spell. But Twitter users weren't to be silenced this time around — although many of them simply slammed his last initial.
Continue to see our choices for the twenty most memorable tweets about Rich S.
Flaco u lost cause of yr horrific offense dont u dare blame it on the def— Julie White (@JulieWh33349683) October 28, 2019
Denver Broncos: Joe Flacco calls out OC Rich Scangarello https://t.co/L9V4AG3OUr
Watching Rich Scangarello call plays is fucking hilarious @Broncos— Ab Marsh (@Mr_BettyWhite) October 28, 2019
Been saying this Rich scangerllo is one of the biggest reasons why the Broncos are losing https://t.co/xt8xaSLFVV— Sanjeevan Singh Sidhu (@realsidhusaab) October 28, 2019
Broncos fans still want to continue to put out that narrative that Sutton isn’t ready yet? Or the narrative that Rich Scangarello isn’t a bad Offensive coach??— Jon Rivera (@JonRiveraNFLCFB) October 27, 2019
@Broncos Rich S the NEVER winning OC has GOT TO GO!! His play schemes are all so timid and his side of the ball has 0 TRUST within the Offense which needs to score not cover Rich's ass and Good on Flacco for saying so! RICH S, THE OC, HAS GOT TO GO!! Indy is proof of this point.— Michelle Alverson (@MRAlverson) October 27, 2019
@lionelbienvenu The Broncos off coordinator Rich Scrangarello...can and should officially remove his head out of his *ss.— Dennis Meehan (@DennisMeehan7) October 27, 2019
Broncos needs to go list includes ELWAY, Flacco, the new OC Rich S., and anyone with any type of trade value. Stockpile those picks and start from scratch. Give Lock some experience cause Flacco is a coward. #DENvsIND— samuel nicolopoulos (@samuelnicolopo2) October 27, 2019
Translation... Rich Scangarello is a terrible play caller... #BroncosCountry— Mike Russo (@Heyrusso) October 27, 2019
Hey @Broncos, Rich Scangarello needs to be fired sooner rather than later— Sloan (@K1ngSloan) October 27, 2019
FIRE Rich Scangarello! The play calling is ballless!— james (@jay90747100) October 27, 2019
Rich Scangarello will go down as the worst offensive coordinator in #Broncos history.— Mike Bowen (@thebeardbowen) October 27, 2019
@johnelway Broncos Country has lost faith. Fire Rich immediately.— SHIPHT JP (@BroncsandRox) October 27, 2019
I usually don't blame a lot on the playcaller because I'm a believer in execution by the players, but Rich Scangarello is probably the worst OC I can remember the Broncos having. This man just does not know how to scheme nor does he have a feel for playcalling during a game.— Cap (@FlexOnThaDevil) October 27, 2019
The Broncos have surpassed 16 points once in their last 12 games.— Jake (@sw24ever) October 27, 2019
NFL average is 22 - 23 points the last two years.
What else do you need to see before you understand THE problem. But yes, keeping blaming Boles. Rich had 9 snaps inside the 20 on one drive, NO TD.
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Both Rich S and Fangio are over their heads but it all starts with letting Elway ride off into the American Financing sunset and disolving the trust. 2-14 as one of the pundits called it— Broncos_on_3 (@Broncos_1and10) October 27, 2019
#BRONCOS— Kent T McDonaldsson (@NFLMcDonalder) October 27, 2019
FIRE JOHN ELWAY
FIRE JOE FLACCO
FIRE JOE ELLIS
FIRE VIC FANGIO
FIRE RICH SCANGARELLO
FIRE THESE GROSS INCOMPETENTS !!!