"Broncos season was all but lost already, but McManus just closed the coffin."
This line from a tweet following the Denver Broncos' 19-17 loss to the Houston Texans on November 4 pretty much sums up the game, whose conclusion was a microcosm of the 2018-2019 season to date.
The Broncos' defense managed to hold down a high-flying squad led by Deshaun Watson and including new signee Demaryius Thomas (who caught three balls for 61 yards in his Houston debut), giving quarterback Case Keenum and the Denver offense every chance for victory. But the Broncos squandered too many opportunities and gave away points as usual. Shockingly, Keenum didn't throw an interception this week, but a Devontae Booker fumble in the second quarter led directly to a Texans TD and a 13-3 lead.
Afterward, however, Texans kicker Randy Bullock missed the extra point, opening a door for Denver that the squad repeatedly failed to walk through. The Broncos' own field-goal specialist, Brandon McManus, couldn't hit a 62-yarder toward the end of the first half thanks largely to poor strategy on the part of embattled head coach Vance Joseph. And questionable play-calling reared its ugly head again as the second half wound down, leaving McManus with another long shot to win the contest — and while his attempt covered the 51-yard distance with length to spare, it sliced right, and the Broncos headed to the locker room as losers again.
Not every fan blamed the defeat on McManus, who'd sealed a Broncos W against the Raiders back in September under similar circumstances. Indeed, as you'll see, plenty aimed their invective at Joseph, whose seat couldn't be hotter if it was riding on a solar flare. But a certain word for constricted breathing also pops up frequently in our choices for the twenty most memorable tweets about the results, on view below.
Hope they don't make you choke. But the last one, which bizarrely links the Broncos' skid to legal marijuana, just might.
Broncos Choke vs. Houston. Live Crow — Steemit https://t.co/lfqNxaKXSo— Shihab Sharear (@SharearShihab) November 5, 2018
McManus was put in a terrible position by poor coaching. 5-10 more yards in that 40 seconds they spent in a huddle and it would have been a much easier FG— Nathan Elson (@NateElson) November 5, 2018
Eliminate Vance Joseph. He’s not up to the task. A 62 yd fg in the first half with time left on the clock? Result? Houston gets a fg to take the lead. Gutless hash mark positioning run at end of game resulting in a 51 yd kick? Yes McManus missed both kicks. But help your kicker!— Adorable, like cake in a crisis. (@jonehimlin) November 5, 2018
I’m with you! McManus is pretty automatic & could be said the leading scorer for the Broncos! I’m not understanding this hate for him. I totally blame the HC calls in BOTH those misses!— Jennifer Pierson (@jenniferpierson) November 5, 2018
McManus cost the Broncos the game. He's paid to make kicks like that.— Brad James (@BradfatherSpeak) November 5, 2018
Don't worry every Broncos fan that knows what they are watching blame Vance Joseph and not McManus. He went turtle mode and did not try to gain yards quickly on 2nd and 3rd down before kicking a shorter field goal. He continues to stumble his ways into losses instead of wins.— Trent M. (@tmac_307) November 5, 2018
The Broncos played for a 51 yard field goal because Keenum and McManus became McAnus for some reason.— My name's Matt, but call me Matub (@CallMeMatub) November 5, 2018
BRONCOS my team but they choke this season.,.— ted maestas (@trackstracker69) November 5, 2018
#Broncos - HC Vance #Joseph is taking no blame for trying to get #McManus closer when he had time & timeouts, just Fire him now - 17 points at home was a first quarter of production for Peyton #Manning— Kent McHallington (@NFLMcHollington) November 5, 2018
Fire our dumbass coach now! God he’s terrible. Had more than enough time to run 2 more plays before McManus had to kick it— APL (@APLO87) November 5, 2018
@Broncos Y'all need to fire McManus because he is a McIdiot and can't kick to save his life— ThatFeministConservative (@ThatFemCon) November 5, 2018
Broncos Twitter, you may not like this, but McManus choked. Vance Joseph is likely fired anyway, so you'll get your wish. What if it gets worse though? Then, what?— Brad James (@BradfatherSpeak) November 5, 2018
@Broncos well Elway what are you going to do about the coaching? Why didn’t we have one more play before McManus sent out to kick field goal. Broncos had this game won more than once & we gave it away. No reason too watch until coaching change.— TX-A-CO fka Boycott Queen (@PPeterie) November 5, 2018
Everyone is blaming McManus but have you guys forgot how trash our quarterback is he’s been throwing interceptions every game since week one this week is the only week he didn’t throw one so... #firevance and get rid of keenum— MR.BBC (@itsTheFakeOn3) November 5, 2018
@dmac1043— Dave (@DaveInDTown) November 5, 2018
Why do all Denver teams choke now?
Rockies had epic meltdowns to end the last 2 seasons.
Broncos choke repeatedly whenever it matters most.
Nuggets choked last year with playoffs on the line.
Do the math!
IT ALL CAN BE TRACED BACK TO THE DAY COLORADO LEGALIZED WEED.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.