After the Denver Broncos' latest gut-twisting loss, this time to the Los Angeles Rams, one of the NFL's best teams, embattled head coach Vance Joseph delivered a grammatically challenged axiom: "There's no moral victories."
At the same time, however, the folks who handle the Broncos' social media were essentially claiming just the opposite. One tweet after the game clock hit zero began, "Never gave up," while another maintained that "In three of our four losses, we had legitimate chances to win in the fourth quarter."
And yet the squad failed to do so in every case — which is why Broncos fans on Twitter continue to call for Joseph to be given his walking papers.
I attended yesterday's contest, as proven by my toes, which are just starting to get their feeling back. When I saw the forecast of temperatures in the twenties for Sunday afternoon, I told my daughter Lora, who purchased the tickets for the two of us as a Father's Day gift back when we were both filled with delusional optimism about prospects for the 2018-2019 season, that the worst-case scenario would be for the Broncos to keep the game close enough that we'd have to stick around to the frigid end but lose anyhow. And that's pretty much what happened.
Not that the face-off was as close as the final score implied. The Rams were in control from beginning until end, thanks largely to Denver's inability to stop running back Todd Gurley even when everyone in the stadium knew that quarterback Jared Goff was about to hand him the ball. He wound up registering a staggering 208 yards and two touchdowns, and both totals probably should have been higher. On occasion, the Rams pushed the passing attack, apparently out of sheer boredom, because the Broncos never came close to canceling the Gurley show.
Offensively, meanwhile, QB Case Keenum continued his erratic play: hope-inspiring one minute, incapable of completing a five-yarder the next. The reaction when Joseph sent backup Chad Kelly in to take a knee at the end of the second quarter — Mile High Stadium erupted with delight — tells you all you need to know about how the attendees were feeling about CK. And then there was the touchdown that Emmanuel Sanders celebrated by earning a taunting penalty that was subsequently wiped off the board, leaving Denver on the sixteen-yard line instead of the end zone. Of course, a field goal rather than six points followed.
Yes, the Broncos defense did a decent job of holding down the high-powered Rams point-wise, and both Von Miller and rookie Bradley Chubb managed to put Goff on his back several times. But Denver still notched its fourth consecutive loss, resulting in a notable temperature increase to the hot seats on which Joseph, defensive coordinator Joe Woods and pretty much every other coach given a whistle are currently perched.
The final score of 23-20, in combination with a quirk of scheduling (the Broncos play on Thursday night rather than Sunday this week), probably means that team exec John Elway won't sack anybody today. But that hasn't stopped Broncos loyalists from wishing it would happen, as witnessed by our choices for the twenty most memorable tweets about the game — including one from Faux Vance Joseph, a new and devastating parody Twitter account. Count them down below.
I gave up on Vance Joseph a long time ago... I expect @johnelway to fire him today. Please. It’s the worst HC we’ve ever had. Not just statistically, but without any idea of clock management, situational football or any idea of football whatsoever. He belongs as an assistant...— Jorge Montoya (@hexenar) October 15, 2018
Please fire Vance Joseph @Broncos @johnelway just please save us fans the misery of having him as head coach for another damn season. We suck yo!!! Point blank!!! Fan till the wheels fall off but geez fire the man!!!— Mills (@IHoopBettaThanU) October 15, 2018
Fire Vance Joseph and you will win— Antonio Abeyta (@aabeyta15) October 15, 2018
now fire fucking Vance Joseph and bring back wade philips :) https://t.co/oZHij1Wgug— kev (@kevinn_71) October 15, 2018
Ok you can't fire me until I'm at least better than McDaniels. McDaniels must maintain "worst hc in Broncos history"— Vance Joseph (@FauxVanceJoseph) October 15, 2018
If I knew how to create a twitter bot that would tweet “Fire Vance Joseph” every minute of every day, I woulda done it last December— Denver Broncos are winning Super Bowl 53 (@ryleeluto) October 15, 2018
@johnelway 3 words: Fire Vance Joseph. We are now 7-15 under him. 6-6 at home and 1-9 on the road. Even he has admitted that the problems start with him.— Thomas Charboneau (@TCharbDebbyRyan) October 15, 2018
#DenverBroncos @johnelway PLEASE FIRE VANCE JOSEPH We need to throw in another QB Case isnt getting the job done WE NEED BETTER RECEIVERS OMG ELWAY COME On WE NEED TO START WINNING AND LOOKING LIKE A HARD NOSED FOOTBALL TEAM The coaching and playcalling terrible @BroncosViews— Nikkis4boyzzz (@Nikkis4boyzz) October 15, 2018
I hope the Broncos fire Vance Joseph so fans will realize he’s not the reason their team sucks.— mal. (@landoughcal) October 14, 2018
Something has to give. Vance Joseph need to be locked out of the house tonight. Fire him. We are a laughing stock. We can look just as bad on Thursday. I just want to scream. I am so mad and it is a fucking game. I shouldn't care but shit I do care. #FireVanceJoseph— William Selvidge (@Upholsteryjesus) October 14, 2018
Vance Joseph has to go. He just has to. There’s no excuse to be 2-4 and on a 4-game losing streak. Either fire VJ soon or fire John Elway. I can’t keep seeing all this happen in front of my eyes. I’ve really had all I can take with this coaching staff and personnel.— Anthony Sizemore (@ASizemore_21) October 14, 2018
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So @Broncos we are going to fire Vance Joseph, tank the season and draft my boy Justin Herbert. Great plan— Daren (@Dpalms7) October 14, 2018
Close games between the two tops teams but lose big against jets and ravens.. go home broncos you’re drunk and fire Vance Joseph.— Jacob Thompson (@jakkeup) October 15, 2018