Thanks to a three-game winning streak in the lead-up to yesterday's contest, most Denver Broncos fans had given a rest to calls for the head of embattled head coach Vance Joseph. But after a 20-14 loss to the woeful San Francisco 49ers, who'd racked up a 2-10 record prior to December 9, such suggestions have turned into a full-throated cry that's echoing across the Twitter-verse.
The Broncos knew that their best chance of making the playoffs after climbing back to .500 was to run the table and win all of their remaining games. And even though the squad saw two of its best players, Emmanuel Sanders and Chris Harris Jr., shelved by injuries over the past week or so, the 49ers were in even worse shape on that front; iffy second-string quarterback Nick Mullens was pushed into the spotlight after starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL earlier in the season.
Nonetheless, the team came out of the locker room flatter than a dead man's EKG, going scoreless in the first half while allowing undistinguished tight end George Kittle to look like a player on a Hall of Fame trajectory, particularly on an 85-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. And while the Broncos scored two second-half TDs, they were unable to get a stop on the 49ers in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, thereby robbing themselves of a chance at a victory that would have greatly enhanced their post-season chances in light of losses by the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, a pair of potential wild-card competitors.
The anemic play of pretty much everyone wearing a Denver logo, including quarterback Case Keenum (he threw for under 200 yards despite 42 attempts) and every running back on the roster (Royce Freeman led the way with 36 yards), made Joseph a logical scapegoat for the loss. And Broncos loyalists on Twitter quickly took aim and repeated their demand that team boss John Elway fire him immediately, if not sooner.
Among those heard from in our roundup below are folks at the largest of multiple Fire Vance Joseph accounts, the hilarious Faux Vance Joseph and a man who says his mom's yuletide wish is that VJ get his walking papers.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
We have good players and a good team. And even with so many talented and main ones missing cause they're injured, yesterday was a day to the Coaches show their capacity to compensate that with pure competence. The problem is: THEY DON'T HAVE IT! We need to fire Vance, now!— Herbert Silva (@herbertlcsilva) December 10, 2018
It's over for the Broncos this year, they would be better off if they lost the last 3. Time to end the Vance Joseph era and take the OC and DC with him.— Mike Deverich (@devodude419) December 10, 2018
Broncos fans: So Vance, are you gonna learn from your previous mistakes?— Joe Turner (@joeturner_96) December 10, 2018
Vance Joseph: pic.twitter.com/mt7KWW8cPe
Broncos need to fire Vance Joseph. That loss to the 49ers was the last straw. He is a terrible coach that hasn't really done anything right. We have had a couple good games under him these last two years but we need more than just a couple good games to be a good team.— Jarret Beckner (@jbeckner1998) December 10, 2018
@johnelway on behalf of broncos fans everywhere we call on you and joe ellis to FIRE VANCE JOSEPH,BILL MUSGRAVES, JOE WOODS AND TO RELEASE CASE KEENUM. We also call on u to step down as gm of the denver broncos— Daniel miller (@Dlmtheman) December 10, 2018
If I were John Elway after that pitiful showing I wouldn't of let Vance Joseph on the team jet back to Denver, I would of told him to get his own damn flight!— Rock Chalk Broncos (@Broncofan1984) December 10, 2018
Vance might be the worst in game coach in the NFL. Absolutely terrible!— Ryan Paulson (@ryanepaulson) December 10, 2018
Excuses! Vance Joseph & Keenum - should be packing up - and resigning - since Elway is afraid to fire them!— Lisa Gallegos (@Rock2Jesus) December 10, 2018
Thanks Vance for your time with the @Broncos. good luck at your next job.— JCE (@plomo21) December 10, 2018
I do not really care too much the Broncos lost, but holy smokes is sports radio in Denver going to be horrible this week. Fire Vance, Keep Vance, Case Sucks, start the back up, bring back Mchine Gun Kelly, fire a coordinator , fire Elway, ownership sucks, should have hired Kyle— CJ Gauss (@cj_gauss) December 10, 2018
Let me the first to congratulate @Broncos and Vance Joseph for losing to Jets and 49ers in the same season - well played— Dave Brill (@DaveBrill1) December 10, 2018
@Broncos r u kidding me Vance???? Our coaching staff is garbage get it together Johnny give us a chance and fire this bum.... yeah lets not challenge a key play that was a clear completion on the big screen but challenge one that was never gonna be overturned.— JMonty719 (@JMonty719) December 10, 2018
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And the season is over... Can we fire Vance Joseph now?#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph#FireVanceJoseph— Alex (@Valdez_Broncos) December 10, 2018
.@Broncos @johnelway @9NEWS The only thing my mom wants for Christmas is for Vance Joseph to be fired. As you can probably guess, I don't have the power to make that wish possible. #MyMomsChristmasWish— Tyler Goodro (@TGoodro) December 10, 2018