Why was the 22-9 defeat to a team that's become a perennial Super Bowl contender so embarrassing? Because the game was eminently winnable — and the person who's receiving the majority of the blame for this lost opportunity is QB Teddy Bridgewater. No-Longer-Steady Teddy's effort was so desultory and dispiriting that some fans on Twitter are actually calling for him to be benched in favor of second-stringer Drew Lock, the target of an epic lambasting last week in what turned out to be a Denver win (over the Los Angeles Chargers).
Yes, the Chiefs had won four straight contests leading up to Sunday night, and they were playing at home. But KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes was the opposite of sharp after the whistle blew, missing plenty of wide-open receivers — and when he somehow did lay the ball in their hands, his passes were dropped a surprising number of times. The Broncos defense managed to hold him without a touchdown toss, and super-rookie Pat Surtain II wound up collecting his third interception in the last two games. Moreover, all of the Kansas City runners combined (Mahomes included) racked up just 89 yards rushing. In contrast, Denver's Javonte Williams ran for 102 yards on 23 carries by himself, and notched another 76 yards as a receiver.
Bridgewater, meanwhile, was only sacked once, but he was regularly harried when he held the ball too often, which he did frequently. Just as problematic, he still hasn't figured out a way to regularly take advantage of talented receivers Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick, particularly down the field, and he's lousier still when throwing into coverage, as exemplified by his two interceptions — the second of which turned into a pick six for the Chiefs' Daniel Sorenson, who's taken a beating from the Kansas City press. As Sorenson sprinted toward the end zone, Bridgewater, who was bashed for not making the slightest effort to tackle another interceptor in a defeat by the Philadelphia Eagles, at least tried to get in the way this time around, but barely.
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, whose continuing employment is a blight on the crumbling credibility of head coach Vic Fangio, didn't make Bridgewater's job any easier; his unimaginative play-calling is a big reason why Denver once again started with two consecutive three-and-outs. Yet even Broncos loyalists seem to believe the team's 6-6 record is largely a mirage. And they're right.
Continue to see our choices for the twenty most memorable tweets about the match-up, which at least has a happy ending, since the last post suggests the Broncos still have a prayer.
Tonight's game show that we need a QB,we don't have one— Geovani Costa (@Geovani_Costa14) December 6, 2021
DEN are making KC job easier,DEN in KC schedule is just a "bye week"
Dont let the NFL put us in primetime,no one likes to see their team be humiliated in national TV
Get a QB on next draft
Only team without a qb in west
Teddy: You get the ball down the field and you don't score, it just sucks, man. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) December 6, 2021
@Broncos teddy sucks a$$ and you suck for putting him out there every Sunday for us to watch.— Chad (@SimpleC75) December 6, 2021
Broncos have two nice WRs, a nice TE, a nice RB, a good defense and can’t win football games. Process of elimination says Teddy Bridgewater sucks— (@KingJackWrld) December 6, 2021
Teddy Bridgewater f#*%ing sucks! Broncos need a real QB. Total embarrassment tonight.— ML (@TigerMike100) December 6, 2021
Lock is NOT BETTER than Teddy. They both sucks. Teddy is unfortunately better BUT BRING IN LOCK AND LET HIM FINISH THE SEASON— FukityFukinGoBroncos (@Gobroncos239) December 6, 2021
WTF DO WE HAVE TO LOSE. WHAT!!!!! NOTHING. WE MIGHT EVEN GET A HIGHER DRAFT PICK.
TEDDY DOES NOT DESERVE TO PLAY FOR THE DENVER BRONCOS
Teddy Bridgewater is just good enough to make the Broncos not suck but not anywhere near good enough to make them a good football team, which is the worst kind of quarterback purgatory.— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) December 6, 2021
@_TheSheriff18 Peyton I'm begging you please come and save the Broncos lead you to either coach or run the offense the play calling is terrible— Johnny Smoke (@JohnnySmoke3) December 6, 2021
I am a die-hard Broncos fan and today, I am over it. I’m embarrassed. - first step is admitting it— Aaron Ontiveros (@Aaronontiveros0) December 6, 2021
I am officially embarrassed to be a Broncos fan. This game is pure embarrassment. Heads should roll. Game was flexed to primitive, and we embarrassed ourselves.— Matt Nichols (@FlowdaBroncoFan) December 6, 2021
sucks that Teddy is wasting you.— bob (@bob94468005) December 6, 2021
The broncos are 1-20 when down at halftime. That says a lot about the Coaching. Embarrassed to be a fan.— mcdowellphotog (@mcdowellphotog) December 6, 2021
I say give lock the keys. It is possible he has improved. I know he has looked pretty terrible this year in the short time we have seen him, but working with starters everyday can make a huge difference. I was pretty big on teddy as I like him, but he ain’t the guy— coolbruh (@dillon62742127) December 6, 2021
Hope y’all rip Teddy apart for these INTs the way y’all did the other guy last week.— Patrick Chiotti (@PatrickChiotti) December 6, 2021
But you won’t.
I've always had fangios back BUT his blind loyalty to awful Teddy who is going out here and losing us games blows my mind. I might have to jump on the FireFangio bandwagon soon. Teddy is so bad I never wanna see him on the field again.— Matthew Hanson (@db212004) December 6, 2021
Broncos might as well give Lock a try. Teddy is just plan awful!— Miamiminer (@MarquezNick23) December 6, 2021
Downside: The Broncos are terrible.— Rev. Dr. Glenn Packiam (@gpackiam) December 6, 2021
Upside: I got an early draft of my sermon for next Sunday (based on prior study notes) during the second half.