Sports

Broncos Fans on Twitter on How Teddy Bridgewater Sucks After Loss to Chiefs

A despondent Teddy Bridgewater after the Denver Broncos' December 5 prime-time loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
A despondent Teddy Bridgewater after the Denver Broncos' December 5 prime-time loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Denver Broncos via YouTube
Your Denver Broncos have been atrocious in recent years — but they've typically been most atrocious in prime time, when the glare of the national spotlight tends to turn them into roadkill. And so it was on December 5, when the Men of Orange chose a Sunday Night Football showcase against the Kansas City Chiefs to deliver their most frustrating performance of the season.

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.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts