Sports

Top Broncos Fan Tweets About Firing Vic Fangio After Steelers Debacle

Vic Fangio faces the media after the Broncos' October 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Vic Fangio faces the media after the Broncos' October 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Denver Broncos via YouTube
What a difference two weeks have made for your Denver Broncos. When the team's 2021 season got off to a 3-0 start, many citizens of Broncos Country believed that a corner had been turned, despite the dreadful nature of their first three opponents (the Giants, the Jaguars and the Jets). But after the Broncos got housed by the Baltimore Ravens last week and on October 10 lost 27-19 to the Pittsburgh Steelers, led by the desiccated remains of Ben Roethlisberger, fans on Twitter have returned to their previous demands that the Broncos fire head coach Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, among others.

This time around, though, a number of tweets celebrate the sacking as if it had already happened, even as Fangio is beginning to climb betting-site rosters of coaches whose seats are the hottest.

Since the national media definitely didn't take the Broncos seriously as a contender even after the team's strong start, the hype in advance of Sunday's contest focused on the Steelers and whether Big Ben, who has looked awful of late, was ready to have a fork stuck into him. Still, the Steelers have one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, not to mention a coach, Mike Tomlin, who's rightly lionized for his ability to get the best out of bad situations.

But it went bad fast for Denver. The Broncos gave up a fifty-yard bomb from Roethlisberger to Diontae Johnson within the first three minutes after the starting whistle, and that turned out to be a gruesome sign of things to come. Denver's defense surrendered another ten points in the first half, when the offense, helmed by a back-from-concussion-protocol Teddy Bridgewater, managed just two field goals, with the second coming after a humiliating lapse in thinking. Following a 49-yard run to the Steelers' two, Javonte Williams celebrated so energetically that he earned a five-yard penalty — and the Broncos then failed to push the ball into the end zone.


By the end of the third quarter, Denver was behind 24-6, but to his credit, Bridgewater didn't wave the flag of surrender. He led the squad on two fourth-quarter TD drives and had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds before throwing a pick to Pittsburgh's James Pierre.

Despite this final rush of excitement, the loss was well deserved, in part because of deficiencies in the Denver D, supposedly Fangio's area of specialty. When the Broncos failed to get pressure on the Ravens' Lamar Jackson, the best running signal caller in the league, no one was surprised, At this stage in Roethlisberger's career, though, he's slightly less mobile than the Rock of Gibraltar, yet he was only sacked once, by Malik Reed — and even a depleted Roethlisberger can be lethal if he's given a generous amount of time to throw. Plus, the Broncos made plenty of inexplicable scheme errors, like having Von Miller guard wide receiver Chase Claypool on a play that wound up netting the Steelers 59 yards.

No wonder fans are calling for the heads of Fangio, Shurmur, special teams coordinator Tom McMahon and pretty much anyone else responsible for yet another dispiriting performance — and if the Broncos lose to the Las Vegas Raiders next Sunday, expect the cries to grow even louder. Here are our picks for the twenty most memorable tweets:

Number 20:
Number 19:

Number 18:

Number 17:

Number 16:

Number 15:

Number 14:

Number 13:

Number 12:

Number 11:

Number 10:

Number 9:

Number 8:

Number 7:
Number 6:
Number 5:

Number 4:

Number 3:

Number 2:

Number 1:
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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