The majority of the thanks for the move, as well as the sacking of Pat Shurmur, who put the "offensive" in offensive coordinator, went to general manager George Paton, Jesus and God.
The contest against the Chiefs put many Denver boosters in the uncomfortable position of hoping that Patrick Mahomes and company would absolutely trounce the boys in orange and blue, if only to ensure that Fangio would be disappeared. After all, plenty of commentators sharing their views in the days prior to the game made the case for keeping Vic as a reward for the way he'd turned the Broncos into one of the league's best defensive teams. Such apologists argued that letting the coach stick around but insisting on a new OC — and, presumably, a better quarterback than either Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock — would be the wisest course of action, even though Fangio has been at the helm for three lousy campaigns and not only handpicked Shurmur, but stood by him despite a performance level that would have seemed subpar on a high school level.
A rout wasn't in the offing, however. The Chiefs had little motivation — their odds of winding up as the number-one seed in the playoffs were ultra-slim (and didn't happen) — and as a result, they played with about as much urgency as movie-goers given the opportunity to watch a fourth Matrix movie. Meanwhile, Lock, filling in for a still-injured Bridgewater and clearly auditioning for other franchises at this point, put on a performance that was at least adequate: He completed just 50 percent of his passes for a middling 162 yards, but managed to run for two touchdowns. Indeed, Denver had a legitimate chance for a W until soon-to-be ex-Bronco Melvin Gordon did the predictable, coughing up the ball in the red zone — a gaffe resulting in a Nick Bolton scoop-and-score that provided the ultimate margin of victory.
The loss gave the Broncos a 7-10 record and guaranteed another top-ten draft pick — and with that combination, Paton risked a public-relations disaster if he decided to retain Fangio, who wasn't his guy in the first place (exec John Elway hired him prior to Big George's arrival). Paton avoided this fate, but that doesn't mean his task from here on out is an easy one, especially with the likely sale of the team looming. He must lure a top-flight coach to a team that lacks a credible QB — a difficult task made harder by the shrinking chances that league MVP and anti-vaxing diva Aaron Rodgers will abandon the Green Bay Packers next year.
For now, though, the Broncos faithful on Twitter simply appreciate the fact that Fangio and Shurmur have boarded the Gonesville Express, as demonstrated by the countdown below.
my #BroncosCountry dreams are coming true Fangio and Shurmur gone THANK GOD— Lam (@LIKELAMAR) January 9, 2022
Woke up to the greatest news ever! Thank god the Fangio era is over. Do your thing Patton!— Lawrence Gutierrez (@Lettuce_505) January 9, 2022
Fangio is gone!!!!! Thank god!!— Jordan Cleghorn (@JJ_CLEG) January 9, 2022
Nick, we agree on this. The Vic Fangio era is finished. Thank God— Michael John (@gonzin60seconds) January 9, 2022
It’s sucks firing people and generally it doesn’t make me happy even if it’s the right move. That said, reading some of Fangio’s comments I’m really happy this guy is out. Onward and upward. #BroncosCountry— Doug Smith (@SpeedKills2651) January 9, 2022
woke up to vic fangio and pat shurmar fired — thank the gods— 𝐠𝐚𝐡𝐲𝐞𝐨𝐧’𝐬 𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐫 (@itsDontai) January 9, 2022
thank god they fired vic fangio— J산$H (@1jcsh) January 9, 2022
“I want to thank Coach Fangio for giving his maximum effort to our organization since the day he was hired.” - Joe Ellis. This was the Bronco’s idea of Maximum Effort… pic.twitter.com/w3k0VNhvWv— Joey Coco (@JoeyCoco16) January 9, 2022
I wish Vic Fangio all the best in his future endeavors.— Ben The_Lone_wolf #NFB (@TheLoneWolf_NFB) January 9, 2022
But thank god it won't be with the Broncos. #BroncosCountry
@CecilLammey @Broncos 100% the right decision. George Paton is absolutely who we thought he was. So far, all pretty darn good (and tough) decisions, including Von Miller and Vic Fangio. Not many even remember Ja'Wuan James. Thank you, George!— DT (@BroncoFansRock) January 9, 2022
Thank god Vic Fangio is out of Denver. Thanks for nothing dude! Good riddance!— space tater (@JToday_) January 9, 2022
Vic fangio, pat shurmer and tom McMahon have all been fired. Thank the lord.— bald mackinnon #GoAvsGo (@avalanchefan21) January 9, 2022
Thank Freaking God Good Fucking Riddance Fangio and Shurmur are Finally Gone LFG They're Finally Fired It's Christmas Eve Again pic.twitter.com/BzEE5VnUu5— Enrique Eloy (@Enrique_Eloy_) January 9, 2022
Thank fucking goodness!— The Wobbly Football (@CriticalFan7) January 9, 2022
Vic Fangio has been fired after miserable 3 seasons. Players quit in games under him and his clock management along with horrible challenges in 2021. I'm glad he's out and now, we can hire an offensive minded or Special Teams guy but no more defense.
thank fucking god!!! bye fangio!!— 𝔮𝔲𝔢𝔢𝔫𝔯𝔬𝔪𝔞𝔫𝔫 (@queenromann) January 9, 2022
Goodbye to Fangio and Shurmur. Thank the football gods for that. Now, let’s hope they clear up this ownership issue ASAP so they can fix this train wreck we’ve watched the last several years.— Marie Sexton (@MarieSexton) January 9, 2022
THANK YOU JESUS FANGIO IS GONE— lil Hard Dad (@kingsmace) January 9, 2022