More evidence that the Denver Broncos are currently mired in one of their most bizarre seasons ever: After the ballers finally got their first triumph in 2019-2020, prevailing by a 20-13 margin on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers, a significant number of fans wished they hadn't.
It's not that Coloradans have decided en masse that they no longer despise Chargers QB Philip Rivers: They still love to make him cry, whine and complain, and on Sunday, October 6, he did so, as usual. Rather, most loyalists believe that after an 0-4 start that's included embarrassing losses against the Raiders and Packers and absolute soul-crushers to the Bears and Jaguars, all hopes that the Broncos could reach the playoffs, let alone make an impact there, have already vamoosed — so it would be better to lose every contest the rest of the way and enhance their draft status than earn a few meaningless victories en route to the third (or fourth, depending on who's counting) consecutive mediocre campaign since taking Super Bowl 50 in 2016.
It clearly pained Broncos Country to have the squad associated with the quest to "Tank for Tua" — a reference to purposeful defeats intended to earn a shot to acquire Alabama hurler Tua Tagovailoa, expected to be the first selection in next year's NFL draft. Now, however, plenty of locals fear that possibility is dead and they'll be stuck with Drew Lock, the latest QB of the future to inspire no confidence whatsoever.
The same can be said of the latest W, which was earned only after Denver narrowly avoided repeating the agonizing narratives that played out against Chicago and Jacksonville. Once again, the Broncos started hot, putting 17 points on the board during the first half, only to allow the Chargers to chip away at the lead by going into suspended offensive animation in the second half. Los Angeles got its first and only touchdown by way of a 65-yard punt return by Travis Benjamin that contained more whiffs than a Justin Verlander no-hitter, then added a field goal to make it a one-possession contest in the fourth. Only after Brandon McManus split the uprights in the waning moments (in the wake of missing a 54-yarder) were the Broncos assured of finally getting off the schneid.
Afterward, though, feelings of relief among the fan base (and head coach Vic Fangio, who looked as if he was able to breathe for the first time in weeks) mingled with continued frustration over team executive John Elway's leadership amid reports that the franchise might stage a fire sale if its fortunes continue to fall. (CBS maintained that even Von Miller isn't safe.) As a result, the post-game social-media messages might be the least celebratory ever following a game in which the Broncos wound up on top.
See what we mean be counting down our picks for the twenty most memorable tweets.
This Broncos team is showing up about too late.— Wholesome Dan (@VisionarySZN) October 6, 2019
Wait... We won!? I mean... Yes. Of course we won. At no point did I place a wager against my own team. Go @Broncos— Elway's EGO (@EgoElway) October 7, 2019
Rip Broncos hopes for Tua staying forever in mediocrity— (M)v(P)(J)r (@Pawzitiv) October 6, 2019
Looks like someone trying to get back on the fans good side. Sorry. Too late. Enjoy your last 12 weeks! https://t.co/c6szRWNKnX— VegasBroncosFan (@VegasBroncosFan) October 7, 2019
Broncos no longer have the 1st pick in the draft— (@ItsSalJr) October 7, 2019
Broncos should tank fans are angry. I hope they’ll be ok— Denver Man (@mwharris70) October 6, 2019
denver broncos trying to lose the tua sweepstakes— emily (@_emilycorbett) October 6, 2019
Bro.. Broncos better not do this.— . (@PrimeTua) October 6, 2019
True. Broncos have lost some heart breakers man. At this point they just need to blow it up and acquire picks lol.— Rowan Like A Boat (@RowanIII) October 7, 2019
That said, it doesn’t eliminate the elephant in the room. That elephants name is Elway. It’s apparent that he hasn’t had a clear plan for years. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a post-season reorganization of the #Broncos brass.— Mark Thomas (@themarkthomas) October 7, 2019
Wow.. one win after four losses?? Can we replace Elway for Manning as GM now or do we need to completely blow the rest of season before someone in ownership has the guts to act?— KM O'Neill (@tweetkmoneill) October 7, 2019
The Broncos should just tank now, even if they have to trade Von Miller - https://t.co/JU0juOAtgp— USA Live Feed (@usalivefeed) October 7, 2019
@RyanKoenigsberg @ZacStevensDNVR If you’re a supporter of the Broncos need to rebuild idea, this was the worst thing that could have happened. Now Elway will feel justified. Calling my shot now...Drew Lock will not play this season unless the broncos are 1-9 going into the bye...— Aaron Wagoner (@YetiRoar) October 6, 2019
Thank you Chargers for being dog shit and eliminating the Broncos from Tua contention— KillaTurtle vT (@TheAmazinTurtle) October 6, 2019
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Great job, I would rather have the 5th pick than 1st....— Andrew Scott Marley (@AndrewScottMar6) October 7, 2019
mcmanus would've made that FG from 70 lmfao.— ManBearPig (@50man50bearpig) October 6, 2019
broncos are so bad they can't even tank right