How can a pre-season game be meaningless and consequential at the same time? That question was answered during the Denver Broncos-Chicago Bears square-off on Saturday, August 18, thanks to quarterback Paxton Lynch and the explosion of frustration from Twitter Nation that greeted his miserable and embarrassing performance.
Once thought to be the future leader of the Broncos, Lynch had been demoted to third-string signal caller in the days leading up to the contest, owing to his enormous ineptitude against the Minnesota Vikings in the campaign's first warm-up, especially in comparison with the verve exhibited by Chad Kelly, who'd previously occupied the bottom of the depth chart.
This humbling should have motivated Lynch to step up — but instead, he sank lower.
When Lynch entered the game, the Broncos had a comfortable 23-10 lead as the result of a bounce-back effort by newly signed starting QB Case Keenum and another solid turn by Kelly, who overflows with cockiness and confidence despite having earned the title of "Mr. Irrelevant" by being the last person selected in his draft class. (Kelly's chosen nickname, "Swag," is even worse, but it's appropriate, too.) But by the time Paxton trudged off the field, Denver was on the losing end of a 24-23 final score.
Yes, Lynch's statistics — five of eleven passing for a measly 39 yards, plus eighteen yards on a couple of runs — were anemic in the extreme. But the bigger problem is his lack of growth. After three years in the league and enough tutelage to make Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society seem like a slacker, he looks as if he has no idea what he's doing on the field. His hopelessness is like the football equivalent of a black hole, sucking every positive displayed by the rest of the squad into the limitless void of space.
Our headline after John Elway chose the man from Memphis as Peyton Manning's heir apparent in April 2016 read "Meet Paxton Lynch: Broncos' Star QB of the Future or the Next Tim Tebow?" The results have obviously been closer to the latter than the former — yet a direct comparison is an insult to Timmy, who at least struck some sparks while on Denver's roster. Lynch, on the other hand, has demonstrated only incompetence.
Earlier this year, Lynch was our pick for the worst first-round draft pick in the history of the Broncos franchise, and what's happened since then has only reinforced this impression among fans with Twitter accounts. As you can see by our selections for the twenty most memorable tweets, on view below, the demand that he be cut from the roster was frequently expressed in bold print and sometimes in all caps — and, yes, Tebow's name was evoked.
Continue to see what we mean.
I wish Denver would cut Paxton lynch https://t.co/HWMyRegTAt— Henny Blankenship (@B0V1CE) August 19, 2018
Once again, a decent Broncos game ruined by Paxton Lynch. Either you get him more practice reps or you cut him- the kid doesn't seem to have a grasp on the playbook or how to get the ball down the field. I don't want this season to be like last season.— spirit (@SpiritedFX) August 19, 2018
So Paxton Lynch sucks! Can we cut him now? Chad Kelly better be the backup week one! #BroncosCountry— Cracklin’ Bacon (@GOATYadi) August 19, 2018
Crazy to think Paxton Lynch was a 1st rd draft pick..and now about to be unemployed when we cut him— Jereme Paddock (@jeremepaddock) August 19, 2018
@PaxtonLynch do yourself and the fans of Denver a favor and walk away, honestly your not cut out for this sport.— Paul Baker (@utahbaker) August 19, 2018
It's time. Time for @johnelway to swallow his pride & cut @PaxtonLynch. 3 years, & nothing. Not a blip of winner, leader, grinder in this grown man. Just entitlement. Give him his last $2mm, cut the cord. You let Sloter get away b/c Paxton is "athletic & tall. Dont let Kelly!— TC (@AlumKnight99) August 19, 2018
Imagine how much better your team is only having 2 active QBs on the roster. That's an extra swing Tackle (that can play JUMBO) that's an extra Linebacker you can play on special teams, extra RB that can give a breather to a starter. CUT PAXTON LYNCH.— Alex (@Alex_DBroncos) August 19, 2018
I can't believe Paxton lynch is still on an NFL team. The fact that not only he was a 1st round pick but is still on a team is crazy. He's not only he worst QB to ever dress for an NFL game but also the worst player in the history of Professional sports is crazy. Cut him now.— Austin Bickett (@ABickett24) August 19, 2018
Paxton Lynch will go from 1st round pick to Cut/released very very soon.— scott medlin (@bigdog_25_sm) August 19, 2018
@johnelway— Stephan Andrew Brodhead (@thebrodcastnet) August 19, 2018
If you can cut Tim tebow and Brady Quinn, cutting Paxton Lynch is a no brainer. Suck up the $2.5 million and move the hell on.....WTF!!! Paxton Lynch has more value out of Denver than on the sideline...Cut him now
Chad Kelly is good enough that we can cut Paxton Lynch pic.twitter.com/pNAFtryp7v— dan (@dancan_5) August 19, 2018
If John Elway doesn’t cut Paxton Lynch within the next week Idk what he’s doing— Mike Beck (@MikeBeck55) August 19, 2018
Paxton Lynch needs to be cut already, can’t even run out 4 mins of the game. #KellyIsOurBackup— Rook (@Rook775) August 19, 2018
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