The Denver Broncos' September 20 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers quickly went sour. Not only did the squad notch its second loss in two tries to start the season (the first was a desultory choke job versus the Tennessee Titans on September 14), but starting quarterback Drew Lock, the designated future of the franchise, left the contest in the first quarter with a shoulder injury that's expected to keep him off the field for the next two to six weeks, leaving the team in the hands of backup QB Jeff Driskel, whose NFL record as a starter is 1-7.
No wonder so many Broncos fans on Twitter are already acting as if the 2020-2021 campaign is a wash.
Of course, no one knows at this point if Lock is the savior for whom the Broncos have been searching since the retirement of Peyton Manning back in 2016. Thus far, he's juxtaposed exciting flashes with wet sputters, as he did during his brief time under center on Sunday. His first throw was a brilliant pinpoint laser to Courtland Sutton, while his next four were incompletions before being driven into the turf by the Steelers' Bud Dupree.
Yes, Lock fumbled. Yes, Ben Roethlisberger led the Pittsburgh offense on an extended march. Yes, the Broncos' Michael Ojemudia dropped an interception in the end zone that hit him in the hands. Yes, the Steelers scored a touchdown seconds later.
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For his part, Driskel had his moments, helping the Broncos rack up more points than Lock managed last week, and he had a chance to register a go-ahead TD in the waning moments — until he took an idiotic sack on a fourth-and-two from Pittsburgh's fifteen-yard line. But there was never a sense that the Steelers were in real danger. Had Driskel and the Broncos cashed in, the odds that Roethlisberger would have piloted his squad into field-goal range for a victory in the last few seconds were mighty strong. Under head coach Vic Fangio, after all, that's what Denver does.
Now the Broncos must move forward with Driskel, who next week will face off against a signal-caller with just a leetle bit more experience: Tom Brady, now of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What could go wrong?
Here are our picks for the most memorable tweets of doom about the game:
I always enter the Broncos season with giddy optimism, but this seasons fucked. issa wrap #BroncosCountry— kevin (@eclecticfuzz) September 20, 2020
my broncos are fucked everybody important is getting hurt and it's not even the end of week two— GUALA (@Guala_official) September 20, 2020
and yet again they’re given a chance to get ahead but they fucked it up, i swear the broncos suck so much, why?????— kenz? (@7ggukk) September 20, 2020
Steelers pretty lucky to escape with that W.— Thyme is of the Essence (@ZebesianQuo) September 20, 2020
Broncos pretty much screwed up that last would-be game-winning drive on their own accord.
The fact that at the grocery store today I heard more people talking about the Broncos getting smacked up, than excited about the nuggets game shows how screwed up people’s sports priorities are in this state— Thomas Lessard (@tommyboy51186) September 20, 2020
Before the season started I was thinking 10-6 for my Broncos. When we lost Von, I reset to 9-7. As it stands we might be lucky to be 5-11. If they don’t finish 8-8 I expect Fangio will be fired and Drew Lock will likely be replaced with a high draft pick QB. Cmon boys let’s go!— Chris Stone (@badstonevader) September 21, 2020
what a joke. Should have just cancelled the season.— Jake Schwanitz (@JakeSchwanitz) September 21, 2020
Would have been less painful than watching the Broncos start 0-2 without Von, Phil and now Lock https://t.co/KvYLoAr7ts
Lock out for 2-6 weeks. A lost season for the Broncos.— Dapper Dan (@VisionarySZN) September 20, 2020
Lock expected to miss 2-6 weeks.— ???????????????????? (@V_Broncos) September 20, 2020
The season is over if he's out 6weeks dont try and convince me otherwise.
If you're the Broncos, do you consider a tank? I mean injuries have already thrown their season into chaos, and I'm not sold on Drew Lock yet.— DownTown connor brown (@the6_0_8) September 20, 2020
Take-a-ways from the Broncos:— Noelle (@N0LES) September 21, 2020
-Melvin Gordon has been a nice addition tbh
-A pass rush is clearly missing
-Not sure on Drew Lock or Jeff Driskel???? Wtf!
-No WRs showing up! An Courtland Sutton is killing my fantasy team.
-4th and 2???? WTF???
How on earth did the Broncos end up in a situation where Jeff Driskel is the only backup to somebody like Jeff Lock? This seems incredibly shortsighted, even by Elway's standards.— Freddie Shires (@fshires) September 20, 2020
Jeff Driskel did his job in a tough position. But it all went sideways after the 2 minute warning. Broncos lose 26-21 at Pitt. Ugh pic.twitter.com/flgzjorB4C— Erik Lee (@erikleeWJZ) September 20, 2020
Mentally preparing for the "Broncos suck at drafting QBs Lock is a bust should have taken Allen or Herbert" takes pic.twitter.com/TRqBpe2oY3— Brandon Miller (@BrandonMillerPO) September 20, 2020
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Sucks the Broncos have to throw in the towel on this season. Do everything you can to extend Simmons and run it back next year with another top 15 pick— Fien (@zachefiene) September 20, 2020
The broncos are just getting railed with injuries. 2020 sucks man— Casey (@sisterthiccness) September 20, 2020