The final game of the Denver Broncos' 2020-2021 season, a frustrating and embarrassing last-minute 32-31 January 3 home loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, was perfectly representative of the campaign as a whole. But despite this result and an overall 5-11 record, Vic Fangio isn't sweating out Black Monday — the day after the end of the regular season, when head coaches on the hot seat often learn if they'll be retained or jettisoned. Last week, multiple reports confirmed that Fangio would remain in charge for a third year, despite his putrid accomplishments in the previous two.
No wonder that after the latest L, a debate broke out about Fangio's future, with multiple commenters on Twitter pointing out that his record is just one win better than that of Vance Joseph, his predecessor as Broncos HC — yet Joseph, who's Black, was canned after two seasons, while the very white Vic is getting another chance.
That's not to say Fangio was solely responsible for Denver coming up short against the Raiders, who remain the Broncos' arch-rivals no matter what city they call home. As usual, though, Fangio made at least one major gaffe. In the waning moments, the Raiders marched down the field to score a touchdown and pulled within one point of Fangio's crew — and his opposite number, Jon Gruden, decided to go for a two-point conversion rather than playing for a tie that would have sent the contest into overtime. But Vegas looked completely discombobulated in advance of the play, raising hopes in Broncos Country that the try might fail — until Fangio inexplicably called a timeout, allowing the Raiders a chance to regroup...and succeed.
Afterward, quarterback Drew Lock, who had a decent if typically inconsistent game, completed a pass in the middle of the field to give the Broncos one last shot at a field goal. But after Lock's next throw was off-target, Fangio decided against letting similarly underperforming offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur call another play, and instead sent out field-goal kicker Brandon McManus to attempt an ultra-long-shot 63-yard field goal. The Raiders had blocked an even more comical 70-yard McManus attempt to end the first half, and the same thing happened as the clock expired for the same reason — the kick's trajectory was so low that a squad of elementary school students could probably have knocked it down.
In the shame spiral that followed, some fans defended both Fangio and Lock, suggesting that the impact of the pandemic made it impossible to properly evaluate either of them. But others — many of whom were undoubtedly grieving the death of Broncos Hall of Famer Floyd Little on New Year's Day — saw race as playing an unfortunate part in Fangio's reprieve.
Read on to see what we mean:
Vance Joseph & Vic Fangio.— Recreational Bigot Destroyer (@DisinfectBigots) January 4, 2021
Side by side( statistically the same)
The white guy gets to coach another year.
Need I say more.
Eff your feelings if you are pissed off with this post!
a perfect ending to Den/LV.....Fangio calls TO as Raiders are in complete confusion on the 2 pt try. Aren't we over old white men stumbling everywhere?— curtis m goodnight (@CurtisGoodnight) January 4, 2021
Let's ask "ourselves" why Fangio won't be fired like Vance Joseph was. That's a "conversation" for yet another day...— Lord (@830Prestigious) January 4, 2021
Without any knowledge of the inner workings of the Broncos...are the Fangio Broncos any different than the Vance Joseph Broncos? https://t.co/ovQq9rpWX2— Adam Gase Finally Got Fired (@Bearded_Hippo) January 4, 2021
In his 2 seasons Vic Fangio is one win better than what Vance Joseph was and three wins better than Adam Gase in New York— Luke Hall (@OakTreeStatus) January 4, 2021
PSA #BroncosCountry: Vance Joseph got fired for doing better than Vic Fangio.— Broncos 24/7 Part 2 (@24_broncos) January 4, 2021
Going through QBs like water is worse if you have that set then Fangio or even Joseph could coach the team. #FangioMustGo— Michael A. Torrez (@MichaelATorrez3) January 4, 2021
Vance Joseph is looking better and better, with every game the Vic Fangio coaches for @Broncos— Javier S. Guzman (@Mexijav73) January 4, 2021
Fangio’s clock management is arguably worse than Vance Joseph. How do you fix this? How do you simulate it? Seems like it’s just who you are.— Ronnie K (@RonnieKRadio) January 4, 2021
Maybe one of the most brutal confirmations of the entire year.
How is possible to have a 300 yds passing with no Ints, get two picks, two FF and still miss the game!? Ask Fangio...by far the worst play calling and time manager HC in the NFL. I have said it before, he is a great DC but a really below average HC..maybe worse than Joseph.— Vic (@vic_cupra) January 4, 2021
I didn’t want either Fangio or Joseph but until we get real ownership in the building...we’re screwed.— Jennifer Pierson (@jenniferpierson) January 4, 2021
The egregious double standard by which Vic Fangio and Vance Joseph are/were judged is appalling. VF is absolutely not qualified to be an NFL head coach. End of story.— Brett Rush (@BrettRush13) January 4, 2021
How can anyone have faith in Fangio after that? He even makes me miss Vance Joseph.— Rob Vanstone (@robvanstone) January 4, 2021
FIRE FANGIO NOW! He makes Vance Joseph look like a genius.— Jimmy G (@bogeyjimmy) January 4, 2021
Fangio is a crappier head coach than Vance Joseph.— Taylor Disney (@Taylor__Disney) January 4, 2021
Fangio is no better than Joseph from a game management perspective. He clearly gets much more out of the defense....but yeah, this is ugly.— Patrick Donovan (@SportsBoss) January 4, 2021
Fangio SUCKS! I’m with Merlatt. Might be the worst HC in the game. That’s worse than Vance Joseph.— Ben Boyd (@boydy2669) January 4, 2021
@Broncos can we fire Fangio already?? FOR FUCK SAKE I can't take 1 more year with him— Hydro (@Ze_Hydro) January 4, 2021
@MikeKlis Vic Fangio did manage to win one more game than Vance Joseph. So he's got that going for him.— Peter Duray-Bito (@sduraybito) January 4, 2021
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