Sports

Twitter Freaks Out Over Broncos' Historic Choke Job Versus Vikings

Quarterback Brandon Allen seems to be allergic to the questions he received at a post-game press availability.
Quarterback Brandon Allen seems to be allergic to the questions he received at a post-game press availability. Denver Broncos via YouTube
You've got to give the Denver Broncos credit: After gagging away wins against the Bears, Jaguars and Colts in the final minute of those contests, the team apparently feared that its collapses had gotten redundant. So on Sunday, November 17, versus the Minnesota Vikings, the Mile High City ballers took suck to a new level, becoming the first NFL squad in five years and 100 games to blow a halftime lead of twenty points or more, ultimately falling by a 27-23 score.

Did fans on Twitter notice? Oh, man, did they — and the only word used as frequently as "fuck" was "choke."

Normally, standout plays by backup quarterback Brandon Allen, receiver Courtland Sutton and tight end Noah Fant of the sort that happened often during the first two quarters would have filled Broncos loyalists with delight. But given the ugly nature of this misbegotten season, the excitement generated by such developments was tempered by paranoia — and the latter reaction turned out to be well founded.

Denver left points on the table on multiple occasions, settling for two field goals instead of touchdowns and wasting a lost fumble by Vikings QB Kirk Cousins when Allen tossed an interception immediately thereafter. These missed opportunities resonated after intermission, when the Vikings offense, under the tutelage of former Broncos coach Gary Kubiak, came to life by way of the no-huddle, which Denver hasn't been able to stop for years — and there's been no improvement under alleged defensive mastermind Vic Fangio. Minnesota scored four straight touchdowns, while the Broncos were able to manage a single field goal — and kicker Brandon McManus's failure to boot through a second turned into a dagger as the clock wound down. As a result, the Broncos were behind by four points and needed a touchdown, and they didn't get one.

Afterward, there was some debate, and plenty of whining, about a crucial interference non-call — but the bottom line is that the Broncos never should have been in the position of needing a yellow flag to give them a chance for victory. Indeed, the scope of the Vikings turnaround was so epic that it inspires speculation about exactly what Fangio has been telling his charges at halftime. Probably something along the lines of, "We've got this one, guys. Relax. Take the foot off the gas pedal and take it easy. Just don't get hurt, and we'll celebrate afterward."

Instead, Broncos Country is in mourning — again. Here are our picks for the twenty most memorable tweets about Denver's latest embarrassment.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts