Throughout the off-season, the Denver Broncos and those members of the press corps in the squad's pocket have been pointing toward a bounce-back campaign after three consecutive years of mediocrity or worse. But signs that this was mere spin — a trade-down in the April NFL draft, plenty of rough patches during training camp — were definitely evident for those willing to look beneath the surface.
Still, last night's putrid 24-16 loss to the hated Oakland Raiders in a Monday Night Football match-up on view for the entire sporting world to see was even more embarrassing than anticipated, as the distress expressed by fans on social media made abundantly clear.
Most of the questions surrounding the Broncos have centered on the offense and whether new quarterback Joe Flacco had anything left in the tank. But the vaunted defense, which was supposed to be even better under freshly minted head coach Vic Fangio, turned out to be the first problem of many to come.
In recent years, the D's biggest weakness has been an inability to contain tight ends, and it remains a jumbo issue: Oakland's Darren Waller was unstoppable, even though he's not exactly the second coming of Rob Gronkowski. Meanwhile, cornerback Isaac Yiadom, whom many of us couldn't believe Fangio and company had placed in such a prominent role given his total ineptitude last season, proved that he's excellent at only one thing: being two steps behind everyone he's supposed to cover. And Raiders QB Derek Carr managed to completely neutralize the edge-rushing prowess of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb by getting rid of the ball quickly. Expect every other team on Denver's schedule to follow suit.
And Flacco? During the first half, he got extremely limited opportunities to show what he could do, owing to an offensive line incapable of holding back a sneeze. Obviously, alleged O-line mastermind Mike Munchak hasn't been able to work any magic yet, and an injury to big-money free-agency pickup Ja'Wuan James made a terrible situation even more dreadful. Granted, the Broncos outscored the Raiders in the second half, but that portion of the contest was essentially extended garbage time.
The prospect of the next fifteen Broncos games going in this dreadful direction had members of Broncos Country on Twitter feeling alternately depressed and livid. To see what we mean, count down our picks for the twenty most memorable tweets about another disaster in the making.
The way the broncos are gonna play this season replicates the way my life has been going.. absolute shit.. I’m basically Joe Flacco— Zarogoza||Terick™ (@DragonSlayer_15) September 10, 2019
I’ve been saying for at least 3 years now that Elway needs to go, and Broncos fans would talk shit about how he’s a legend and it’s not his fault. Fast forward to tonight, and there are a shit ton of people tweeting #FireElway.— Ryan Coyle-Simmons (@rcsrocks) September 10, 2019
Colorado Sports Power rankings— matt (@Lemonwinner) September 10, 2019
4)Grand Junction Rockies
4)Any youth football team
5)50 feet of shit
90)Local Girls YMCA Basketball Team
I’m going to really beat someone up cause of y’all. .Yiadom not ready.. Dropped touchdowns.., Where was the pressure ?!! Get this shit together @Broncos @VonMiller @astronaut @JoeFlacco @ChrisHarrisJr Y’all not tired of being floor mats #AngryBroncosFan— Mansa Musa (@kward_30) September 10, 2019
The falloff after Peyton has been unreal. Sucks to see the Broncos ungood for this long. https://t.co/66jxDilWNp— Justin X. Nuñez (@justnunez) September 10, 2019
Apparently the Broncos still suck pic.twitter.com/G0os4adQGJ— Andrew (@AndrewsSide) September 10, 2019
#broncos fans that are talking shit about the Team, Coaches & Players today don’t need to celebrate any Broncos wins this season at all!!— Maik Tuga (@maikifc) September 10, 2019
Amazing at how people are talking down on Joe Flacco.. You know what i am shocked on? How good flacco did cause broncos OLine played like shit, not doing their job. If it wasn't for flacco game would been a shut out. I would rather take the sacks then throw INTs. #NFL— Sister Evelyn (@SisterEvee) September 10, 2019
Me (on FB) - Holy shit, the Broncos fucking suck right now— Black Seth Rogen (@ChristianAllen1) September 10, 2019
Friend who roots for Denver - 49ERS HAVE BEEN SHIT FOR YEARS
Me - Yeah, but we can beat the Raiders though pic.twitter.com/L2pkZvHuRN
From elway down the Broncos need a new organization PERIOD this shit gotta stop smh https://t.co/0d7fBfJIvv— CelleE (@BrownVincel) September 10, 2019
Me after watching this shit show pic.twitter.com/T8ARWuOYmg— Brandon Bennett (@Brandon3Bennett) September 10, 2019
@Broncos honestly you guys get your shit together this not acceptable— Cindy Perez (@cinpez) September 10, 2019
I’ve shit fire that was more enjoyable than watching this Broncos game.— The Man, Myth, & the Legend (@CSURamMan) September 10, 2019
Welcome to shit town Broncos...— TJesus (@TJCarpenterShow) September 10, 2019
It’s the same shit every fucking game wtf figure something out do something different fuckin A— Broncos trash 0-1 (@im_danger_russ) September 10, 2019
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Defense was ass (No Miller or Chubb sighting & Yiadom sucks), Hamilton dropped a wide open TD..Garrett Bolles can’t block for shit & needs to be replaced..holding penalties on Fant..there is a reason to panic!! Same shit from 2016-NOW #Broncos— Sanjeevan Singh Sidhu (@realsidhusaab) September 10, 2019
I AM BREAKING OUT .. I AM BALDING . I HAVE ZERO CAREER DIRECTION .. I AM BEHIND ON WORK . I AM HOMESICK . AND THE BRONCOS SUCK AGAIN pic.twitter.com/9aFgQKQjTS— cat (@thearcherdany) September 10, 2019