If Broncos fans think the bottom of the AFC West position is depressing, look at everyone at the top for a moment. Check out one common element.
Buffalo? Franchise quarterback. Baltimore? Franchise quarterback. Cincy-freaking-nati? Franchise quarterback. Chargers? Raiders? Franchise quarterback. Franchise quarterback.
Dallas? Green Bay? Tampa? Arizona? Los Angeles rams? Quarterback, quarterback, quarterback, quarterback, quarterback. Not a Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson in the pack. Or a Sam Bradford.
All other? Presents. Including everyone at the UCHealth Training Center.
For Broncos general manager George Paton, the honeymoon is over. Done. Completely finished. At 3-3 after a 3-0 start, the diseases that plague the Broncos list are not that different from the ones we moaned about last Halloween.
It all feels like John Elway 2.0, right? Subpar offensive line play. Brain spasms in the secondary. A head coach throwing silly flags and an offensive coordinator whipping out pencils. A quarterback who cannot play from behind.
Yes, but you said that Teddy Bridgewater was …
Wait, wait. I said Bridgewater is the best, most capable solution if a.) Your alternative is Drew Lock; and b.) You have a defense that can win the battles he can not.
Now that Steady Teddy has no b.), Fangio’s continued employment is even more of a slap in the face to the Broncos Country.
Given a choice, would you rather have Justin Fields or Mac Jones learn the NFL ropes in the Dove Valley right now? Or Patrick Surtain II, running around in orange and blue, watching helplessly as opposing quarterbacks continue to burn their teammates?
But the damage …
But nothing. The Broncos lost with Josey Jewell. They’re losing without Hi M. Uncle Vic is 3-0 against the NFL’s junior varsity. He is 0-3 against teams with a pulse. A pulse and a quarterback.
Men Ben Roethlisberger …
Thrown for 253 yards and two goals. In light of Fangio’s so – called strength.
Since 2019, the only constants on Bryant Street have been Uncle Vic and a losing streak sinking the season before Election Day. This one came late, but it’s here. A team full of veterans on one-year contracts will continue to play and coach as if it wants this era to end. Just with the rest of us.
Cripes, Broncos fans are tired of watching this team get dunked on Mile High. Did you see Aaron Rodgers strolling around Soldier Field last Sunday? Did you hear what he told the Windy City lady who had allegedly turned him over to the double bird?
The closest we ‘ve come to this was Lock dance in the face on the chargers last year.
We keep saying that, and Broncos executives are ignoring it all the time: the NFL is closer than ever to a Madden video game. More space for recipients to work. Forced liberties and protection for quarterbacks. Pass and move, pass and move.
It does not matter how many injuries you have to the midfielder if you have a gunslinger who can fear Yahweh in the entire opposition defensive staff. If you have a signal caller who can do what the Raiders’ Derek Carr did at the end of the second quarter, Vegas marched 82 yards in 31 seconds for a touchdown and a double-digit lead that essentially iced the slope at the break.
The modern game is about the 2-minute exercise. Who can run it. Who can not. Who can make magic out of nothing. Who can crush souls and break testaments with three or four wrists.
Bridgewater does not break testaments as much as bending them and hoping. Since Week 1 of the 2020 season, he has completed 67 of 113 throws in the final two minutes of a half, good for a 59.2% cut, with seven touchdowns and five picks.
Lock, for all Twitter love, has been a coin toss in the same situations: 47 for 94 (50%), three touchdowns, five picks.
Compare that to the NFL teams in the penthouse, and the depression is starting to set in again.
The Chargers’ Justin Herbert over the last two seasons has completed 77 of 115 throws in the final two minutes of a half, a pace of 66.9%, with six touchdowns and two picks. Arizona’s Kyler Murray is not far behind: 59 out of 91 passes (64.8%), three goals, no wickets. Rodgers: 53 for 82 (64.6%), 10 touchdowns, no pick.
Until Paton can do what Elway has not had since 2016, and find its own soul-breaker, change nothing but the names. Nothing significant at least.
To put it another way: the Raiders came to Mile High without a coach, but with a healthy Carr at the helm. The Seahawks went to Pittsburgh without a healthy Russell Wilson, but with Pete Carroll. Guess which team won?
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