Who leads the arsy-varsy Broncos out of this mess?
Uncle Vic Fangio? With stringent COVID protocols that can turn a bad team into socially distanced strangers, it’s tough for a beleaguered coach to get close to his struggling players, whether they need a hug or a kick in the rear.
Drew “Vapor” Lock? Our feisty gunslinger can’t shoot straight. And it’s extremely difficult to lead if you spend all Sunday afternoon cleaning the stench of interceptions off your boots, cowboy.
The Bickering Bowlens? A once-proud family business in now dysfunctional. Let’s skip Thanksgiving. See you in court, sisters.
Not long ago, the best day on the Colorado calendar was Orange Sunday. Don’t know about you, but now I sit down to watch the Broncos play with the same sense of dread Lock experiences the instant before he throws an interception.
“It’s funny,” Lock said Thursday. “Half the time, right as the ball leaves my hand, I’m like, ‘That’s not going to be a good one.’ It’s just one of those gut things, right as you let it go, it’s like, ‘Oh no.’”
Well, if this miserable Broncos season can be summarized in two words, I’d say it’s a bad gut feeling that makes us all want to say: Oh …
The Broncos’ biggest problem isn’t a rash of injuries or a spate of scatter-brained interceptions. It’s a void in leadership. What has Denver missed most for nearly five seasons? Peyton Manning’s steady hand in a storm and the late Patrick Bowlen’s stubborn refusal to accept second best.
With this season doing a slow, clockwise swirl toward the sewer, do you know who tells the Broncos to put on their big-boy pants?
He’s Uncle Vic, not General Patton. I feel sympathy for Fangio, because it’s not his fault Lock keeps falling off the quarterback carousel and getting hurt.
Even worse for Uncle Vic: If the Broncos are anywhere near as tired of Zoom meetings as the rest of us, how does the coach even know for certain his message is reaching this team?
In a year that has dared us all to hide beneath the covers and wait for the coronavirus clouds to pass, a football team going nowhere could easily quit in this weird NFL season.
Who in the Denver locker room has the authority to stop that from happening?
“In trying to be that leader,” linebacker Bradley Chubb said, “I’m going to keep emphasizing that there’s no quitting on this team.”
Have running back Phillip Lindsay and the Broncos formally filed for divorce yet? It has become painfully obvious the opinion of Lindsay is much higher outside Dove Valley headquarters than it is among decision-makers inside the front office.
Arms locked across his chest, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s body language shouts how uncomfortable it is for Denver to rank 28th among 32 league teams in scoring.
While Bryce Callahan plays cornerback at a Pro Bowl level, he exudes a stuck-at-a-bad-party vibe. Although offensive tackle Garett Bolles deserves kudos (and probably a raise) for getting his act together in a major way, it’s hard to establish yourself as a leader without a long-term commitment from the team.
At the Bickering Bowlens family Christmas party, should we put it to a vote of the siblings as to whether Brittany or Beth gets to play Bad Santa?
There’s no crying in football, even if your ribs ache. “I think anyone that’s hurt in this league realizes that the longer you’re not playing, the faster you get forgotten,” Lock said.
I’d give Brett Rypien the start at quarterback against Miami and let Lock come swaggering out of the bullpen, spitting fire, if needed. Of course, nobody is asking me. Bruised ribs and all, it seems the team’s distinct preference is to have Lock start and finish, because the last headache Fangio needs is even a whiff of a quarterback controversy.
Getting trounced 37-12 by da hated Raid-duhs on top of a 43-16 trashing by Kansas City are signature losses that could get a coach fired. How hot is Fangio’s seat? Well, all I know is if you’re bent on raising John Elway’s ire, don’t just lose to AFC West rivals, but lose without a fight.
After the Broncos lost their shirts in Vegas, guard Dalton Risner felt the pain of Broncos Country.
“You all might be looking at it and saying it’s a mess,” Risner said. “Of course we know that we have to be better. But we’re looking at each other and saying, ‘We love each other. We know that we can do this. We believe in each other.’ Screw being 3-6; we know we’re way better than that.”
Sorry, Bubby. But in this league, you are what your record says you are.
So what does that make anybody who says the Broncos are way better than 3-6? Full of …
But here’s what seems sad to me: The Broncos have taken all the fun out of criticism, even for a certified curmudgeon, because the guys in orange have the leadership-void blues.
So getting mad would be pointless. All I’ve got left for this team is pity.
Wake me when 2020 is over, Broncos Country.
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