Broncos squeak one out, top Raiders 20-19

   “That was close…too close.”

“That was close…too close.”

The Raiders, coming off a 33-13 beatdown at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams, bullied the Broncos all over the field during the first half, dominating time of possession, first downs and total yards. Make no mistake, the Broncos looked absolutely anemic on offense. The first two quarters were a complete debacle, save for a 53 yard scamper by Phillip Lindsay, a beauty of a run that was completely negated on the very next play when Case Keenum threw an interception.

It wasn’t until the Broncos decided to pull their heads out of their asses late in the 3rd quarter that the “game” actually became a “game.”

At this point, you’re probably reading this and thinking: “You’re full of shit. You run FireVanceJoseph.com, and yet the Broncos are 2-0. When are you going to close down shop?

I’m not going to, plain and simple. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the 2018 Broncos are a mediocre football team, and if they can barely pull out wins at home, what does it mean for when their backs are against the wall and they’re playing on the road?

Again, consider what we know from the first two games:

  Denver’s points scored/points allowed is not encouraging.

Denver’s points scored/points allowed is not encouraging.

As it stands now, the Broncos have scored 47 points and allowed 43. Significant separation between points scored and points allowed is how to spot a contender from a pretender. Denver is clearly pretending.

Enjoy the win, of course. Beating a divisional rival is always a good thing, but beating them convincingly is even better, and the Broncos hardly did that today. And, yeah, I’ll take some cheese with the whine. Call me entitled or spoiled, but I kind of miss the days when we’d put the Raiders to bed by two touchdowns or more, not biting our fingernails as the team has to claw its way out of the grave.

Anyway, with the next game on the road, and the one after that at home against the red hot Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver fans riding high on our two “barely a win” wins will be brought down to earth in sobering fashion.

  • @Ravens - 9/23

    • Prediction: borderline ugly/ugly loss

  • @Home against Chiefs - 10/1

    • Prediction: Ugly loss/really ugly loss

See you next week for the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Broncos Survive Seahawks...Barely

Last week, I wrote the following:

So what about Opening Day against the Seahawks? Well, Seattle isn’t the same team it was just a couple of years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Denver get a win here, which will lead a large portion of the Denver fanbase to proclaim that the Broncos are back in the saddle.
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Well, they got a win. A sloppy win, and against a team that was playing just as sloppy as they were. People can hoot and holler all they want about this year's Broncos, but that would be incredibly premature, in my opinion. Sure, a "W" in better than an "L", but there are problems galore with this team:

  • Case Keenum looks like a slightly less talented Jake Plummer. He will amaze and infuriate from play to play. Today's three TD/three INT performance should tell you all you need to know.
  • The defense has issues. Chubb and Miller are fun to watch, but the rest of the unit concerns me. Blown coverage, pathetic tackling and half-hearted efforts abound. Will Dissly made an absolute mockery of the Broncos's D during the game.
  • Penalties out the wazoo. 7 for 60 yards? Any thoughts, Coach Joseph?

But just to show you I'm not a complete Debbie Downer:

 I find it literally impossible to NOT cheer for this kid.

I find it literally impossible to NOT cheer for this kid.

But does any of that make me want to reconsider my 7-9 prediction for the 2018 Denver Broncos?

No, not really. It's clear that the Broncos are an improved team but not on a worst to first level, which is what many fans are hoping for. If anything, this win is eerily reminiscent of last year's Broncos/Chargers Monday Night Football opener. And we all know how last season unravelled.

Just ask yourself this: if the game had been in Seattle, would the Broncos have won it? 

I doubt it.

Broncos/Cardinals, Paxton Lynch and thoughts on the upcoming season

I meant to write and publish this last week but I just couldn't give enough shits to do so, especially since I was right in the middle of a Super Metroid play through on my new SNES Classic. It's how I celebrated the Labor Day Weekend.

So where to start? Well, the Broncos beat the Cardinals 21-10, so there's that. And what did we learn? Not a goddamn thing. Nothing came from this game. Paxton Lynch had a good outing, which saved his job for about a day, until he was cut by John Elway (thank God) once Kevin Hogan was claimed off waivers.

  Who cares!?

Who cares!?

So, yeah, that's why I didn't post anything. There was nothing to post about. The game was lackluster and I didn't care. Sure, I could have posted something nasty about first round mega-bust Paxton Lynch but that would have been cruel. And since his football career is basically over, I don't want to be accused of hitting a man when he's down.

Anyway, the whole game was just a big bunch of nothing and the scant words I've typed out here are already too much.

Now where does that leave us? Well, the 2018 NFL Season kicks off on Thursday, with the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles hosting Dan Quinn's Atlanta Falcons. Of course, those are two NFC teams, and I don't really care about either of them. But in the spirit of America's Game(?), I wouldn't be surprised to see Dynamite Dan walk away with that one. Remember, the Atlanta Falcons damn near won the Divisional round against the Eagles earlier this year.

But onto the Broncos. 

There's just no way around it: the Broncos are going to suck. But to what degree? Well, I think they'll be better than 5-11, but only two games better, meaning 7-9. This, of course, means that the Broncos will have two losing seasons in a row, which has never happened in the Pat Bowlen era.

  Your 2018 Denver Broncos, everyone!

Your 2018 Denver Broncos, everyone!

So when will Vance Joseph be fired? Depends. If the Broncos get blown out repeatedly, look for Joseph to be fired immediately. That's a no brainer. If the games are competitive, he'll be fired in January. Also a no-brainer.

So what about Opening Day against the Seahawks? Well, Seattle isn't the same team it was just a couple of years ago. I wouldn't be surprised to see Denver get a win here, which will lead a large portion of the Denver fanbase to proclaim that the Broncos are back in the saddle.

But I won't be one of them, because I haven't forgotten last year, and I haven't forgotten who still coaches this team. And it's really that simple. No amount of September Magic will change my mind, either.

But, hey, prove me wrong, Coach Joseph. Make the playoffs this year and I'll take down this site and put up a fan page (in your honor, of course) in its place.

Seriously. I'm good for it.

Broncos Beat Redskins 29-17, Overreactions Abound

  Apparently, beating a banged-up Redskins team in preseason = "Business, handled."

Apparently, beating a banged-up Redskins team in preseason = "Business, handled."

Hooray! The Broncos beat the hapless, helpless, hopeless and horribly injured Redskins in last night's dominant 29-17 win. And after looking at some of the reactions on Facebook and Mile High Report, you'd think that Broncos' fans have forgotten the team is still being coached by Vance "5-11" Joseph.

Well, I haven't.

Here's largely why I'm not impressed by the win:

  • The Redskins weren't a good team last year.
  • The Redskins no longer have Kirk Cousins.
    • While Alex Smith is a solid QB, anyone telling you that he is an upgrade over Cousins is A) drunk, B) stupid, or C) Alex Smith's Mom.
    • It's clear that Smith is still learning how to work with his new offense.
  • Case Keenum still hasn't tossed a TD.
    • This strikes me as a problem since, you know, QBs should occasionally throw a TD pass to help the team score points and win games. 
      • And if he can't throw it against the Redskins' defense....
  • Run defense was gashed by Adrian Peterson last night.
  • Secondary depth will be problematic.
    • Sorry, but we've got some scrubs there.

Before you accuse me of ignoring last night's positive developments, allow me to acknowledge them:

And, hey, a win is a win...even if it is just the preseason. But, for me, it's just not enough to quell my fears. Vance Joseph is still the head coach, and until he can show competence, resilience and sound strategy, I'm not buying what he is selling.

Colorado Springs Gazette: What grade would you give Vance Joseph?

The wonderful Colorado Springs Gazette has posted a new poll, courtesy of Terry Terrones, which asks you to assign a letter grade to Vance Joseph. What a wonderful idea!

Unsurprisingly, I gave Vance "Leader of Men" Joseph an F. Also unsurprisingly, the majority of people who took the poll did so too. See for yourself:

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Make sure you head on over and give Coach Joseph the score we all know he deserves. 

As for the people that gave Coach Joseph an A or a B; it must be comforting for him to know that his immediate family remains supportive.

Lynch Utterly Terrible in Loss to Bears

Elway, Joseph. Are you listening?

Cut Paxton Lynch tomorrow. Hell, cut him tonight. Cap hit, schmap hit.

  Don't feel too bad, Vic. He's a big boy. 6 foot 7 from what I hear!

Don't feel too bad, Vic. He's a big boy. 6 foot 7 from what I hear!

Lynch looked lost, helpless and completely inept when he took over for Chad Kelly late in the 3rd quarter, failing to put together a scoring drive against the Bears' 2nd and 3rd string defense. His reads looked bad, his throws looked bad, he showed only a glimpse or two of pocket presence, and it's time to cut ties with the biggest 1st round draft bust in the storied history of the Denver Broncos. 

I don't know who in their right mind would trade for this guy (and neither does anyone else), but if a partner emerges, then Elway needs to pull the trigger immediately, even if it's for a ham sandwich in return.

Get Lynch out of town ASAP. He's terrible, and he makes the team worse by simply being in the locker room.

  You know things are bad in Broncos Country when you see tweets like this from MHR.

You know things are bad in Broncos Country when you see tweets like this from MHR.

As for the rest of team. Whoopty do. They looked decent tonight. Nothing more, nothing less. And, honestly, nothing to get excited about. Hate to be a Negative Nancy (not really), but the Bears aren't exactly the cream of the NFL crop.

But, hey: celebrate the positive developments of a 1 point loss! Whatever floats your boat. Just realize that, for all intents and purposes, this team looks like dead last in the AFC West right now. Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders are stacked with talent and I've seen better play out of them in their preseason games.

Me? I'll celebrate when Case Keenum finally gets around to throwing his first TD in a Denver Broncos jersey.

Elway Opens Mouth, Unwittingly Helps Kaepernick

Today,  Broncos General Manager John Elway said something pretty dumb. As Will Brinson from CBS Sports reports:

The widespread assumption at this point, when it comes to the future of Colin Kaepernick, is he will not find work in the NFL moving forward. It’s tough to get a gig when you’re suing your potential employers!

But according to Broncos VP of Football Ops John Elway on Thursday, Kaepernick COULD have a job if he wanted to. In other words, Elway blames Kaepernick for not taking the Broncos offer when it was on the table
  It hurts me to use this image,  but in this case....

It hurts me to use this image, but in this case....

And then comes the breathtakingly stupid quote from Elway:

Colin had his chance here. We offered him a contract. He didn’t take it. So, as I said it in my deposition, I don’t know if I’ll be legally able to say this, but he’s had his chance to be here. He passed [on] it.
picard-facepalm.jpg

Putting aside the fact that Elway opening his mouth about his deposition is rather foolish, he also unwittingly helped Kaepernick by failing to remember that he offered him a contract in 2016...before the kneeling started, but did not offer him one in 2017, opting instead to bring in Brock Osweiler. 

Brinson continues:

In other words, this is also not great for Elway, who has also been deposed in the Kap case, because it creates a pretty clear juxtaposition: the Broncos were interested in Kap before he began to protest and not so much after he began to protest.

That could lend more credence to Kaepernick’s claim that he is being kept from securing a job in the NFL because of his decision to take a knee on the field.

The stars are aligning. folks. The signs are there. This is going to be a painful year for the entire Denver Broncos organization. 

Vance Joseph Suddenly Cares About Being Competitive

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In the least shocking news of the week, 1st Round MegaBust Paxton Lynch was demoted to the team's No. 3 QB. Given how terrible Lynch has looked in practice and preseason and, well, all the time, this move was entirely necessary for the Broncos to ensure barely competent QB play when Case Keenum inevitably gets injured this year. Chad Kelly, savor the moment!

Now here is where things get shocking. When asked about Paxton's frustration with being demoted, Vance Joseph had this to say:

(Lynch) is upset, he didn’t like it, he wants to know why (he was demoted) and he’s got to play better. Simple as that, it’s a competition. No one’s not playing their best players.

Stop the presses, ladies and gentleman. Vance "Leader of Men" Joseph has just recognized that sub-par play (or in Lynch's case, "sub-shitty") is not acceptable for a professional football team accustomed to winning.

My God. Is this a breakthrough? Has Vance Joseph seen the error of his ways?

Ha ha. Don't kid yourself. Vance is just trying to appease the bloodthirsty press and even more bloodthirsty fanbase. The only thing Vance has figured out is that he is in over his head with nowhere to run and no one to blame.

MHR: "It's time for Vance Joseph to take control of the Denver Broncos"

Despite the encouraging headline, this Mile High Report editorial by Jess Place is actually quite negative. And with good reason. Jess writes:

One preseason game does not a season make, but let’s be real. On the heels of two sub-par seasons, Saturday night’s Minnesota Vikings vs. Denver Broncos game was downright frightening.

Last year, I railed against Broncos head coach Vance Joseph for not taking the reigns of the team forcefully enough. Poor play from Trevor Siemian, Isaiah McKenzie, and others was allowed to fester and persist long after identified. It was too little too late and by the time changes were made, the impacts negligible because the season was already a total loss.
  Get used to seeing this in 2018. A lot.

Get used to seeing this in 2018. A lot.

Correctamundo. The Vikings/Broncos game was a telltale sign that Coach Joseph still doesn't have his shit together.  Jess concludes:

If Vance does the same things, the results at season’s end will be the same as it was last year. He needs to find his voice and light some fires or it’s going to be a long season.

Well, allow me to say this: it will be a long season, because Coach Joseph doesn't get it. He bluffed his way past Elway and Ellis and into the role of head coach for the Denver Broncos, but there's no more bluffing.

Vance Joseph is not NFL head coach material. Welcome to another losing season, Denver faithful.

Paying Lynch to Leave

This page is supposed to be about Vance Joseph and his failures. And, of course, Paxton Lynch is not Vance Joseph's fault. No, that one falls on Elway's broad, yet sagging, shoulders.

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That said, I couldn't help but to draw attention to a GoFundMe page created by what appears to be a pissed off Broncos fan with an admirable goal of buying out Paxton Lynch's contract. I was so moved by this measure that I donated $25.00.

Will this work? Of course not. But is it funny? Yes. And does it send a message to the Denver Broncos organization that enough is enough? Of course it does. 

Update: It was fun while it lasted, but the campaign was yanked. Money is being refunded. Pity.

Broncos shellacked by Vikings in Preseason Mess

"It is happening again."

Those famous words were spoken by The Giant in David Lynch's Twin Peaks, right before the evil spirit known as Bob took hold of Leland Palmer, who then proceeded to gruesomely murder Maddy Ferguson.

While the surreal, artsy-fartsy Twin Peaks is about the furthest thing imaginable from NFL Preseason Football, The Giant's words ring true for fans of the Denver Broncos after last night's 42-28 beatdown, courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings, a team with plenty of reasons for optimism heading into the 2018 NFL Season.

  The Giant, Twin Peaks' prophet of doom.

The Giant, Twin Peaks' prophet of doom.

Having watched the entire game, I am still trying to figure out what was most embarrassing:

Oh, they're all such good choices! How can I just pick one?

I know, I know...it's just preseason football, but as The Gazette's Paul Klee put it:

Forever, I’m worried about a team coached by Joseph. It’s just preseason. I get it. But the only number we have to work with is 5-11. Right now that’s Joseph’s resume, which makes for a tortilla-slim margin for error. There’s been nothing to this point to suggest he’s the right guy. In Pat Bowlen’s time as owner, the Broncos and Houston Rockets are the only teams in pro sports to avoid back-to-back losing seasons.

And he's right, of course. With Vance Joseph at the helm, things will only get worse. Make no mistake, the Broncos looked awful last night. They were outclassed, outcoached and out-physical'd, which were three earmarks of the 2017 Denver Broncos.

God help us all.