When the Denver Broncos entered their Week 9 matchup with the Houston Texans, it looked like Vance Joseph needed a win to keep his job. The struggles of the franchise are well documented. There are more holes than many fans - myself included - might be willing to admit. The one hole we all seem to agree on is coaching. All of us, except John Elway.
As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio postgame podcast, Joseph is bulletproof. The loss to the Texans should be the nail in his proverbial coffin. As we discussed on the pregame show, some believe Joseph is already fired, it is more about timing than anything else. But what more does Joseph have to do?
Hey #BroncosCountry, has Vance Joseph been fired yet? No? Well, @AdamMalnati16 and I had to ask on the latest @MileHighReport Radio Podcast. We also give a game recap of the #Texans and #Broncos, and try to unroll what happened on Sunday. https://t.co/qZdxkpFXKy— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) November 6, 2018
The issues that have plagued Joseph in his tenure were on full display against Houston. The first half of the game was competitive. The Texans turned it into the Demaryius Thomas show for a little bit, and scored first. Their 8 play drive included some big plays to Thomas, and eventually a touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to Jordan Thomas.
It took a couple drives to get on the board, but a solid 8 play drive led to a Brandon McManus field goal. Then Devontae Booker put the ball on the ground and Houston turned that into points. When Denver finally put together an 82 yard touchdown drive in the middle of the second quarter, it looked like maybe they found their groove.
Punt the DAMN Broncos !!!!— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) November 4, 2018
At 13-10, the Broncos were down, but they looked like the better team. That lasted for a much shorter period than it should have. This was Vance Joseph’s time to shine. After forcing the Texans to punt, the offense stalled out with 22 seconds left. There was a 62 yard field goal sitting there. It was a no brainer. Punt.
Unfortunately, the only person who really needed to know the answer to that riddle got it wrong. Joseph trots out his kicker, and McManus missed it. When Houston took over they only needed to move 20 yards to get into a comfortable field goal. Joseph called time out as Ka’imi Fairbairn missed his first attempt. With his second chance he gave the game a 6 point swing, and Vance Jospeh handed the Texans a golden opportunity.
Bill O’Brien loved it.
The Defense stood up to the test in the second half. They surrendered just three more points, but it was more than enough. The Broncos could only manage one more touchdown. As the game wore down, Denver found themselves in a position to tie the game one more time. Once again, Vance Joseph reared his ugly head.
With time winding down, Case Keenum drove the Broncos into field goal range for a potential game winner. With 13 seconds left, the Broncos had a chance to move the ball a little closer for McManus. From shotgun, Keenum handed the ball to Philip Lindsay, who really hadn’t found much room to run. He ended up being tackled for a one yard loss.
On third and six from 51 yards out, McManus pushed it, missed wide right, and Demaryius Thomas ran off the field with his new team as a winner. The Broncos are a team with several issues. From the top down, there are problems. However, the only guy that really seems to be impervious is Vance Joseph, the biggest reason they lost.