We all suffered through two and a half quarters of “we waited eight months for this?” football! The Denver Broncos first-team offense looked no better than last year, and our starting defense hasn’t looked this bad since Mike Shanahan had us all convinced we were “one player away” from a Super Bowl run.
I’m not being pessimistic on our offense. The Broncos didn’t gameplan for the Vikings at all, and I have to think that the un-inventive and putrid play calling and execution was a byproduct of this being preseason game 1 and them being vanilla for vanilla’s sake. Otherwise, we’re hosed!
Our shiny new toy, Case Keenum, looked the part of an NFL QB, except for that pesky “complete a pass” portion of the job description. But again, I’m hopeful.
Sadly, Paxton Lynch looked worse than he did last year. I’m not sure how that’s even possible, yet here we are, with a complete and utter bust of a first round quarterback. I want to say I was shocked that he couldn’t move past his first read, but I wasn’t. I want to say his interception took me by surprise, but it didn't. In fact, if anything, I figured his interception would have been much, much worse! The only part of Lynch’s game that looked semi decent was him extending his arm to put the football in Royce Freeman’s belly.
But then there was hope. Down 17-0 there was hope. McKenzie did something and likely earned his roster spot. Which leads me to the next logical question... If McKenzie just earn his roster spot, why hasn’t Chad Kelly earned the backup spot?
Here’s the thing, and it’s a complete and total fabricated lie on the part of Vance Joseph. Vance Joseph promised us fans that the #2 quarterback job was a fair competition. But was it? Quick question: How many days left of training camp are there? The answer is two. TWO!!! Not two weeks, but two whole practices (Aug 14 & 15). Vance Joseph said we’d see Kelly with the two’s in training camp. Have we though? Again, two days left. Is he now going to insert him in there with two whole days remaining?
So what more can Chad Kelly do? He went onto the field and on his first drive, he hits LaCosse in stride down the sideline for a 36 yard touchdown. That’s his first drive out of the gate and the first drive of his NFL career! “But he was wide open”... so what? Just like you never apologize for beating a team on your schedule, you never apologize for hitting a wide open player for a touchdown! There’s usually a wide open receiver or tight end or running back on every single play. It’s up to the QB to find him and get the ball to him. Check and check! Kelly 1, Keenum 0, Lynch 0. Hell, Lynch probably throws that ball out of bounds anyways.
Holy crap, what is this called? Is it called hope? Our defense holds and Kelly steps back onto the field. He looks poised and confident. His footwork is good and he stays in the pocket unless there is a wide open running lane and that’s the best option. I loved this kid’s instincts in the pocket.
Drive two starts and what does Kelly do? He makes a 3rd & 11 touchdown pass look routine! He hits Lindsay in stride on a crossing pattern for a touchdown. That pass is so easy to either overthrow or under throw. If he throws it behind the WR, it’s an interception. If he throws it 1 foot further, it’s incomplete. He puts it on the money and Lindsay snatches it out of the air and finishes off the drive with a TD.
Chad Kelly: 2.
Paxton Lynch: negative infinity.
Case Keenum: 0.
Not only does Kelly look great, but he just did something that Vance Joseph seems allergic to allow happen... He got the Denver Broncos a lead.
Drive three and the Broncos find themselves in familiar territory under this coaching regime, down by a touchdown. Kelly looks good but throws an interception as he gets sandwiched and tackled to the ground. My Broncos faithful start in with the “Kelly sucks!” “we need a vet” all of that nonsense.
If there is a vet QB available, he’s no better than Kelly. Those wonderful vet’s you all want? Yeah, they throw interceptions too. But worse, they go 3 & out A LOT! There’s nothing a vet backup can do that Kelly hasn’t already done better. And no, Teddy Bridgewater is not going to be the vet backup we get. He’s going to want to be the starter and quite frankly, the Broncos can’t afford him anyways.
Again, our coaching staff must think that a one touchdown game is too close, so what’s better than losing by one touchdown? Losing by two touchdowns!
Queue up drive four for Kelly. He takes it and marches us down the field with the clock running out. He gets the Broncos to the two yard line, but misses on a touchdown which I don’t even pin on him. I pin that on the garbage play call.
Here’s the thing: If Chad Kelly played exactly like this but was drafted in the first round, everyone would be losing their minds with “that’s your franchise QB!” But he wasn’t. If Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, or Lamar Jackson looked in their first game the way Chad Kelly looked in his first game, their fanbases, coaches, GM’s, and the media would be tripping over their tongues to praise them and call them the next big thing.
So where is the love for Kelly? He’s a rookie. He was redshirted last year. So where’s the love? Why doesn't he get his earned and deserved shot? Why do we hear this “we need a vet” talk?
Vance Joseph, if you have a single redeeming coaching quality in your body, do the right thing and end this backup quarterback nonsense. Name Chad Kelly the backup and get Paxton Lynch out of town. I’m not sure you’ll get anything for him at this point. I doubt you get a backup punter for him at this point. So use him as the camp arm he is and cut him as soon as you can. But end this madness. Chad Kelly has earned his roster spot and he’s earned the backup role. I’ve never seen a backup vet QB the likes of which would be available to us step into a game and play any better than Kelly. Ever! So do the right thing and give this kid his due. He just earned it in his first NFL game. Be grateful that you just got a first round talent in the seventh round!
All aboard the $wag Wagon!
Has Chad Kelly earned the backup role?
This poll is closed
Yes - Any cheap vet we get will be worse
No - Lynch just needs time
We need a vet because I’m scared