I am not going to break down the Broncos loss to the Saints. I see no value in it.
What I will do, is praise the players on the field. In a situation that was completely outside the realm of normalcy, they went out and did their jobs.
Kendall Hinton is the guy who gets most of the accolades. He deserves them. Imagine how he must have felt. Now multiply it by a million and you might be halfway there.
Every player for the Broncos stepped up. They rallied behind their one-week leader, and tried to put a product on the field for the fans.
That’s not easy to do when the NFL steps in and eliminates any competitive balance.
As for the league, this was an embarrassment. Ian St. Clair and I discussed the situation on the MHR Radio Podcast. I ran the gamut of emotions around what happened in Broncos Country. You can check my Twitter feed. I was all over the board.
But I think that’s the point. I’m upset with everybody.
I am mad at the Broncos for letting this happen. How could the players make this mistake? They violated the new protocols. They got busted. Was there some gray area there? Yeah, but how can you allow that to happen?
How could Vic Fangio and John Elway, and the rest of the people in charge have not been able to stop this from happening? By all accounts, they seemed to do everything right. It was like a college football team self reporting in hopes of mitigating the punishment. It did not work.
I am livid with the NFL. I wrote about the need for strict protocols last week. This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.
No, I’m not salty (I am a little), because what I was calling for was a set of guidelines that was set and standard across the league. Not some ban-hammer running through the league playing whack-a-mole, but guidelines that would have prevented a situation that shows the hypocrisy of the league.
As Ian said on the podcast, the NFL never would have allowed this to happen to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Indeed, they are bending over backwards for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. But the Broncos are to be made an example of?
The 2020 season has been the most frustrating season I can remember in my multiple decades of watching the Broncos play. Drew Lock has struggled, and the QB position is still a huge question mark. The team is headed toward another losing season. There is a defense on the field every week that seems to be Super Bowl caliber, but is being wasted. That damn QB carousel graphic keeps popping up, and now COVID is slapping us around.
I know there are more serious things going on in the world. That might also be what makes this so hard. I want to sit down on Sunday and watch my Broncos. I want them to be competitive. I want them to have a chance.
They didn’t against the Saints. Instead, they were handed a Subway footlong turkey on white with extra fecal sauce and forced to eat it.
Competitive balance. Player safety. Protocols. Guidelines. Fairness. All punchlines. The only thing that really matters here is the dollar sign. The Broncos played the sacrificial lamb. I hope you all learned your lesson.
Although, I don’t exactly know what that lesson was.