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Broncos are tough to hang out with

Well that was just... awful.

Syndication: The Enquirer Albert Cesare / The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

If you’re a Broncos fan and you watched Sunday’s game against the Bengals, you’re probably waking up this morning more than a little disappointed in your football team.

My longtime friend seems to have figured out the relationship that the team has with fans these days. Everyone has had that friend that, no matter what they do, don’t seem to be able to mesh well with other groups of friends, your spouse, or whatever. They’re the kind of friend that embarrasses you in front of other people at every turn.

He calls them the “tough hang”.

The tough hang is just that guy who makes group situations that ordinarily would be fun, not that way. They could be the loud and obnoxious guy who always seems to steer the conversation to his poisonous snake collection, regardless of topic. They could be the guy who inexplicably erupts into tears at after watching a pet food commercial and locks himself in the only bathroom when there’s a bunch of people who need to use it. The guy who loudly talks on his cell phone to his girlfriend through the whole game about nothing at all.

We all know that guy who makes hanging out with other people that much harder. The tough hang.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Denver Broncos of 2021 are the toughest hang of all. As devoted fans, we know how cool the Broncos can be. We have seen it! Our trophy case is loaded to the gills with evidence of how cool a hang the Broncos have been in the past.

Now, out in public, the Broncos are the friend who seemingly doesn’t care that half the guacamole dip has spilled all over his shirt and, yet, is insisting on bro-hugs from everyone.

The offensive play-calling was no surprise, but like the tough hang that insists on continuing to loudly hum TLC’s Waterfalls after being asked repeatedly to stop (and threatened with their life), we just have to endure it.

Quarterback play was abysmal. As the years go by, fellows at this position are the toughest hang of all. They’re like the drunk friend who embarrasses you at a bar by behaving poorly after having too much to drink. The kind of tough hang you put in a taxi to take him home, only to look up twenty minutes later and see him back. So you put them in another taxi. This time they show back up wearing a cowboy hat and no shoes. The tough hang that simply won’t go away.

This loss to the Bengals was a big one. It again demonstrated that the Broncos aren’t resilient, adaptive, or capable of taking control of a game when they absolutely have to have it - even when it’s so maddeningly in reach for most of the final quarter. So when the playoffs start, it’s becoming statistically more likely that they’ll be watching at home... with friends. We can only hope the guacamole shirt guy, snake guy, TLC Waterfalls guy, the drunk guy in the cowboy hat, all show up ready to have that serious heart-to-heart conversation with their girlfriends on their cell phones. It’s only right.

HORSE TRACKS

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28 teams remain alive, with five games left in Week 15 - ProFootballTalk

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Peter King's Football Morning In America Week 15 - NBC Sports
Peter King's Football Morning In America column for Week 15 leads with Omicron forcing the NFL to change course. Plus Saints over Bucs, playoff talk, more.

Titans' Kevin Byard calls officiating 'complete BS' in Week 15 loss to the Steelers - CBSSports.com
Several calls played a role in Sunday's 19-13 Steelers victory

Bucs lose Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette to injuries during shutout loss to Saints - CBSSports.com
Tom Brady lost his top three receptions leaders and it showed on Sunday night

Bo Nix transfers to Oregon: Three-year starter for Auburn to finish college career with Ducks - CBSSports.com
Nix arrives at Oregon in 2022 along with new coach Dan Lanning

Steelers defense rises to occasion, but weaknesses exposed during Sunday's crucial win over Titans - CBSSports.com
The Steelers will need more complete performances over their next three games

Ravens fall to Packers on controversial two-point try: Why another John Harbaugh decision was the real culprit - CBSSports.com
A decision earlier in the fourth quarter may have doomed Baltimore

2021 NFL season, Week 15: What we learned from Sunday's games
Around The NFL breaks down what you need to know from all of Sunday's Week 15 action.

NFC playoff picture remains blurry following stunning Sunday
With the pandemic now a significant factor for the first time this season, as the Buccaneers and Cardinals squandered opportunities to clinch, only the Packers got what everyone wants now – a guarantee they’re in the playoffs no matter when the games get

Saints hand Tom Brady first shutout loss since 2006
Tom Brady was shut out for the first time since 2006 on Sunday night in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 9-0 loss to the NFC South-rival New Orleans Saints.

Browns' Baker Mayfield says he's asymptomatic from COVID-19, still hopes to play Monday vs. Raiders - CBSSports.com
The QB is one of 20 Browns on COVID reserve