The Denver Broncos will miss the playoffs for the 6th straight season. Their loss to the Los Angeles Chargers also ensures a 5th straight losing season in Denver. It’s dark times in Broncos Country, but the end of the season is near.
As we draw closer to the end of the season, the Broncos season limps towards the finish line. The limping has produced another season of abysmal offense and solid defense. Fans have been begging for an end to the Pat Shurmur and Tom McMahon eras, and arguing about Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater.
Drew Lock today had the third-highest passer rating of his career: 116.2.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 3, 2022
The loss to the Chargers saw Lock post his third highest passer rating in his career. He also led the Broncos on one touchdown drive. The other drive that could have ended with a TD was the botched Philly Special.
Brandon McManus had the highlight of the first half for the Broncos. His 61-yard field goal could have been a momentum swing. Up to that point, Denver hadn’t really done much to get excited about.
After ending the first half losing 17-3, the Broncos offense took the ball to start the second. Rather than capitalizing on McManus’ huge kick, they ran five plays and then punted. The Chargers turned that into a field goal to make it 20-3.
Can everyone be fired at halftime? Asking for a #BroncosCountry— Adam Malnati (@AdamMalnati16) January 2, 2022
A 17-point lead feels like climbing Everest in Broncos Country right now. Still, Denver answered with another field goal, and the game felt as if it was still within reach. One kickoff later it was 27-6 after the Chargers Andre Roberts returned it for 6 and LA converted their extra point.
Back to scaling Everest.
For the second time in the game a Broncos drive would stall, and they would turn the ball over on downs. Three plays later Justin Herbert dropped the ball into the hand of Mike Williams for a 45-yard touchdown pass and catch.
When Lock did finally finish a drive in garbage time, he hit Seth Williams for 34 yards, followed by a roughing the passer call that put the ball on the Chargers 5 yard line. Lock found Noah Fant in the end zone for the team’s lone touchdown.
The Chargers offense got the ball back with 6:31 left. They never gave it back and the Broncos made history, extending their streak of missing the playoffs after a Super Bowl to 6 seasons.
Now, the meat of the discussion. All anyone wanted to talk about was Drew Lock. Some fans believe he should have been the starter all season. Some fans still aren’t sold on Lock. Count me as the latter.
Lock never really developed like many of us hoped he would. Blame Pat Shurmur. Blame Vic Fangio. It doesn’t matter. He was never good enough to really prove he deserved to be The Guy.
And let’s not pretend that Teddy Bridgewater was ever really the answer, either. That may be the biggest indictment on this season. With one game left what we all know is that this coaching staff has to go. There will be an all new QB room in 2022, and 2021 has the same characteristic of the previous 5 season; a waste of time.
Until there are major adjustments in Broncos Country, nothing is truly going to change. From the top down, it will take whole sale changes to have any hope of success moving forward.
Maybe it’s the pessimism of the post Super Bowl 50 era, but I don’t have high expectations for whatever is going to happen in 2022.