Towel Thrown: The Broncos are done

Nov 4, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum (4) attempts to pass under pressure from Houston Texans outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett (57) as offensive tackle Jared Veldheer (66) defends in the fourth quarter at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

As soon as Brandon McManus’ 51-yard, win-the-damn-game field goal attempt sailed right, that was it.



Stick a fork in ‘em.

All she wrote.

Broncos 17. Texans 19.

Bronco 3. Opponents 6.

That’s not Rocky Mountain Thunder. That’s a North Denver whimper.

Ask yourself this: Is there a reason to watch the Broncos from now until the 2018 NFL regular season is in the books?

That’s a serious question. Oh, sure, we’ll all watch. But should we? What’s the reason?

The stated goal, back when Pat Bowlen was running the show, was to win a Super Bowl. Every. Single. Year. That’s not to suggest that John Elway doesn’t have the same goal; surely he does. But as the quarterback of two championship teams, and the architect of another, he’s got to know that this particular season is officially a lost cause. The best thing that Elway can hope for at this point is that his team doesn’t suffer any significant injuries (like Matt Paradis did on Sunday). The second best thing he can hope for is to finish the season 0-7.

Those aren’t reasons for anyone – you, me, the once proud residents of Broncos Country – to watch, though.

Vance Joseph will be on the Broncos sideline from now until the end of the season. That’s reason enough not to watch. Joseph is a terrible coach. You know it. I know it. The players on the Broncos roster know it. And John Elway and Joe Ellis know it, too. But Vance will stay, because… well, because why not at this point? Losses are more important than wins, and if you subscribe to that line of thinking, then good ol’ V.J. is invaluable about now. He’s guiding the Uber on the fast lane toward another top-five pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s fully capable of snatching a loss out from the jaws of victory for seven more games. Just think how good another Bradley Chubb-caliber player will be playing for a real coach or real coordinator.

Besides, who on this staff is remotely qualified to be the interim head coach of the Broncos? Certainly nobody on the current staff. Nobody coaching under Joseph would energize the team or the city; they certainly wouldn’t save a season unworthy of saving.

Actually, the best coach inside Broncos Stadium at Mile High isn’t on the sidelines at all; he’s in the booth – the radio booth – calling the play-by-play for KOA, which at current, is a job far more stable than any position under Elway on the Broncos org chart.

Dave Logan (not that he’s necessarily in any sort of “conversation” at this point) would be a huge upgrade, but – serious question – would you rather see a “hypothetical” Dave Logan grab a clipboard and “save” the season by going or 5-2(ish)? Or would you rather the “actual” Vance Joseph goes 2-5 – heck, 0-7! – and produces a fairly high draft pick? Joseph will get this done, and get it done the right way.

My oh my, how the mighty – and the standards – have fallen.

Joseph, a “leader of men,” once said the Broncos are not a rebuild, they’re a “reboot.” At this point, the only “boot” of any kind down at headquarters should be Elway’s kicking Joseph’s backside right square into the south stands.

Here’s the thing though: There are some fantastic players on the Broncos’ roster. Von Miller. Bradly Chubb. Chris Harris Jr. Derek Wolfe. Royce Freeman. Phillip Lindsay. Courtland Sutton.

Even Case Keenum can play, just a little. On Sunday, he coolly gave the Broncos a chance to beat one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Keenum might be a middle of the road guy, but on occasion he can rise to the occasion and there’s enough talent around him that the Broncos should be a fringe playoff team. They’re nowhere close to that, so long as Joseph is calling the shots (or whatever it is he does over there).

Again, that’s something everyone knows. There’s really no sense in beating a dead – ehem – Bronco.

So, again, I’ll ask: Is there a single reason to watch the remainder of the Denver Broncos schedule this season?

What happens when the Nuggets, Avs or Rockies are south of mediocre?

Bingo. Folks stop showing up. Everyone knows the waiting list for Broncos season tickets winds from Lamar to Steamboat Springs, but that doesn’t mean that everyone attends games. In fact, hold the Broncos to the same standard as all the others: Win and we’re in. Lose and make no changes?

Well, for now, that would be like throwing in the towel. And just you watch, that’s about to happen.

Nobody is suggesting that you should stop rooting for the Broncos. But as it pertains to this season, they’re about to throw in the towel. And if they’re doing that – trading away difference making players and retaining their unqualified head coach – why should you be interested in this team.

For now, save your Sundays for something fun and real. These Broncos are neither.