Why should Cleveland be the only town that celebrates Christmas in April? Why are we chasing 6-10, pining for 5-11, when we should be debating the merits of Trevor Lawrence or Penei Sewell?
As a Broncos fan, ask yourself this: What would be the better outcome for the future of your franchise on Thursday night?
A win over the 0-3 New York Jets? Or moving one step closer to getting your mitts on a generational quarterback or a franchise left tackle? What’s the end game here?
“It’s a tough time,” Vic Fangio, now 0-3 in 2020 and 7-12 in two-plus seasons as Broncos coach, said Monday. “But we’ve got to fight through it and keep pounding.”
Stop pounding. Stop fighting it. When fate robs you of Von Miller, it’s a sign. When it then snatches Courtland Sutton and A.J. Bouye, that sign starts flashing in giant, neon letters, like a roadside diner on a rainy night.
When it snaps away Jurrell Casey, the way it did after a 28-10 home defeat to Tampa Bay, fate’s yanking that sign out of the sky and whacking you across the face with it.
If there was ever a year to pop open the gas can and light the whole blasted thing on fire, it’s this one. Because of social distancing, Mile High is unlikely to ever be more than 50% full the rest of this calendar year. Few of the Front Range faithful will actually get to see this team in person. Those who did this past Sunday, by and large, did not come away impressed with the product. If you’re going to stink to high heaven, do it when nobody’s looking.
COVID-19 isn’t just handing Broncos GM John Elway a mulligan. It’s gift-wrapped the thing. It’s slapped a big, fancy bow right on top of the box.
The top three prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft are a quarterback (Lawrence), another quarterback (Justin Fields) and an offensive tackle (Sewell). Your starting left tackle is in a contract year. Your second-year signal-caller is banged up. You’ve signed Blake Bortles. You share a division with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.
Sometimes, all the stars align into a giant, flaming torch. All you’ve got to do, at this point, is not screw it up.
All together now:
J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!
“The next guy up will have to go in and play well and the rest of the team will have to play good around everybody else,” Fangio said. “We’ll find the guys that are going to go out there and I’m confident that they will play hard and give us every effort they have.”
You say it’s unfair to the passengers on the S.S. Fangio, the players who stuck it out through the coronavirus chaos. You say It’s unfair to the captain, who never signed up for a round-trip on the Mary Celeste. You say it’s unfair to Drew Lock. That the point of 2020 was find out, in no uncertain terms, what the kid does — and doesn’t — bring to the table.
Yeah, well, the Chiefs had Alex Smith calling signals in 2016. They drafted Mahomes the next spring anyway. How’d that work out?
One more time, with feeling:
J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!
Win Thursday night, sure, you get back some dignity. You’d also lose a tiebreaker for the top pick. Same deal against Miami (1-2) on Oct. 18. And that trip to Carolina (1-2) on Dec. 13.
No professional with pride and a contract is going to go out and try to stink up the joint on purpose. But based on what we saw in Week 3 against the Bucs? They probably won’t have to.
“It’s not going to break me,” Fangio continued. “It’s not going to break the staff. We’re going to keep pounding away.”
Sometimes, there’s nowhere to go but down. And the only way forward is two bloody, painful steps back.