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Paul Klee: That — whatever that was — was the worst: Mile High turns on Broncos in "pathetic" loss to New York Giants

By: Paul Klee
October 15, 2017 Updated: October 16, 2017 at 7:29 am
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Denver Broncos wide receiver Bennie Fowler, right, can't make the end zone catch as New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple (24) defends during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER — Booooo.

In the Age of Apologies, the Broncos should send one ASAP. That — whatever that was — was the worst performance I’ve ever seen by a Colorado sports team playing at home. And I was a Nuggets fan in the ’90s.

New York Giants 23, Broncozzzzz 10.

Here are some other nevers, if you’re scoring at home (since the Broncos aren’t): I’ve never heard a Mile High crowd so quiet, until it booed. And the boos were 100-percent warranted and not loud enough. Many of the 75,174 who attended left early. The Broncos experienced a premature evacuation. 

“We got our ass kicked tonight,” running back C.J. Anderson said.

I’ve never seen a Denver team so utterly unprepared after it had 13 days to prepare for a game. Vance Joseph might be a leader of men, as he was advertised. But where is he leading them?

“It's bull****,” defensive lineman Derek Wolfe said. “We've gotta clean this **** up.”

Good news: it’s only one game, and the Raiders and Chiefs both lost. Bad news: everything else.

“It’s pathetic right now,” Anderson said.

There were 1,547 no-shows on Sunday night, a strangely high number for a Broncos home game in prime time, or a home game at any time. They missed nothing.

The Broncos were double-digit favorites over the Giants and have scored 16, 16 and 10 points in the past three games. The next three are on the road — at Los Angeles (to play the Chargers, who just won at Oakland), at Kansas City (the Chiefs have won 12 straight AFC West games) and at Philadelphia (the Vegas favorite to win the NFC). It's no wonder that, soon after the Giants recovered an onside kick with 3 minutes left, Thunder left the field and headed to his horse place, head hung low. Were the Broncos worth the price of admission? Neigh.

Don’t credit the Giants. Discredit the Broncos. They were embarrassed by an 0-5 team playing without its top four wide receivers, $84-million pass rusher and with its head coach seemingly on the firing block. 

That — whatever that was — was the worst.

“Terrible football,” Anderson said.

With 11:50 left in the third quarter, Eli Manning was chased into the Broncos sideline, where he caught his balance on the aluminum bench where his big brother used to sit between series to analyze photographs. As he jogged back onto the field, a pair of Broncos players gave Manning — Eli, not Peyton, who was in a luxury suite at the game — a respectful pat on the backside.

At least these Broncos are polite when they get spanked. Can they have another?

Joseph, the rookie coach, played the part to a ‘T.’ Leading into the game, Joseph distributed t-shirts with one word on the front: “MORE.” 

VJ should’ve been more specific.

More miscommunication?

“Us and the linebackers weren’t on the same page,” cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said, a startling admission after a bye week.

More film study?

“It was definitely a trap game,” linebacker Brandon Marshall said.

More missed field goals?

“Missed it right,” Brandon McManus said.

More of that — whatever that was?

“If we go out to L.A. and play like that, we’ll get our ass kicked again,” Anderson said.

As the players dressed, a familiar face strolled past the locker room. Peyton Manning had some stinkers here. Not many, but some. But he always came back to right the ship, even and especially at the end. Who is the new Peyton?

"As an offense we just didn't get it going collectively," quarterback Trevor Siemian said.

In 2012, the Broncos signed Manning and John Elway declared, “There is no Plan B.”

"We didn't overlook these guys," Wolfe said.

This was Plan Z.


Twitter: @bypaulklee

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