For a moment there Tuesday, it seemed as if the Broncos’ got-next starting quarterback would be 57 — not No. 57, but 57 years old.
I’m not lying.
Life is not positive, perfect or peaceful at Dove Valley.
The Broncos’ rallying shriek ought to be “Endeavor For Trevor.’’
With another loss, to the Jets, in the “Stoppable Force vs. Movable Object’’ Thursday night game, the Broncos — with yet another (and third) starting quarterback in Brett, not uncle Mark, Rypien — might be in the mode to try hard to achieve the 2021 first overall draft pick and choose Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is supposed to be a future game-changer.
An 0-4 Broncos team could be defeated in at least seven more games — at New England, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles (Chargers), and at home against the Chiefs, the Saints and the Bills. They might fall against the equally dreadful Falcons and Panthers on the road, and beating the Raiders and/or the Chargers at Disempowered Field at Mile High stadium is no guarantee.
Surely they prevail over the Dolphins.
So, 1-15 is a remote possibility, although six other teams are available to go winless for the season and be in the fight to a frightful finish.
However, the good news for the Broncos is that only a few bad teams need a quarterback in the worst way. The Falcons, the Panthers and the Jaguars will be Tanking for Trevor, too.
Perhaps Drew Lock returns soon and turns the beat around. Or Blake Bortles takes over for Rypien vs. the Patriots, then what? In his last 14 regular-season starts for the Jags, Bortles was 3-11, which is, though, an improvement over the Broncos’ latest quarterback Jeff Driskel, who has a 1-8 record as a starter.
The end of the Driskel Error is near. He probably will fall from starter to being released in a matter of days. He never should have been with the Broncos.
Driskel is just another Broncos blemish of the John Elway quarterback inventory. The Duke has to be humiliated by all the quarterbacks he has run through the sausage grinder in five seasons.
The younger Rypien will become the ninth starter in that Spam span. If he falls flat, Bortles will be the 10th.
The silly situation is reminiscent of 1963 when the Broncos were rodeo clowns, or even 2017, when the clown car returned to town.
In the Broncos’ fourth season in franchise history coach “I don’t know” Jack Faulkner made eight starting quarterback changes.
I’m not lying.
Frank Tripucka was replaced before the third game by Mickey Slaughter, who was replaced a week later by John McCormick, who was replaced after two games by Slaughter, who was replaced X-Man Don Breaux, who was replaced by Slaughter, who was replaced by McCormick, who was replaced by Slaughter, who was replaced for the final game by Beaux.
The Broncos’ record was 2-11-1.
In 2017 Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch took embarrassing turns in another season that produced 11 losses.
Thus, 11 losses (six times) and only two triumphs (three seasons) are not unknown in Denver. The Broncos dropped 12 in the brief McDaniels McStake period.
The Broncos have begun with a team-high four consecutive defeats in 1964, 1994 and 1999 (a season after Elway retired), and the Jets were among the winning teams in those streaks.
When Vic Fangio announced his starter Tuesday on the Zoom media conference, he said: “Mark.’’
I wondered: “Mark Sanchez?’’ He played QB for the Jets and was cut in camp by the Broncos in 2016.
Fangio was misguidedly referring to Mark Rypien, Brett’s uncle who started in the league in the '80s and '90s, was Super Bowl MVP and permanently retired in 2002.
The coach immediately corrected himself.
Minutes later I asked Brett if he ever had become discouraged after being cut twice by the Broncos and winding up the past two years mostly on the practice squad. He did throw the late winning touchdown pass in the Hall of Fame exhibition.
Brett said “No,’’ and that Mark, now 57, spent his first two pro seasons on injured reserve, then was a starter over eight seasons with three teams.
Brett gets his break, but everybody in Colorado will be contemplating a quarterback named Trevor “Sunshine” Lawrence.
I’m not lying.