Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is in for some uncomfortable times at Dove Valley. While it’s true that the Dolphins boast the most potent offense in the NFL, and VJ was missing the All-Pro safety Justin Simmons, it’s no excuse for the Broncos’ defense resembling a high school junior varsity team in South Beach.
Denver quickly abandoned their pregame strategy of having only two linemen and five linebackers after just two series. Opting for zone coverage against Tyreek Hill when they have a cornerback like Pat Surtain II was far from a wise decision. The humiliation of a no-look shovel pass resulting in the third touchdown was even more cringe-worthy.
Did Vic Fangio find amusement in the Dolphins’ coaching booth? Was he laughing, howling, or perhaps even spraying milk through his nose?
Whatever his reaction, it must have been satisfying for the former Broncos head coach, now Miami’s defensive coordinator, to witness the downfall of the once formidable Denver defense.
The Dolphins didn’t punt until the fourth quarter, and they scored touchdowns on 10 of their first 12 possessions. The Broncos hadn’t allowed as many points in the first half since 2010 (35), and you’d be hard-pressed to find another game where they conceded 70 points or 726 yards. This, my dear readers, is the lowest point.
After this debacle, refrain from uttering Russell Wilson’s name in vain. Denver may have dropped to 4-14 in games where Russ started, but this loss can’t be pinned on the quarterback.
He wasn’t responsible for committing two penalties that nullified touchdowns (that was Brandon Johnson). Nor did he drop a perfectly thrown ball in the end zone or fumble twice (that was Courtland Sutton).
Wilson didn’t false start on the first down following a sudden change in the second quarter (that was Mike McGlinchey). Yes, he threw a late third-quarter interception, but the game had long been decided by then. Sean Payton should reserve his passive-aggressive jabs for someone else.
Speaking of jabs, the harshest one should be directed at the head coach himself. If you intend to critique all members of the organization even before the training camp commences and share with an external reporter that the previous coach’s performance was among the poorest in NFL history, you should be ready to provide substantial support for your claims.
Starting the season 0-3 doesn’t do that. Say what you want about Nathaniel Hackett; at least he waited until Week 16 to lay an egg. Payton accomplished it in just three weeks, and it was a historic flop.
The only reason the Dolphins didn’t set an NFL scoring record was because they opted not to kick a late field goal. Remember how dreadful it felt when the Broncos began 0-4 under Uncle Vic? This feels even worse, by a substantial margin. We’ve gone from tragedy to comedy to sheer absurdity in South Beach.
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