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DENVER — Von Miller is in denial.
“We got real fans here,” he said when asked what he would say to fans who may be losing hope. “The fans are losing hope? I just can’t believe that. We still got a long season ahead of us. Broncos Country has been great for us.”
Unfortunately for Von, he’s wrong.
Many fans gave up hope today, as they headed for the exits in the third quarter, many fans have given up hope on this season, as almost 10,000 didn’t even show up for the game, and many, many more have given up hope that Case Keenum can be the answer for this team at quarterback.
On Sunday, the quarterback didn’t even make it out of the first quarter before being hit with the first barrage of boos, and they only got louder from there. Before the first half ended, those boos turned to chants, but they weren’t for Keenum, they were for his backup.
“Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!” They chanted, pleading with head coach Vance Joseph to bring in second-year signal-caller Chad Kelly.
After the game, Keenum admitted he wasn’t oblivious to the jeers.
“They should be pissed,” he said. “I’m pissed.”
And while his top wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders shred some of that sentiment, he wasn’t cool with the way they treated the team’s 36-million-dollar quarterback.
“They expect wins, and I would expect wins, too. I understand what they’re going through,” he began, before sending his message. “I don’t respect what they do in the stadium in terms of booing and stuff like that. Especially in the Case situation. I mean, Case is a quarterback who comes in every single day and busts his butt. He goes out and plays, and they’re supposed to provide momentum for us, give us that “let’s go” factor. We don’t want to hear the boos.”
Herein lies the challenge with being a quarterback in Denver. Mediocrity is not tolerated. After all, this town has played host to two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. These folks know winners when they see them.
For the second straight game, Keenum had a positive touchdown-to-interception ratio. For the second straight game, Keenum eclipsed 300 yards in the air. Heck, he threw a perfect ball to Emmanuel Sanders early in the game that looked to be a touchdown and, even though it was a few inches short, it would have put the Broncos in a position to score a touchdown. A touchdown there technically would have given them enough points to win on Sunday. Unfortunately, in celebrating the touchdown that wasn’t, Sanders—who took credit for the loss because of it—drew a 15-yard penalty for taunting and the Broncos couldn’t punch it in from 16 yards out.
Not good enough.
In Denver—and most places—win, and you’re the hero, lose and you’re the zero. Right now, the Broncos are 2-4, and Keenum’s offense is averaging 20 points per game, with a lot of those points, including most of today’s 20, coming in a comeback effort.
Until this team gets it going, especially at home, the boo birds will continue to fly.