After the country stayed up way too late watching Game 5 on Sunday night, Kansas City did everyone a favor and put last night’s game against Denver to bed early. A Marcus Peters fumble return for a touchdown and an absurdly easy Alex Smith to Travis Kelce touchdown had them up 14-0 inside of eight minutes. And it would’ve been a lot worse just a few plays later, when they were back in the red zone again. But they got creative and let Tyreek Hill take a shot at the end zone.
That was, simply put, one of the worst interceptions in NFL history,…and I love people seeing it and asking if Hill is even left handed: it was that bad. And that hilarious. Obviously the Chiefs coaching staff never got around to telling him, if the receiver isn’t open, just throw it out of the stadium. But I’m glad they didn’t because that was hilarious. And it was that bad.
But the truth is, Tyreek Hill still wasn’t the worst quarterback on the field last night. That was Trevor Siemian. And unlike Hill, he actually is a quarterback. Or he’s supposed to be. But he might not be much longer after going 19 for 36 for 198 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 picks. Those are Chad Henne numbers.
And no, his receivers didn’t help him. On more than one occasion, he hit guys with catchable passes, only for them to drop them. And the receivers can’t do that. If Trevor Siemian manages to miraculously hit you in the hands or the chest with a pass, you better catch it. Because the way he’s chucking it, you have no idea when you’ll get another shot.
And there’s no explanation for why he keeps getting a shot. How many games do they have to lose, how many three-and-outs, how many turnovers, do they need to have before head coach Vance Joseph says enough?
Because the problems of this team can be traced back to one place, just ask Siemian himself: “This week the defense played well enough to win. The offensive line played well enough to win. Just the mistakes — you hate beating yourself. For me, that’s the frustrating part. . . . [I had] a couple bad decisions. [It’s] tough to win, tough to beat good teams when you turn it over.”
True. And the Broncos are turnover machines. Which is why they’ve lost three straight and four of five. They had four turnovers in the first 32 minutes and five on the night. Brutal. I don’t care how good your defense is, if you can’t hold onto the ball, you’re not winning. And it’s not like when they hold onto the ball, they’re productive, either. They’re averaging just over 12 points per game in the last five games.
So the question is: who’s angrier – head coach Vance Joseph or the Broncos defense? Because both have every right to be furious.
Let’s start with Joseph: “Our defense played winning football in my opinion. Our offensive line blocked. We ran the ball for 177 [yards] and the pass [protection] was better, but it all falls back to turning the ball over five times. That’s insane. You can’t win turning the ball over five times. Guys work too hard along with coaches and players to have a big game and give it away five times. It is mind boggling.”
Mind boggling is a great description. It’s also mind boggling that Siemian keeps rolling out there, one disastrous series after another. I know Paxton Lynch is banged up, but what does it say about Brock Osweiler that Joseph wouldn’t give him a shot? Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Brock Lobster than Joseph would rather take his chances with a turnover machine than go with him.
But that can’t keep going for much longer. Just ask defensive back Chris Harris: “There’s high tension. We’re not winning. We’re not taking care of the football. We’re giving the games away. We had some crucial chances to make a stop to give us a chance. We got back on the turnovers, which was a positive. Other than that, it was an ugly game.”
When you have an All-Pro on that defense saying that “we’re giving the games away,” that’s not a good sign. Not a good sign at all. And I’m guessing that Harris isn’t the only guy on defense who’s frustrated. Or pissed. Or both. I’m not going to say the locker room is busting apart at the seems, but I wouldn’t blame it if it did. Because one side is doing their job and the other isn’t.
That’s a Super Bowl caliber defense and they’re playing with a preseason-level quarterback. And now they’re 3-4, with a trip to Philly and a visit from New England next. The season’s on the brink and right now the answer is more Trevor Siemian, which is no answer at all.