Expectation: The NFL would postpone the game until Denver had an eligible quarterback.
Reality: Roger Goodell didn’t give a f%#*.
In an attempt to send a message about the consequences of not following COVID-19 protocols during team practices, Roger Goodell instead compromised the integrity of the NFL. He picks and chooses which teams to give leeway to in regard to the virus instead of being consistent across the league. For reference, the Ravens vs. Steelers game is now postponed for the third time due to COVID-19 concerns. The Broncos have the same problem, so where is their game postponement?
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The NFL isn’t supposed to hinder the quality of game play, but that’s exactly what they did. By not giving Denver the opportunity to field a healthy team, Goodell should have just cancelled the game and given the win to New Orleans.
The argument for the Broncos to forfeit the game is outlandish. In what world would an NFL team willingly give up the chance to compete for a win? While many say that it didn’t matter if the Broncos played with or without a quarterback, that simply isn’t true. The Saints playing with Drew Brees is much different than the Saints playing without him. Taysom Hill, New Orleans’ backup quarterback, is essentially a rookie—he’s never seen the field in a professional setting before this season. He played like a beginner on Sunday as well, earning only a 33.8 quarterback rating.
Expectation: Denver would lose miserably to New Orleans.
Reality: The Broncos scored the same number of points as the Buccaneers did against the Saints.
Losing 31-3 with a wide receiver at quarterback isn’t as bad as losing 38-3 with a six-time Super Bowl Champion at quarterback. Tom Brady threw 22-for-38 and had zero touchdowns with three interceptions against the Saints in week 9. Kendall Hinton only threw two interceptions and hasn’t touched a football since his time at Wake Forest.
Hinton did more than could have possibly been expected of him simply by taking the field on Sunday. With no time to learn the plays or practice with the team, he had to quarterback against the leader of the NFC South. Hinton earned the respect of every player in the NFL on Sunday, and he deserves credit for stepping up to this challenge.
–Caitlyn Allen covers the Denver Broncos for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. Follow her on Twitter @caitlyyyn_allen.