Paul Klee’s three random thoughts as the Broncos face the New England Patriots:
Cheating Pats? More like incompetent rivals
New England’s long history with cheating the system is well-known. Spygate, Deflagate, false injury designations, a half-dozen PED busts. Solid list. But it’s the rest of the NFL that should be sent to its room with no dessert for allowing the Pats to land former MVP Cam Newton for the same price as Joe Flacco. That’s right: Flacco’s actually a bigger salary cap hit for the Jets ($1.27 million) than Newton is for the Patriots ($1.13 million). Shoot, Nate Sudfeld (who?) is a bigger cap hit for the Eagles than Newton is for the Patriots. Same for Jeff Driskel with the Broncos. New England’s loss to the Chiefs exposed the Pats as also-rans without Newton. They’re not a threat with Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham at QB. But the NFL was caught sleeping when Belichick tugged a hoodie over his head, snuck in and stole Newton for a bargain-basement price. Newton’s COVID-19 results will fade. But if the Pats go on to win the AFC East and in the postseason, their haters across the NFL will have no one to blame but themselves.
“Listening to the science” is so March
The Broncos were approved to host 5,700 fans at the final six games at Empower Field at Mile High. All hail Gov. Polis, oh generous leader! Meanwhile, Florida, a state of 21.5 million that reported a total of two coronavirus deaths on Thursday, approved the Dolphins to welcome 65,000 fans at Hard Rock Stadium. Good to see someone’s listening to the science: “Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal,” reads the Great Barrington Declaration, a proposal to end the devastating and politically motivated lockdowns. The landmark petition was authored by epidemiologists from Oxford, Stanford and Harvard. It’s the definition of science… and ignored by the folks in charge. While pols like Polis and Michael Hancock used last week to scare folks with a new batch of rules, their actions tell the real story: Colorado closed overflow hospitals in Grand Junction and Loveland — neither of which ever saw a patient. It’s never been clearer: listening to science was so March. October is all election, all the time.
What Melvin Gordon’s DUI charge says
Are some of the Broncos already checking out? Standby. That’s the next step if the Broncos continue their losing ways. One of the many reasons the game Sunday at New England is the most important of the Vic Fangio era: Melvin Gordon just showed the inevitable response when losing sets in. The running back was cited on Tuesday for driving under the influence while speeding 71 mph in a 35 a few blocks south of downtown Denver. If the Broncos are 3-1 instead of 1-3 are key players risking a good chunk of their season with a boneheaded decision that surely will lead to a multi-game suspension? Off-the-field mistakes happen. They happen less often when a team’s in the playoff hunt. A loss Sunday would send the Broncos to 1-4 — with the Super Bowl-champion Chiefs up next. The Broncos had losing streaks of eight, four and four games during the Vance Joseph era. They’d never say so, but players checked out. Will that happen again, in 2020? Standby.