Normally, I'd sit down and share with you my five key takeaways from a Denver Broncos game — win or lose.
But on the heels of arguably the most embarrassing loss of the John Elway front-office era (that's saying something), only one insight is really worth talking about.
Joe Flacco has to go.
The Kansas City Chiefs rolled into Mile High and with Patrick Mahomes going down with a knee injury in the second quarter with a 10-6 lead, Matt Moore was able to enter the game and completely out-duel Flacco.
The final score? 30-6 Chiefs.
To say that Flacco was impotent is to significantly under-sell how bad he was. Having ice in one's veins is fine and dandy but when one's body temperature is lower than that of a cadaver, how much is that 'cool, calm collectiveness' really helping anyone?
It's not. And in fact, it's a detriment.
Flacco went 21-of-34 for 213 yards. No touchdowns. No interceptions.
On the surface, not terrible numbers, especially for a quarterback who palpably gave up on his team midway through the third quarter. There was no fire. There wasn't even a hint of self-pride emanating from Flacco's demeanor.
None of that even mentions the fact that on Flacco's watch, the Broncos have converted just 6-of-38 third-down attempts over the last three games. That's a stat directly tied to QB play.
This loss was a categorical embarrassment for this once-proud NFL franchise. GM John Elway has to be eating his heart out right now in both shame and frustration.
The question is, was this embarrassment on the national stage, in which the Broncos' six points were literally the lowest output the team has ever produced in its 71 primetime home games, enough to spark a mighty change of heart?
If it doesn't spark a change, every executive in Dove Valley risks this fanbase getting the pitchforks out and calling for heads (and jobs) to roll.
Joe Flacco's performance was more than just egg on the face of the organization. It was an indictment on John Elway.
This team would be wise to get out in front of what is becoming a growing mutiny in the fanbase and telegraph its intentions to not only activate Drew Lock off of injured reserve but bench Joe Flacco in the meantime.
I get that the Broncos' offensive line did Flacco no favors. Flacco was sacked nine times after all, but I put at least half of the blame for those sacks on the QB's shoulders. And you should too.
From missing blitzers pre-snap, to failing to anticipate the rush — even in the face of Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson making it clear out of the gates that the edges would be a turnstile on Thursday night — to holding onto the ball way too long and overall just looking disinterested and pedantic, Flacco's play did nothing to offset the Broncos' slumping O-line.
The Broncos can't fool themselves into the line of thinking that 'Hey, this was just a bad night. We just won two games in a row'. Down that path lies only more ruin and more heartbreak and more embarrassment.
Joe Flacco's got to go. Right now. Don't wait until Lock can return to the roster in Week 9. Rip that band-aid off now and play Brandon Allen next week in Indianapolis.
By virtue of this short week, the Broncos will get a mini-bye of sorts. This team doesn't have to suit up against the Colts until 10 days from now.
That's plenty of time to get Allen up to speed and at least see what the team has in him before putting Drew Lock in the lineup in Week 9 and never looking back. This season is no longer about trying to compete in the present.
This season has devolved into a 'see what we've got in the young guys on the roster' type of campaign. The sooner Elway and company embrace that reality, the better.
Get Flacco off the field as soon as humanly possible.