The first legal forward pass in professional football history was completed by Massillon’s George Parratt in 1906. Today, the Denver Broncos were forced to play a game that more closely resembled a game from 1905 than anything we’ve seen lately.
In peak 2020 fashion, all three of the Denver Broncos quarterbacks were ineligible to play in this game, after being deemed high-risk close contacts. All three were placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list yesterday. So, without a quarterback on their roster, the Broncos had to come up with a last-second emergency option. They elevated Kendall Hinton, an undrafted rookie wide receiver from their practice squad, who had never taken a single snap in practice as a quarterback.
This game was… gross. The Saints absolutely loved it. They seemed fine playing physical, smashmouth football with their backup running back — I mean, quarterback — Taysom Hill handling the work for them. This game had the fewest passing attempts, completions and passing yards in any first quarter this season.
The first completion for Hinton and the Broncos was in the third quarter on a screen pass to tight end Noah Fant. He picked up 12 yards on the play. It was the only completion on the day for Hinton. In fact, it was the first time a team finished with more interceptions than completions since 1998. Hinton threw two interceptions, with only one completion.
The Saints, as expected, routed the Broncos 31-3. Honestly, this is what being hellbent on playing an NFL game when a pandemic is taking place will do. Sometimes, it’ll look like this — weird, out of place, lopsided, and unfair. But, considering all three of the Broncos quarterbacks that were ineligible to play made the stupid decision to not wear their masks, they brought this upon themselves. Follow the damn protocols. I’m sick of this.
Today shouldn’t be blamed on Kendall Hinton, who was put into an unimaginable situation and expected to play quarterback in an NFL game after not even practicing the situation. Hopefully, other teams and players can learn from the mistakes of the Broncos going forward. Tip o’ the cap to Hinton.