ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – The Denver Broncos are paying the price for a prolonged drought in the playoffs. They are not participating in this year’s “Monday Night Football” for the first time since 1991 and for the first time they have not had a Professional Player since 1980.
The biggest annoyance is safety Justin Simmons, who has stuck with his career with 5 interceptions and 2 best eliminations after signing a 4-year, $61 million contract extension. in the season.
Although Simmons was the first replacement along with left midfielder Garett Bolles and rookie full-back Patrick Surtain II, coach Vic Fangio said on Thursday that Simmons’ irritation in particular caught him off guard.
“I was very, very surprised and disappointed. I think Justin Simmons — I think I told you guys yesterday — that’s undisputed,” Fangio said. “He did it last year and he’s played even better this year. I think Surtain deserves the best, and both of us. We had five people on the alternative list, but were very, very surprised. “
Fangio had been in favor of running back Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, but their nearly even split probably worked against him, as did Surtain’s status as a rookie.
Factors that can affect Simmons’ chances:
– The Broncos (7-7) risk extending their playoff drought to six years, the longest for a Super Bowl champion.
– The Broncos lost their first two games this year, in Cleveland and in Kansas City.
– NFL placement allowances include one free safe (Kevin Byard of Tennessee) and two strong safes (AFC West rivals are Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu and Chargers’ Derwin James).
If there are four safe points, Simmons hasn’t been overlooked for his Pro Bowl-worthy season, one in which he held Denver’s defense together despite having to go through eight defenders inside and a series of injuries in the second game.
The Broncos have the second-highest scoring defense in the league with 17.4 points per game.
Simmons says he feels rejected.
“I mean, I did. Well, like first of all, the people who made it are more than deserved,” Simmons said. “Those three boys had a terrible year. But I mean, of course if you ask any of the guys in this league to be competitive, you always think you’re the best at what you do.
“And so, obviously, I think I’m the best at what I do,” Simmons said, adding that it was thanks to the people around him that helped him shine.
Simmons, who was also knocked out of the Pro Bowl two years ago only to become the second All-Pro team, said he knows how to stop these disappointments.
“What I’m interested in is trying to find a way to win more games, get to the knockout stages and you know, those individual awards come,” Simmons said.
“Whenever you win, you get more primetime matches, more countries, players and teams, and fans getting to see your team play and with it the fun.” more recognition, right? Like Pat played absolutely amazing. Dre’Mont (Jones) played absolutely fantastic.
“We’ve had support staff plugged in week in and week out that’s been absolutely fantastic for us. So I just think the boys didn’t get the recognition they deserved, unfortunately, because we didn’t win. “
Case in point: Last week the Broncos held Joe Mixon to 58 yards, Joe Burrow to 157 yards, Tee Higgins to 23 yards and Ja’Marr Chase to 3 yards, but couldn’t manage a single pass and the Broncos lost 15-10. to the Cincinnati Bengals.
They left Patrick Mahomes on the sidelines with a 20-minute, 11-minute drive but no points in their 22-9 loss to the Chiefs.
“We haven’t figured out how to win those games yet,” Simmons said. “And for me, that is a little more important. Because once those things start happening, the recognition starts coming. ”
NOTE: C Lloyd Cushenberry III has landed on the reserve/COVID-19 roster, and while it’s possible the vaccinated Cushenberry could return to the game, the Broncos are considering two other options: plug Austin Schlottman in room or move rookie RG Quinn Meinerz to kick forward and put Netane Muti in the right midfield.
By ARNIE STAPLETON AP Pro Football Writer
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https://denver.cbslocal.com/2021/12/24/denver-broncos-justin-simmons-afc-pro-bowl/ Broncos Safety Justin Simmons Enters Once Again for the AFC Pro Bowl – CBS Denver