The Broncos used a practice-squad wide receiver at quarterback and things went just about as you’d expect.
Denver um, quarterback Kendall Hinton had more interceptions than completions and the Saints marched to a 31-3 road win to maintain the top seed in the NFC.
It was an unusual game in a most unusual NFL season as the top four Broncos quarterbacks all were ruled out on Saturday following a positive COVID test for third-stringer Jeff Driskel. The other three guys, including starter Drew Lock, were considered high risk because they were around Driskel during the week and not always following the protocols clearly laid out. Sigh.
Lock apologized on Twitter for letting “our masking slip for a limited amount of time. An honest mistake, but one I will own.”
Denver’s only points came on a 58-yard field goal by Brandon McManus as the Saints easily covered a point spread that had been six earlier in the week but up to 17 at kickoff.
McManus’ field goal also kept the Broncos from being shut out for the first time ever at home, an impressive span of 465 games.
Hinton was officially added to the roster two hours before kickoff and, despite having a passer rating of zero, earned the admiration of his coach.
“He did everything he could,” Vic Fangio said. “That was a big, big ask.”
NFC: 1-New Orleans (bye)
7-Arizona at 2-Green Bay
6-Tampa Bay at 3-Seattle
5-L.A. Rams at 4-N.Y. Giants
AFC: 1-Pittsburgh (bye)
7-Indianapolis at 2-Kansas City
6-Miami at 3-Tennessee
5-Cleveland at 4-Buffalo
“It’s special to be a part of this rivalry. There’s few rivalries like this in all of sports -- one or two in just about every league. This is one of the premier ones.”
-- Aaron Rodgers after thumping the Bears on Sunday night and running his career record to 20-5 against Chicago. Not much of a rivalry when only one side wins 80 percent of the time.
“She’s a great utility player for us and she can fill in anywhere. I’m proud of her and proud of her journey and it’s going to continue here.”
-- Browns coach Kevin Stefanski on chief of staff Callie Brownson, who coached the tight ends on Sunday.
“I mean, 0-11. No one at the beginning of the season thought that we’d find ourselves in this position at this point in the season.”
-- Jets quarterback Sam Darnold. (Editor’s note: You sure about that, Sam?)
“If you can get the guys to believe in themselves, believe in what they can do, those things usually work out in your favor.”
-- Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris.
Look it, late-November, December, January -- that’s where this guy eats. [Defenders] making business decisions on whether they want to tackle him.
-- NFL Red Zone host Scott Hanson on bruising Titans running back Derrick Henry, who had four 100-yard rushing days in Tennessee’s five November games.
“It is mind blowing to ask a guy that plays wide receiver to go in and play quarterback. I don’t care that he played quarterback in college. Stop this right now. This is the NFL.”
-- NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin in the pregame show segment on Kendall Hinton and the Broncos.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.