Not long ago I did a post on what I would like to see from the Broncos with 4 games remaining in the regular season with the idea in mind that we were playoff bound. Some of you shared your thoughts with some pointing out I was jumping gun a bit. Perhaps that was true.
At the time it seemed like a sure thing that Denver was going to win the West and to me it still does seem very probable. The loss to the Panthers doesn't bother me all that much. I knew going in it would be a tough road to hoe. I was optimistic that we could score points and perform as well as we have against the teams in the NFC South. I predicted Denver to win, perhaps blinded by my Orange and Blue glasses. I just can't pick against our boys, hard as I try.
With two games remaining my goal hasn't changed. I want to see Denver win two playoff games. If we start playing playoff football now, we win the West next week against the Bills. We need to start now.
Here are 4 things I hope to see over the next two weeks for the Broncos:
1. Running on empty...We need to refuel the running game. Sunday the Panthers showed us what a playoff team will do against a one dimensional offense. As good as Cutler is, with no fear of a sustained rushing attack, defenses sit back and dare Cutler to beat them underneath. He needs a running game. Selvin Young, in my opinion, is our last hope. He needs to get in shape and produce in order for us to move on in the playoffs. The loss of Hillis may be greater than I thought.
2. Champ, we need you...It is obvious that this is a different secondary with Champ out. It goes without saying that when a HOF player is out of your lineup it hurts, but we need him to get healthy fast! Please! Bly, you have earned my respect, he stepped up and became a leader, his intesity increased and he played hard.
3. INTENSITY... I got the feeling that the players took the field Sunday thinking that San Diego lost and the West was won. OK fella's we have given you too many get out of jail free cards. No more laying an egg this year. Tighten it up. From now on, be ready, be aggresive and come to play. One of the main character traits in all of the Broncos players we love was hard work. From Al Wilson to Steve Atwater to Rod Smith to Floyd Little to Karl Mecklenburg to Tom Jackson to TD to Elway, they always brought their hats with them to work. That is what being a professional is. A while back Brandon Marshall said the media was adding fuel for the Broncos to perform or something to that affect. I don't like that thinking. They need to focus on the fundementals of their job and nothing else. The media? What the heck are you listening to them for? They shouldn't matter one bit . How is someone who is paid to report on you going to tell you how your doing? The only thing on our Broncos players minds is, how do I catch better, how do I run better routes, how do I read defenses better, how do I tackle better, how do I KICK better etc. This is what you are handsomely paid to do, do it!
4.Continue the improvement on run D' - The front 7, with a mixture of talented young players, has continually improved week over week. I'll give them a mulligan for the one long run because Williams has been doing that all year to everybody. But all in all they did well. Keep it up boys!
5. Turnovers - That ole cliche runs true again. More than one turnover = Loss. See #3.
So with all this said I still like the Broncos' chances, I really do. We need Shanny to work his magic and get the running game going but we have a ton of offensive firepower and a defense that is getting healthier and that is showing some improvement in stopping the run. 10 - 6 is still in the mix! Your thoughts?