Perhaps this is how it should be. Perhaps the football gods are giving the Chargers the chance they claim they never received after the Hochuli play. Perhaps the injuries, 12 players on I/R and several games missed by D.J. Williams, Champ Bailey and 6 different running backs is just too much for any team to bear. Whatever it is, the Broncos will have to go to San Diego and play a 1-game playoff against the Chargers with everything on the line.
Today's game against Buffalo was a microcosm of the entire season. A hot start followed by a so-so middle, then ending up with a furious charge that proved a bit too-little, too-late. Big plays allowed by the defense, missed opportunities by the offense, shoddy play by the special teams. A collective team effort.
For his part, Jay Cutler is still searching for a win in a big moment, with this game added to the annals of the San Francisco game in 2006. It's hard without any semblance of a running game, which went away when the latest Broncos ball-carrier to get injured, P.J. Pope, left the game in the 1st quarter and never returned.
Much will be said about the defense and rightfully so, but lest we forget that this team is driven by the offense, by design. Settling for field goals, making the score 13-0 instead of 21-0 allowed the Bills to continue doing what they do well, run the football. They can run on anyone, and when they are allowed to keep running they'll kill ya.
There will be a lot of negativity around Broncos Country this week, but not by me. This team is who I'd thought they'd be. It is the Chargers that have disappointed. Should they win next week they will deserve the Division Title and the playoff spot that comes with it. The Broncos, in turn, will have learned a valuable lesson, as well as found out alot about some of the young players in the locker room. Should the Broncos get it done, they too will deserve the playoff spot and division, and all talk about blown calls will cease.
Perhaps it is fitting, then, that it comes down to this. The Broncos will have nothing to lose next week, for it will once again be the Chargers with all the pressure. Denver will be in a familiar situation. On the road, backs against the wall, a huge underdog. Something tells me that had I asked you all before the season if you's sign on for the Broncos to travel to San Diego for a Week 17-Winner-Takes-All game you would have jumped at the chance.
That's what we have. Win or lose I am proud of this team and proud to be a Broncos fan.