The Broncos finally stood up for themselves and, in turn, for the rest of the AFC West. Not that the Raiders or Chiefs need defending. The Chargers have dominated the AFC West for the past 3 seasons - often bullying, trash-talking and dancing their way to the top. Of course, when the Patriots did some dancing of their own, well, the Chargers got mad. That's how bullies are, of course - they can intimidate, they can talk trash, they can dance, but if you do it to them, watch out!
It reminds me of A Christmas Story. You know, Ralphie and his quest for the Red Rider BB Gun. The house it was filmed at (besides all the locations in Canada) is in Cleveland. The family lived on Cleveland St. and the city shots are, you guessed it, of Cleveland. The movie is a classic to me - from rabbit suit to leg lamp and every Bumpus dog in between.
So what do the Chargers have to do with a timeless holiday classic? Easy - the Chargers are the Scut Farkus of the AFC West - and like Ralphie, the Broncos delivered a serious beatdown by finally standing up for themselves.
If you haven't seen the movie - and possibly our international friends have not - Ralphie and his friends are bullied by Farkus and his co-hort Grover Dil.
At different scenes, Farkas and Dil are seen chasing Ralphie, Schwartz(Kansas City) and Flick(Oakland), intimidating them in the school yard("Say Uncle!") and giving Schwartz a black eye. That is, until Ralphie, fed up with his attempts to find someone who will support his quest for the Red Rider - "You'll shoot your eye out!" - is hit in the face with a snowball by Farkas. The result is the culmination of years of abuse - years of torment. Ralphie snaps and the this is the result -
Not a perfect cut of the scene, but you get the point.
The Broncos, in what seemed to be an attempt at becoming a finesse football team over the past few years were beat up, plain and simple, by teams that played a physical style of football - Miami, Jacksonville, and of course the Chargers. When Josh McDaniels was hired he said the Broncos would be a smart, TOUGH and PHYSICAL football team. Through 6 games, that's exactly what the Broncos have become.
Last night, however, was the big test for me. The Chargers have the confidence of knowing they have started out slow in the past but could count on beating the Broncos, bullying them, and getting themselves back into position. A pre-game scuffle - the Chargers way of trying to intimidate the Broncos - was further example of not only their belief that they were the tougher team, but also of their desperation. They had to do whatever they could to get an edge.
Not this time, not this Broncos team. The Broncos took the Chargers' best shot, the snowball to the face, and decided enough was enough. They hit the Chargers in the mouth, sacking Philip Rivers 5 times, and the bully didn't know how to react. Another 2nd half without a 3rd down conversion allowed. Another 2nd half dominating Time of Possession, Turnovers and, most importantly, scoring (17-3).
That is what has me so excited about this Broncos team. Gone are the days of being physically beaten by stronger, tougher teams. The Broncos are now the ones laying the wood and will be bullied no more.
There is a long way to go in 2009 and as Josh McDaniels says the Broncos have accomplished nothing but winning 6 games. He's right. What's impressed me, though, through 6 games, is HOW they are beating teams. Who doesn't like a feel-good story?