|3rd Down Conversions||5-15||4-13|
|Red Zone Att.||3/4||2/5|
This one hurts. No other way to put it, no way to spin it. There are no moral victories in the NFL and today was no exception. Sure, the Broncos fell way behind, by 17 at one point in the 2nd half, and yes they came all the way back to tie the game at 27. Perhaps you can talk about the officiating - some of the worst I have seen in 30+ years watching football, but that is a practice in futility as well.
The fact is, the Broncos had opportunities to overcome all of that, and didn't. They had chances to win this football game, and didn't. They could have made more plays than the Philadelphia Eagles, and didn't. Denver had three-straight possessions that started at or near midfield in the 4th Quarter and scored just 3 points. The defense, who looked great and horrible at the same time, had a huge 3rd and 25 deep in Eagles territory only to see Donovan McNabb run 27 yards for a first down. While the Eagles would later have to punt, it effectively flipped field position, leading to what would come next - a Broncos penalty-laden 3-and-out form inside their own 10, a punt, and an Eagles win.
The Broncos playoff hopes are still alive, but winning games, even against the bottom of the AFC West is far from a given. The math of it all, the scenarios, who needs to win and lose, will all come out in the wash later tonight but the fact remains the same - The Denver Broncos, for the 2nd straight season, were 8-5 after 13 weeks, in control of their playoff lives, only to lose two straight heading into the season finale. Last season, the Broncos still controlled their own fate, this season, that is not the case.
Heart is something this team has - if not they wouldn't have come back the way they did. Discipline? That is another story. 9 penalties, 95 yards, and 1 player ejection later, the Broncos are staring another playoff-void postseason right in the face.
Keep the faith, Broncos fans, no matter how hard that might be.