How many times in the past few years have we watched our Broncos lose to teams that they should have shut down and sent running home to nurse their badly battered bodies? How many times have we eagerly awaited a high profile game playing on Sunday or Monday night, only to drag our weary bodies and stressed out minds to bed after another embarrassing blow out? How many times have we seen the Broncos take a substantial lead, often in critical games, only to have them go to sleep at the wheel and lose yet again? How many times have we seen the team show up for a game that should have every member over-amped and hyper-active, only to have them sleepwalk through a miserable performance in a losing effort.
My answer is: Too Many Times!
Pat Bowlen's answer: is Josh McDaniels.
We all know that there are simply bad days, which in a sense are necessary, otherwise the good ones wouldn't be all that special. We all have them, and football teams do likewise. No amount of coaching or motivating or joking can change the flow at times. No amount of effort, no matter how extraordinary, can change a pig's ear into a silk purse. Those are a given and we just have to accept them and then forget them.
However, as I'm sure we all agree, the Broncos were victims of more than just a run of bad days over the last few years. Instead, I saw an acceptance of defeat and an admission of mediocrity that came from the top down. I am far from the most knowledgeable football analyst around, and could be way off base here, but I blame that mindset, or attitude on the coaching. I believe that one of the most important jobs of the coach is to have his team mentally prepared to go to war and win that war.
It may be far too early to make this call but I think that Coach McD also feels that way. I want to believe that the Broncos are going to show up for every game, play and battle with everything they have, and never, never, never quit until that final bell rings (which we saw in game one). Naturally I want the team to win, but I can accept a loss to a team that outplays us, as long as we give it the old 100+%.
I've gone around the block a couple of times here, but my point is that today's game should show us a lot about our team and about Coach McD. I've seen several posters saying that they were nervous about the game, and I too share that feeling to some degree. In some ways, this matchup has the potential for disaster. However, that is hopefully merely a holdover from the past. We'll know in a few hours if Coach McD can not only work magic with the XXX's and OOO's, but also with the mental attitude of the team. What we see today, win or lose, should tell us quite a bit about how our season is going to go.