There's obviously a lot of speculation going on in Broncos Country about what is going to happen the rest of the season after the week 7 debacle against the Raiders. After such an egregious loss, what is going to happen to McDaniels this season or next? My opinion after the jump. Hopefully I'm not repeating something that has already been said in the myriad of posts that have come out today and yesterday.
Most people noticed that the Broncos basically quit against the Raiders. Even when Orton trimmed the lead down to 24 (38-14), it seemed like the defense had already called it quits. This has in turn lead to speculation that McD has "lost the team" and that they didn't want to play hard for him, at least this Sunday. I don't know if this is true or not, and have no evidence one way or another.
But NONE OF THIS speculation is relevant. All that matters is that the Broncos figure out a way to win games. Who knows what is wrong with this team right now. I don't know or care, if I did I'd find a way to call McD right now. McDaniels, I don't know or care what you have to do to get this team to win, but do it because that's all that matters (ok don't give them steroids or anything like that but you get my point). Who cares if this draft pick was good or bad or if this player is supposedly better than this player but isn't playing? Not me.
I'm not sure how much time Bowlen wants to give McDaniels, but I'm guessing that it's at least 3 years, especially considering the CBA situation (being head coachless without a CBA = mass chaos). It might even be 4 years (the length of the McD's contract) if Bowlen is feeling extra patient. Maybe he could be on the chopping block this season. Who cares. But because this loss was such a benchmark loss, it will probably be viewed by Bowlen as the a key turning point in McD's career. I believe the Broncos MUST play playoff caliber football for McD's remaining time here for him to keep his job. This probably means winning at least 5-6 out of every 8 games. If he can bring this team back to 8-8 (winning 6 out of the remaining 9 games...also who knows that might make the playoffs) and then make the playoffs the next year that there is football, he'll get a couple more years to continue to improve the team.
We can speculate all we want about this player needs to play better and McD made a mistake here and did a good job here, but winning is all that matters and that's really all that needs to be talked about the rest of the way out.