One quarter has passed and the team is on track to have the same record as last year, which isn't good. But in an attempt to keep myself from totally freaking out, I'm trying to look at this team objectively and see where we are. There's a saying in investing: "Past returns do not guarantee future results." I think this team is different from last year's team, especially in terms of competitiveness.
"Green Bay just kicked out our ass", you may say. "How are we competitive?". Well, 3 of the last games we were competitive until the end of every game, and in Green Bay I saw some things that I appreciated. Last year's team would have surrendered at the point when the game was 21-3 Green Bay. They got a pick 6, they recovered an onside kick (an assaholic Belichik type move, but fair). Many would have given up then but we fought back within 4 points. The backbreaker was the inability of the defense to stop the Green Bay offense on the last possession of the first half and the beginning of the second. The icing on the cake was Daniel Fell's fumble on the 5 yard line. It was over then. In terms of complementary football, special teams, the offense and the defense all failed in succession.
Champ Bailey's absence changed the outcome of this game immensely. It reminded me of Peyton Manning and those embarrassing losses in the the playoffs to the Colts. I believe it was the inability to slow Manning in the playoffs that led to the Portis-Bailey trade. The defense, while providing pressure, couldn't stop Rodgers from running (Linebackers failed to take him out) or precision passing (defensive backs not up to the job). He was in the zone at home and I'm not sure how many teams would have fared yesterday. On one 3rd down, Wilhite had a great break-up which was flagged. Home team advantage indeed.
Some positive notes: a) the offensive line is continuing to gel b) we have a decent running back in McGahee and c) Decker is emerging quickly d) the D-line has shown it can stop the run and e) Von Miller is great. If Champ Bailey plays next week, and Dumervil continues to heal and be more effective, I expect Denver to not only compete at home against San Diego, and possibly pull out a win against the division leaders.