Allow me, if you will, to make an assertion.
The next game the Denver Broncos play, hosting the San Diego Chargers at Mile High, is quite possibly the most pivotal, relevant, consequential game the Broncos have played in, well, in a painfully long period of time.
Numerous highly significant paths sprout from the outcome of this one early-season game.
It is a home game. It is against a divisional opponent. This particular opponent, though somewhat of a paper tiger
over the past few seasons forever, is strongly favored and positioned to win the AFC West. And whether we prevail over or succumb to the Chargers will, it is my belief, have a far-reaching impact on this season and seasons beyond.
It has been said that brevity is the soul of wit. Which uniquely applies to my writing, as I am rather droll and exceedingly long-winded. In an effort not to drag you, MHR reader, into the morass of often-contradictory thoughts that inhabit my mind I will make every attempt to present my case tersely. And briefly. Using bullet-points.
- Denver would sport a 2-3 record consisting of 2 very close, hard-fought losses, one blowout on the road to the defending (and likely-to-repeat) Super Bowl Champions. We would hold an even 1-1 record in the division, but with a 1/2 game up on the likely division top-dog assuming even records down the stretch. Essentially placing us in the middle of the pack 'with upside' instead of residing in the nether regions of the NFL.
- We will have a serious confidence-builder under our belt, as the Chargers are considered among the better teams in the AFC.
- We will have found a way to dampen an A+ passing attack, unlike our showing last week in Green Bay.
- We will be closer to removing a particular monkey, named Philip Rivers, from our proverbial backs.
- We will go into the bye week with some well-deserved momentum and be champing at the bit to get after the 'Phins and positioning ourselves to knock off the dreaded(?!) Lions when they come to the Mile High City.
- Kyle Orton will remain the starter for the foreseeable future, perhaps even until the end of the season if we remain in the hunt. We will, therefore, enter the offesason with a limited - at best - understanding of what we have in Tim Tebow and/or Brady Quinn.
- Our next 5 to 7 games at least will have serious significance, assuming we can run at a .500 clip or better.
- We will feel like a real football team again instead of (and excuse me if I'm the only guy feeling this way, but here's guessing I'm not) a plodding, boring, un-inspiring, "weak" team.
- We will hold a 1-4 record. Essentially, as you well know, our season is over at this point.
- We will have 2 divisional losses, both in home games. The Kiss of Death.
- The fan base will reach a level of complete intolerance for Kyle Orton. In this situation, we will all understand that Mr. Orton will be paid $9M dollars to run our beloved team into the ground. I, for one, will very likely disengage from Denver for the remainder of the 2011 season (for the first time since I was a little dude) - unless they insert the highly intriguing and occasionally electrifying Tim Tebow as starter at QB.
- Hardened veterans such as Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins and ... well, we don't really have any others ... will sigh deeply and regret their career path that led to being a part of this still-declining organization.
- Coach Fox will find himself in a highly unenviable position of wanting to keep his team interested, pleasing a riotous (or strangely silent) fanbase, saving face for himself, and deciding when to play Tebow which he clearly views as a metaphor for throwing in the towel.
- We will very quickly be included in the discussion for Andrew Luck, as it would be an acutely real scenario for us to actually finish with the first pick in the draft. From a 1-4 standpoint and a fading team I would truly only see about 2, maybe 3 winnable games remaining on the schedule. Even a top-6 pick - which would have to be considered likely given a 1-4 start followed by a stiff schedule -would very likely lead to a legitimate shot at a Landry or a Barkley. And another year in which we invest more top-heavily on the offense than the defense as we invest our first round pick on a QB.
So let's get back to my assertion: That this week's game is the most pivotal the Denver Broncos have played in a very, very long time. What say you, good fans?