8-8 in the context of going 4-12 and being the 2nd worst team in football last year is a good improvement.
8-8 in the context of starting off 1-4 is nothing short of fantastic!
8-8 in the context of sitting here at 8-5 three weeks ago after a six game winning streak and 7 out of 8 would be disappointing.
8-8 in the context of winning our division and making the playoffs is an accomplishment.
8-8 in the context of missing the playoffs in a win and in game is disheartening.
By this time next week, a number of those sentiments will ring true about the 2011-2012 Denver Broncos season. We've all read countless posts and comments where people have expressed an opinion one way or another about the season in terms of any one of those.
But here's the truth, most of them ring true and it's perfectly fine if we will find ourselves with a lot of conflicting feelings either way---they are just a synopsis of how our season has gone.
How bad did it feel to lose to the Raiders at home in the context of getting pushed around and physically dominated, but yet still had the chance to win the game if not for a fluke 63-yd FG, or costly turnovers created by Casper the Ghost?
Or how bad did it feel when we got beat by a Tennessee team that we had outplayed for most of the game?
What about the blowout to Green Bay, or perhaps the lifelessness of our team in the 1st half against the Chargers at home? That was the absolute low point of the season for me personally, that was until #15 entered the game and had me feeling excited again.
How bad did it feel to be shut out on the road against a winless team......how awesome was it when our team overcame a 15 point deficit to do something that no other team since the merger had done?
Detroit sure took that feeling away the following week.
Sure was a sight to behold in Oakland when our team ran roughshod and made someone their bitch for a change!
Perhaps winning a game in November at Arrowhead Stadium tickled your fancy?
My personal favorite was beating a cocky Jets team with a scoring drive that had me remember John Elway and his greatness in Cleveland!
What about completing the trifecta in S.D. of beating our AFC West foes on the road in the same season? More than the Orange Crush II, I think our guys became "Road Warriors!"
Then there's the shootout in Minnesota.....when no one thought our offense could win one.
I personally thought we were dead to rights against Chicago....until Marion Barber III stepped out of bounds. 59 yard FG to tie? Longshot at best, still happened, as did the fumble and 51 yarder in overtime.
There's no chance we beat New England right? We could have if we didn't shoot ourselves in the foot, the Patriots got lucky, yes I said it, lucky to come into our house and win by 18...sure hope we get a rematch in the playoffs.
Buffalo is a continuation of N.E. in that we made too many mistakes.
And here we are sitting at 8-7 facing off against Kyle Orton and the Chiefs who have nothing to play for other than pride and hurt feelings. For us though, the implications are huge. Will we be sitting here next week appreciative of our season though disappointed about the finish? Or will we be sitting here in uncharted territory (at least since 2005) waiting to welcome the Ravens or Steelers here at home?
Context is everything fellahs, we can all feel a plethora of things by this time next week, and they will all be valid and correct. But since context is everything, here's a little food for thought:
QB 1: 720-1194 (60%), 8434 YDS, 49 TD, 28 INT
QB 2: 161-331 (49%), 2323 YDS, 17 TD, 8 INT
Just looking at numbers, QB 1 wins!!! The only problem with that....he doesn't. QB 1 is Kyle Orton, he went 12-21 as his time as a starter here. In 13 starts Timmy already has 8 wins. There's no need to fear Orton this week fellahs, they still have to score TD's in the redzone, he still has to face VonDoom and all the other Bronco defenders that had to "let up" in practice because the guy had a red jersey on.
We are at the precipice of something we've tasted before, we are at the moment of truth...at least in terms of this season. 2012-2013 will unfold for our Broncos in due time and questions will be answered as time ticks on.
We've had more ups and downs as Broncos fans this year than a meth-head on a pogo stick. Yet here we are. The biggest question this week isn't Orton v. Tebow, it's can the Denver Broncos turn the page?
If so, our context becomes:
9-7 in the wake of a 4-12 season....A division championship in the context of a 5-year playoff drought....A rebuilding team to a team that needs depth and a few pieces and nothing more....A ticket to the tournament where anything can happen. We've already seen it folks, anything CAN happen....
Win or Lose the Broncos will turn the page. I just hope they move forward and beyond mistakes of the past.
In so many ways this season has been special, one of a kind, truly amazing, and wonderful to experience. That can never be taken away win or lose. But a win allows the story to go on and build into....Happily ever after? We'll see my MHR brethren, we'll see!