August 4, 2010, Elvis Dumervil suffers a torn pectoral muscle during practice. I was bumped, yet still confident we could have a good season. He was just a player afterall. What impact can one player have? For the same reason, I was making fun of my colleague...a Bears fan...beurk! All the Bears did in the off-season that year was to pick up one player: Julius Peppers. They had no first round draft pick. No second round either. We, on the other hand, had two first picks! So when he and I were discussing our teams, I had no problem betting (a meal at the restaurant of the winner’s choice) the Broncos would have a better record then the Bears. Yes, we had lost Dumervil and it was going to have an impact, but how much could one player change the game?
Well, you know what happened. I lost my bet by week 12. What a shame. What had happened? After starting 6-0 in 2009, we were 6-20 since. Meanwhile, the Bears, with Peppers, would end up 11-5 and 1st in the NFL North. Then I realized how much one player can impact his team. I found the definition of an impact player in Julius Peppers.
So I looked back at Dumervil and wondered what would have happened if he hadn’t been injured? I don’t expect we would have made the playoffs, but with 10-15 more sacks, finishing in the middle pack would have been likely. 8-8 like the previous years doesn’t seem unreasonable. But what would that have given us? Yes, it wouldn’t have been as depressing, but was it a bad thing? Finishing 4-12 meant we got the second draft pick overall. With the arrival of Von Miller to join the ranks of Doom and Champ, I am more psych about watching our defence than our offence. Was Dumervil a blessing in disguise? Time will tell, but I feel like it is.
PS: Don’t take my wrong, our D is not perfect, but I know that tonight, when I watch them play, we will be treated with spectacular plays. I just hope they are mostly in our favor. Ironically, the better your defence is, the less you get to see them play.
Enjoy the games folks and GOOOOOOOOOOO BRONCOS!!!!