Any Bronco fan will remember this teams collapses of previous years.
The Broncos in 2008 were 8-5 and had a 3 game division lead with 3 games to go, and ended up blowing it (Thanks Dwayne Bowe) and missing the playoffs ending the coaching term of Mike Shanahan with the Broncos.
In 2009, it looked like the Broncos we all love were back as we started 6-0. Josh McDaniels was the future and and Jay Cutler-Kyle Orton deal might actually work out after all. The Broncos finished that season 2-8 and missed the playoffs again.
The Broncos have a great opportunity this Sunday at home against the San Diego Chargers. The Broncos currently have a two game lead over the Chargers. Denver won the first match-up in stunning comeback fashion to win 35-24 and took the first game. That comeback could be huge. Denver could beat San Diego this weekend and take a three game lead. But not only three games.....
A win this Sunday would mean the Broncos own the tiebreaker against the Chargers putting them up virtually four games with six games to go. This team will not collapse. We have Peyton Manning. We have John Fox. We have John Elway. All of these guys know how to get it done.
Last Sunday was a very impressive win for this team. The offense played possibly its worst second half of the season last week against the Panthers. I do not want to discredit what the Panthers did because that would not be fair. But it was the first time Denver's offense did not absolutely dominate. However, the beautiful thing that happened was how the other two teams of the Broncos performed. The defense had plenty of sacks on Cam coming from people like Robert Ayers and Kevin Vickerson who are not known for their pass rushing talents. The defense was scoring points and our brand new return man Trindon Holliday took back a kick for a score for the second straight week (or did he?).
It would surprise me if the Broncos were to win out. Many are saying the Broncos will do it, and it is actually possible. However, I do expect one let down game, but it has to not be this one. As I mentioned earlier, seeing someone like Ayers fill in for Dumervil is what good teams do. There are no teams that are not missing a key player to injury. Dumervil likely will not play this Sunday. It is not the first big injury of the season, and I bet you it will not be the last big injury. Good teams have depth and that is something that the Broncos are getting a lot of. Remember how much people were worried when Tracy Porter went down? Wow. Talk about depth. I hope Porter gets back as soon as possible, but no one misses him that much and it has nothing to do with his performance. Since the first Chargers game, Tony Carter has turned into a premier cover corner for this team. The Porter health problem could be a blessing in disguise for this team as they got a look at the depth that they will need if this team intends to make a run to the ship in the playoffs.
The other thing to look out for this week is if the Broncos win, Peyton will have his 421st career victory putting him only behind Brett Favre in the win category and with the way Peyton is playing, he could catch Brett. Peyton with his next touchdown pass will also pass Dan Marino for second all time in that category and would be only 87 behind Favre. It could be done as a Bronco for Manning.
In my opinion, if it does not happen, it is because we have not won a Super Bowl and Peyton wants to sail off into the sun set with the Lombardi trophy held high in the air.
Hypothetical question time: If the Broncos were to win the Super Bowl and Peyton holds up the trophy, he should say "This ones for __________." I would love to see him say "This ones for Champ!"