How quickly some forget. Things that are unacceptable and individual plays that make somehow add up to formerly acceptable to outstanding individuals players then becoming unworthy (despite a body of work and work that, within the framework of the whole, dictates something otherwise) are flying fast and furious this morning in Bronco country.
It's funny, to me, how quickly (over say...15 months) this fan base (by and some) have gone from we're the worst, to we're a team of destiny, to we've messed with destiny and will now suffer the consequences, to we're Super Bowl Champs, to if we don't watch it we're going to be one and done in the playoffs. [Insert infamous Jim Mora croak]
I tend to be a bit of a centrist -- which I know isn't everyone's cup of tea. I know a lot of people like to come here to (over) react, claiming that's what sports and being a fan are about. I disagree with that sentiment. Sports, like life, to me are about the long view. It's a whole season, not a single game. Just like team's a whole collection, not any single or sets of individuals.
What this team accomplished in sweeping the Chargers is fantastic. It is the first time they've done it in seven years -- it signifies a true changing of the guard. The immediate stated goal of this Broncos team is to win the AFC West. That happens one division rival game at a time. Despite the opportunities to make it easier to accomplish that yesterday, it didn't happen. What did happen was the Broncos did enough to put themselves in the driver's seat of a car that the Chargers are left hitch hiking to even get in (with the Raiders and Chiefs serving as proverbial road kill). Look around the league at other division rival games and see how often they are so much closer than you might expect, even with power houses like New England (last week against Buffalo -- so close to no-no), Baltimore (squeaking past the Ben-less Steelers?) and Houston (OT vs. the Jags?).
I'm not above criticizing the team -- there's plenty there to hit on and I have faith in the coaches and players to take accountability for those things and adjust for next week. That's the great thing about this team, perhaps more than any other since Elway was back behind Nalen: they get it. There are enough wizened vets and spring-footed youths, balanced with enough coaching intelligence and front-office brass to get the whole of what's going on here. This is special. Does that mean they still won't suffer an utter collapse over the next six weeks? Or flame out in a first round embarrassment? No. Those are possibilities, to be sure. However, in the long view, taking the whole sum of what this team has to offer, I like their odds.