Manning raises all ships....
Including in our fanbase. Expectations are skyhigh. Even after a victory on the road against a divisional opponent whom we've had big trouble with throughout our history, it seems like Broncos fans are much more "glass half-empty" than "glass half-full". I've done it, as well. Prater had a bad game, the defense got run on, Manning and the offense was subpar blah blah blah. I've commented before that it is great to have high expectations for our team, so long as we enjoy the ride along the way.
This team is not the weak smoke and mirrors teams of Shanahan's last days where the defense was historically bad and the character was fallible to point of collapse....MULTIPLE TIMES.
This team is not the over-achieving team of McDaniels' first year that faded once again when sufficient tape made the rounds of NFL film rooms.
This team is not the broken team that went 4-12 and got beat down by the Raiders at home to the tune of 59-14.
This team is not the everything must go right in order to win, miracle-dependent group of last year.
Where we stand here today is a complete team that is capable of winning in all three phases. And while the gripe may be that we have yet to fire in all three consistently in multiple games, the point is we are witnessing something far too special to quibble over the how's.
Why is it that last year a 17-10 victory over KC is looked at more favorably than a 17-9 victory this year? Record perhaps, QB perhaps. This view is missing the point though. In case you've missed it, here is a short list of items the 2012 Broncos have been able to accomplish thus far this year:
8-3 record, equally dangerous at home and on the road with 4-1 and 4-2 records respectively.
4-0 in the division, which is the first season the Broncos will post a winning record in our division since 2005 when that team went 5-1.
A magic number of 1 with 5 to play, meaning that either 1 Bronco win or 1 Charger loss guarantees a 2nd straight divisional crown.
An offense that is ranked 4th in yards and 3rd in points, A defense that is ranked 4th in yards 8th in points.
Multiple pro bowl candidates from all phases, whether it be Manning, Thomas, Clady on offense or Doom, Von, WW, Champ, Harris on defense, or Colquitt, Holliday on special teams.
A broke down, weak armed QB, that is on pace to pass for 4700 yards 38 TD's and 12 INT's.
A team that has faced adversity and injuries to the offensive line, backfield, and defense, but has maintained a high level of play through a "next man up" philosophy.
Driving the point home further, did anyone else recognize the fact that with the victory yesterday that Peyton Manning surpassed our very own John Elway for 2nd on the all time win-list with 149 career victories?
Look, we all know that in bringing in Manning, the expectations are championships. It isn't "good enough" anymore to just make the playoffs or just have a playoff victory. But wake up Broncos Country! We are truly witnessing something historic and special here---please take the time to enjoy the ride before suggesting we should have beaten a team by 20+ instead of 8. Just remember, it wasn't long ago when an 8-win season was our perennial plateau.
Be grateful for what we have, and celebrate what we get to witness week to week.