Hello, here is the first installment of the Denver Bronco N"if"L.
Today, I will pose this question: What if Pat Bowlen gave Mike Shanahan one more chance after the 08 season?
Well, first off, Brandon Marshall would have been released in the off-season. In FA, the secondary needed major upgrading, so Shanny brings in FS Renaldo Hill and CB Andre Goodman, but he is unable to get Dawkins. He also cuts dead weight like Marquand Manuel, Marlon McCree, DeWayne Robertson, Dre' Bly, and Nate Webster.
In the draft, he uses Denver's first rounder on Orakpo, second on Terrance Knighton, and third rounder on Mike Wallace to replace Marshall. He also drafts Jasper Brinkley, who ends up being an opening day starter at MLB.
In the 09 season, the Broncos, with a healthy Peyton Hillis and Ryan Torain at RB, and an improved D, win the West with a 12-4 record. They go all the way to the AFC Title game, where they lose at Indy.
In the 2010 draft, Denver has the 29th selection in Round 1. They trade that to Tampa Bay for the 35th and 42nd overall picks. They use those picks on S Nate Allen and DT Linval Joseph(the pick that they use in this alternate world to get Joseph is the pick that the Pats used on Gronkowski that they got via trade. The Ravens had the 43rd pick, but that was via Denver due to the Marshall trade, which doesn't happen in this alternate world. So, maybe Gronk goes with the next pick to someone other than NE).
With an improving D and an offense that is still very potent behind Cutler, the Bronco attack rolls into SB 45, where they meet the Packers. It is a dandy. Rogers and Cutler throw for three TD passes each, but Matt Prater wins it at the gun with a 55-yard FG. The Broncos get their first title in 12 years. It looks like the beginning of a dynasty.
In the 2011 uber-draft, Shanahan fails to trade down, and selects CB Aaron Williams in Round 1, and RB DeMarco Murray in Round 2 after Ryan Torain's injury troubles come back. Murray ends up being a Rookie of the Year candidate, and him and Hillis form a great 1-2 punch.
As a result, the Broncos make another run at the Super Bowl, but lose to the Ravens after Brandon Marshall catches the game winner against them in the AFC Championship with 25 seconds to play. The Ravens go on to lose to the Giants after Eli pulls another one out of the fire.
And that, is the Bronco N"if"L.