Some things in life you can count on. John Fox being a conservative coach, sometimes calls don’t go your way in the NFL, and young players will often make mistakes in their first post season games. So nobody should be surprised that the majority of the calls did not go Denver’s way, or that John Fox decided to sit on his lead, or that Demaryius Thomas would drop a few balls. What Broncos fans did not expect to see is their future Hall of Fame quarterback making critical mistakes, Champ Bailey blowing coverages left and right, and Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil being non factors for the second time in divisional playoff games.
After one of the most exciting and productive regular seasons in Broncos history many questions remain as we head into the off season. Here is your cup of reality for future seasons. Peyton Manning is an amazing regular season quarterback but has had a history of poor results in the playoffs. Matter a fact, the loss Saturday was the eighth time Peyton Manning has been one and done in the playoffs. His finished the day with a dismal 88.3 quarterback rating and was to blame for three turnovers. Even more concerning has been his lack of success in cold weather games. Facts are facts and Peyton has simply not been effective in cold weather and despite whether the sun in shining in Colorado you can expect cold weather in January, so what will happen in future playoff games? Maybe the Broncos are better off not playing at home during the playoffs.
Champ Bailey has had a terrific career but those who live in Denver and watched the games this season were scratching their heads when he made the Pro Bowl this year. Chris Harris is the cornerback who has been the best Broncos defender and has had some huge game changing plays this season. The attention around the NFL has been focused on the ridiculously blown play by Rahim Moore at the end regulation but the real blame on defense falls on the Broncos legendary defender Bailey. The mediocre after game responses by Champ Bailey wearing his Dyme Life stocking hat (to support DJ Williams and his party and enjoy life mission) were even more disturbing. Champ should have said. "Forget the young Rahim Moore mistake at the end, I have been a Pro Bowl player my entire career and i was beaten badly four times in the game, two for touchdowns and i know I am a big part of why we lost this game."
Then you have Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. In the Broncos last two divisional playoff games, the leagues most feared pass rushers have been un-noticable . Last year Tom Brady sat in the pocket and lit up the Broncos for 6 touchdowns and this year the mediocre Joe Flacco had all day long to pick apart the Broncos defensive backs. Two critical playoff games and a grand total of a half a sack each. Unacceptable performances from league leaders in playoff games that matter the most.
The Broncos had many great things to cheer about this season but in the end ,the All Pro’s and potential MVP that got the Broncos to the playoffs, simply didn’t deliver.