One of the familiar lines around MHR has been that no one has beat the Broncos, the Broncos have only beat themselves. Tonight the Chargers beat the Broncos. The game was relatively clean and, for this fan, just bizarre to watch mostly because of the T.O.P. slam SD laid on the Broncos. To watch the string of Broncos lightning fast three and outs followed by the Chargers drawn out drives with multiple improbable third-down conversions just left me scratching my head. And still, I felt, the Broncos would at some point "snap out of it". And so it was late in the fourth quarter, when it felt like it should have still been mid third quarter according to my internal football watching clock, that the Broncos stuffed the Chargers and looked like they would at least tie it up at 24, then be ready to ride that wave of momentum to a W, in regulation or overtime if really necessary.
But it wasn't so. The narrative didn't follow suit. Manning improbably held onto the ball for longer than he has for the entire season in one play and took the hit on the release. The duck was ripe and easily plucked from the sky. Ten point advantage, 2:30 to play, the Broncos aren't the Patriots and so it goes.
I'm bummed - but not livid. It's a crappy loss. It's to a guy I hate to see the Broncos lose to (Phyllis is a permanent paper cut with lemon juice). It was at home.
But...the Broncos are still in charge of the AFC west. I fully expect NE to lose at least one more. And I hope this extended rest and the sting of the loss lights the team up for the last two games. Health is always my biggest concern. Kayvon's injury is rough, as I see him as more important than many I read here, but the rest of the team left the game in good shape.
Get healthy, Wes. Get crackin', defense. And get ready, Broncos fans - down to the last two games and they most definitely count. If you wanted it comfortable, you never really liked football anyway.