I have been entirely disgusted with all the whining that has been going on lately. There is an excess of panic and depression that is completely clouding everyone's logic and reasoning.
Over the course of the season we have been constantly reminded of how great this offense is and how it's an offense that is destined to go out and rewrite the record books. There is no denying that everything that we have seen as an accumulation has been nothing short of mind blowing. Yet everybody seems shocked and surprised that when this prolific offense finds the banana peel it exposes a terribly inconsistent defense.
I have been worried about our defense and their inconsistency since week 5. Add in all of the injuries and freaky health issues that we have been plagued with recently and my confidence in this teams ability to win tight games gets knocked down a few pegs. I don't think that I'm the only one that has pointed out that without a defense that can step up and get off the field in big downs - that there's any real chance that a team can make it out of the first round...That's just cold hard fact.
However, having said all of that, you have to look at everything in perspective. The last time I checked an 11-3 record was pretty damn good. Losing to the
cry baby Chargers - who, by the way, are a good team that's hot right now...SURPRISE - was a giant kick in the nuts and an incredibly frustrating one, but it's not a postseason ending loss. First of all, I think just about everybody hates football on Thursday Nights, fans, players, and coaches alike (they have been terrible and boring games all season). Yet they offer something that most people don't mention which for us could be a slight advantage; A mini bye week. All of our players have a few extra days to get some much need R&R (insert obscenely lengthy injury report here...). Furthermore going into a long weekend with Charger's blood in your mouth can add some much needed incentive to prepare for and dominate the next 2-5 games. (I know I would want to lift some extra weight this week and come out against Huston and tear someone a new one.)
Secondly, I think it would be incredibly unwise to hit the panic button and hoist the white flag on the season. If you want to be overly pessimistic and put everyone on notice - fine, but leave me out of it. I never expected to run over the Chargers. Neither did you, even if you wont admit it. If anything I'm glad that we got punched in the face by someone that we hate with a deep, burning passion. It makes the overall story better. It shows you that you can bleed and that your not the badass you thought you were (because, lets be honest, we are not balanced whatsoever). It puts some salt in the wounds and makes you want to get up and fight harder. At the end of the day you still have a ridiculously talented offense that is going to put points on the board and there are still players that are going to refuse to go quietly into the night. This team is not going to just roll over and play dead because they played their worst game of the season.
Thirdly, the real key to our success is going to be CONFIDENCE. Right now I think that's one of the biggest issues that we are having on defense. We aren't making any big plays because nobody is playing with confidence and I think it's been gone since the New England Collapse. However, the absolute beauty of playing two bad teams at the end of the season is that it gives you the opportunity to punch them in the mouth, get a pick, a fumble, a huge hit, consecutive three-and-outs - anything that will get you up and ready for the next series. Anything that mentally gets you out of the slump. If you can do that and then roll into the playoffs on a high...then you have suddenly become a dangerous team again.
The season didn't end last night. Nor did it write the script of our future. Teams have bad games late in the season, it happens. It's all about the bounce back. And I'm pretty damn sure that the Broncos want a good, positive fan base supporting them. Not someone who turns their back on them secretly sobbing into their knock off, food stained Peyton Manning jersey.
Pick your heads up. Stop whining about imperfections and failures (the beauty of football is that it's rarely duplicated). Stop crying about things that don't matter (really who gives a ---- about playoff seeding. If you are the best team, you'll get to the Superbowl no matter where you play). Have a little bit of faith in your team...They are 11-3 for godsake, not 3-11. We are still chasing the record books. We are still in the playoffs. We still have football to watch. We still have a top 5 team in the league. Start being optimistic about getting hot at the end of the season and running the table. Remember that all the good stories have losses attached to them, most of which are heart breakers and disappointments. But people remember the stories because of what happened AFTER the loss...