Back in December, when everything seemed to be wonderful here in BroncoLand, I wrote an article that nit picked the Broncos. I said that they played down to their opponent’s level, didn’t have a killer instinct, and missed too many field goals.
My article was generally panned because again, the Broncos were flying high! The general perception was that we didn’t play down to our opponents, that Matt Prater would be fine, and that having a killer instinct didn’t matter as long as we kept racking up the W’s. At the time I wrote that, it was foresight. I foresaw trouble brewing. I warned about possible playoff turmoil because of it. Then the playoffs happened, and although I was too depressed to mention it, after the dust settled and my wife decided I was calm enough to be allowed near sharp objects, all I could think about was "I saw this coming!"
Hindsight showed that my foresight was dead on. In the Raven’s playoff game, we certainly played down to our opponent’s level. Yes, I know that they won the Super Bowl so it’s hard to play "down" to the level of the world champ, but lets all be honest here, we were the best team in the NFL and when the Ravens hoisted up that Lombardi Trophy, all any of us could think of was "THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN US!!!"
So my foresight said we’d be playing down to our opponent’s (Ravens) level…. Check
I also stated that Matt Prater needed to screw his head on straight because he missed far too many "easy" field goals. Well, Matt Prater was 0/1 on his FG attempts even though it was a long one (he made all 5 PATs). So, ……. Check
Finally, killer instinct! This is where I got the most push back. I was called all the bad words under the sun and was even accused of being a Patriots lover for heaven’s sake! All I was saying is that we lacked a killer instinct. I said that we didn’t put fear into anybody. I said that we let teams hang on and believe they had a shot. I said that we needed to beat teams down and not let up. Fear did not exist in our stadium. Because of this, hope always remained with the Ravens, and what exactly happened again?…. I won’t rehash that loss because its still too painful, but that belief that they had a shot was why they were able to take the game into overtime. Wait, that isn’t entirely true... Our LACK OF A KILLER INSTINCT is the reason why they took the game into overtime and eventually won. We had so little killer instinct that John Fox said we were too "stunned" to take the field! Too stunned?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Are you kidding me? It's that sort of mentality that got us beat. We had ZERO killer instinct the entire season and especially in the playoffs. I said it would get us beat, and it did. So, …….. CHECK
Ok, so simple math says that I went 3/3 in my prognostications. So what does this have to do with the future? Well, like the title says, foresight my friends. Here's my first hint at the future of the Broncos: They will have a killer instinct in 2013. Peyton Manning and Adam Gase have a great relationship, and Gase is now his Offensive Coordinator. He has also stated that the offense will be faster and more aggressive this coming season. John Elway is loading us up for bear, and realizes that the debacle that happened last year is not acceptable. Elway himself wouldn’t have ever allowed Dan Reeves to pull that kneel down stuff when he was but the team's QB, so you can bet your mortgage that he pulled John Fox into his office and said something to the effect of "I’ll have your back publicly, but if you ever pull that spineless kneel down stuff again, you won’t be here for another game!" Elway didn’t put up with that type of gutless philosophy as a player, and he certainly won’t put up with it now that he's the man in charge of the franchise!
My foresight shows greener grass ahead, and no, I’m not talking about Amendment 64. Our defense, with our without Elvis Dramavil on board will perform even better. This will be the first time in 8 years that we have a Defensive Coordinator enter year 2. With what will surely be a defensive draft (with my personal hope of drafting Montee Ball thrown in), I look for our defense to be even stouter against the run and in the red zone. On top of that, I think the Broncos will not only score more points this upcoming year, but have a larger margin of victory and make it to the Super Bowl as well. We signed Wes Welker to upgrade the slot position (sorry Stoke, you’ll always be my boy though), we shored up our Offensive Line by signing Louis Vasquez, and aren’t being intimidated (i.e. being "stunned") by Doom’s contract garbage. The Broncos are showing the spine and intestinal fortitude during this offseason that leads me to believe that we’ll be mentally stronger next year. I look at the 2013 season as being Super season indeed.
Lets hear it Bronco fans. It’s time to take a break from the Dramavil Saga and start talk about optimism moving forward. Sound off in the comments below. Feel free to tell me how wrong or right I am.