By Kevin Gillikin @KevinGillikin and the Skipper
Hi I'm Kevin Gillikin and this is my soapbox rant. Prepare to drink the Kool-Aid and remember why exactly we so love this game of football.
The reality is, John Fox went into that game (with John Elway's blessing, I'm sure) with a limp-wristed, weak, atrociously conservative game-plan and got out-coached. Let's not over-complicate things here -- we had the superior team, but put forth a poorly-contrived and poorly-executed game plan and deserved to lose.
But as with any great leaders (and make no mistake, John Elway is a great leader), the Broncos' top brass has learned from their mistakes and won't repeat them.
Yes, a nice set of off-season moves has made this team bigger, tougher and meaner.
And yes, a high-tempo (but not a schizophrenic, Chip Kelly-style) hurry-up offense will kick things up a notch.
Great stuff, but as a fan, I want more. I admit it, I'm greedy. And I believe this team can deliver more. A whole lot more.
This season, I want to go to bed at night knowing that somewhere in this great land of ours is a defensive coordinator trying to game plan for Manning, Welker, JT and DT. He's taking a deep breath, scratching his head and staring kind of blankly at the floor. And as I sleep tonight, he won't.
I want to see the Ravens burning time-outs on defense just to get Elvis Dumervil on the field.
North America should be "Four-down territory".
I want to see an opposing head coach at a post-game presser who, when asked about the Broncos' offense, begins his response with a profanity.
Watching game film of our offense should be hazardous to opposing safeties' hamstrings.
I want to see a game where the Broncos run 80 plays odn offense with no turnovers. And go two-for-three on third down.
I want to see Jack Del Rio leverage his freakishly-talented cornerback trio, play tight man coverage and load eight men into the box.
I want to see us rush five and six men in our base defense.
I want to see Tom Brady sacked five times by five different Broncos, each of whom pats Brady's helmet and helps him to his feet before heading back to the huddle.
I want to see Wesley Woodyard shooting gaps and slapping at handoffs while he tackles running backs and quarterbacks at the same time.
Duke Ihenacho is going to apply for citizenship in other teams' backfields.
I want to see Tony Carter stalking Pick Sixes like a lion stalks its prey.
On special teams, I want to see Trindon Holliday. Lots of Trindon Holliday. I'll live with the occasional turnover gifts in exchange for putting the fear of God into opposing special teams every time they kick the ball away.
I want to see uneducated, casual fans wonder whether the Broncos have a punter on their roster.
I want to see linemen with criminal records for urinating in mall parking lots. (But not you, Von!)
I want to see this team do more than just win games. I don't want to see them humiliate teams, either, that's not the Elway/Fox way. But 19 times, when that clock hits 0:00, I want to see everybody associated with the opposing organization look at a loved one and say in a quiet, resigned voice, "Dude, that was a whuppin'".
I want to see this team reach higher than the '97-98 Super Bowl champs. That team had the Smiling Assassin, Steve Atwater. This team is a Smiling Assassin.
I want to see us go up 17-0 in the first quarter and on-side kick, just to send the message that the Denver Broncos mean business right up until you pull your starting quarterback.
I want to see opposing fans cheer like crazy over the coin flip, because they know that's as good as it's going to get today.
I want to see ushers at Sports Authority Field passing the hat to help pay fines for legitimate Kayvon Webster hits.
I want to see new terms coined to describe the way Dominique Rogers-Cromartie covers a receiver or the way Peyton and Welker break down a defense.
I want to see NBC decline to cover the Broncos during its late-season flex schedule because their games "lack competitive interest".
I want to see Peyton Manning challenge all of the single-season passing records and fall short because he no longer has the stomach to play through fourth quarter blowouts.
I want to see opposing OC's watching pre-game warm-ups and pondering whether they'll put up more rushing yards than the Broncos put up points.
I want to wake up the Wednesday following our game in San Diego and read that TV ratings there were down 25% because Charger fans couldn't bring themselves to watch their team get mauled.
I want to see the NFL call an emergency, late-season meeting to flag John Elway 15 yards and $10,000 for something like "unparity-like conduct" or "excessive pwnage".
I want to see talking heads on ESPN refer to the other 31 NFL teams as the "Junior Varsity."
And I want to cry along with John Elway as he stands at the podium after the Broncos' 19-0 masterpiece, raises the Lombardi Trophy and announces to the world, "THIS......ONE'S.....FOR......PAT"
So, my fellow Broncos junkies, keep your seat belts tightly fastened and your hands and feet inside the car at all times, because you're about to witness something truly historic.
The playoff-scorned Denver Broncos have summoned their inner bitch and served notice on the NFL. And the Notice sounds something like this:
Welcome to our house, whether we meet in our city or yours. We look forward to greeting you at midfield, shaking your hands and looking you in the eyes with a gentle smile.
And when the whistle blows, we will punch you in the mouth and knock you out flat. And when you come to and cry "uncle", we will extend a hand of friendship, pull you to your feet and help you dust yourself off. We'll even consider contributing a few bucks toward your dental work just because we're gentlemen.
My friends, this team is a freight train headed downhill well beyond the legal speed limit, brakes disabled, with Super Bowl Station in New York as our destination.
And in the interest of your ego and personal safety, we advise you to stand aside and just let it pass.
Because you ain't gonna stop it.
Hugs and kisses.
The Denver Broncos"