I have re-watched the past games the Broncos have played and lost against the Ravens and the Seahawks and I have read and listened to so many opinions about how it happened and came to a conclusion: it really is attitude.
John Fox's mantra of 'next man up' seeps into the whole team. Every practice, every meeting, every game is business as usual. That is also an attitude that Manning seems to have always had. That seems like a great attitude to have. Unless....
What happens when you meet a team that is pumped because the heart and soul has announced his retirement? What happens when you meet a team that has a huge chip on it's shoulder because they just don't seem to get the respect they think they deserve? Does business as usual work or is it possible that the team simply won't meet the other teams intensity?
McCoy is a disciple of Fox and believes in the 'don't get to high - don't get to low' attitude and the Broncos were simply the better team. Belichik has always been a stay calm and take care of business guy and again, the Broncos were simply the better team. Business as usual works in these situations.
However, when we played the Ravens last year, that team was on a mission. They knew they would never have the chance again and they gave it everything they had and even though I think the Broncos were the better team, we didn't have the desire they had. Without that desire, they took it by scrapping through two overtimes.
Against the Seahawks, the teams were much more evenly matched but they just wanted this so much more. It was so much more than just business as usual for them. On any given Sunday, I think these teams play some pretty even games. But on that day, the Seahawks were all about attitude. They wanted it and that tipped the scales so far in their favor that the game wasn't close.
So, where does that leave us going forward. Every year, there seems to be a team that finds a reason to just really play with emotion and they take home the trophy. How do the Broncos go from business as usual to throttle mode and can they with John Fox? I have always been a John Fox fan. I was extremely happy when we hired him. I heard the knocks about being conservative and all and just didn't buy it but I also couldn't put my finger on why the big one eluded him.
Desire. 16 games a year, business as usual will win you the majority of those games. But, when you get to the playoffs, it's not business as usual for at least one team. At least one team is taking it personal. Can John Fox make it the Broncos.