Much Ado about Nothing, and here's why
For one, the preseason matchup will be preseason game 1. What do we know about preseason game 1? The starters play approximately one or two series and that's it. If we happen to lose to Seattle, I couldn't care less if their scrubs beat our scrubs in game 1, John Elway be damned.
There was some talk of Elway being angry about the lackadaisical attitude some coaches had shown towards our 40-10 loss last preseason, but even looking at that game, we were down 10-7 after the starters left the game.
Again, I couldn't care less if their scrubs beat our scrubs.
What Broncos fans should be more concerned about is the regular season meeting that will happen between the two teams because it will be the most hostile game the Broncos face all season.
We do not know at what point in the season the Broncos will have to travel to play Seattle, but we do know they will have to go into the loudest venue in the entire NFL (LOL Chiefs).
What do we know about our Broncos with Peyton at the helm? 29-8 record including postseason. The Broncos have lost 5 games on the road (including Super Bowl) in the last two seasons, and have played inconsistently in other road games.
This next season will be quite a test with the strength of schedule, but the Broncos have to prove they can go out on the road and grind out some tough wins. Forget preseason, the Broncos will discover their character on the road when it counts.
Ask yourself this question....do you think the 2014 Denver Broncos could win back to back playoff games on the road in order to make it to the Super Bowl? Past results give this Broncos fan some reservations about answering "Yes."
A team that can't get it done?
I love how a team with a new quarterback, new coach, and entirely rebuilt roster is already billed as a team that can't get it done. Year 1 with Peyton Manning, this team earns a 1st round bye and is bounced when Rahim Moore forgets how to play deep coverage. Year 2 with Peyton Manning, this team earns a 1st round bye, and makes it to the Super Bowl--along the way dominating a New England team that had beaten us four straight times, only to have probably the poorest showing of the season in the big one.
So what is it that this team cannot get done? Win a championship? Remains to be seen. Looking at our own division, The Raiders have not had a winning season since 2002. The Chiefs, after blowing a 38-10 halftime lead have now gone 21 consecutive years without a playoff win. The Chargers, despite making the playoffs six times in the last 10 seasons have made it to exactly 1 AFCCG.
As long as the Broncos are led by Peyton Manning, and until they win a Super Bowl with him at the helm, they will be known as a team that couldn't get it done. Why? Because he is that damn good, and because John Elway has set the bar that high.
Instead of bemoaning the lazy catchphrases and labels heaped onto us by the MSM, embrace them. You would not be hearing these things if the Broncos were not elite. Time will tell whether or not this era of Broncos can "get it done" but I sure as hell like the feeling of going into every season knowing that on any given Sunday you have the potential to compete and beat the rest of the best.
Don't take things for granted
I still shake my head when I hear or see a Broncos fan say something like "doesn't matter what we accomplished we lost". In one of the flukiest games where variance dominates on a weekly basis, that is such a terrible way to view things.
Last year we witnessed greatness and achieved heights no other offense has achieved. We did it with an over the hill noodle-armed quarterback that has "choked" his way to three super bowl appearances and one ring to go along with a cast of offensive weapons put together largely by a Napoleon figure long run out of town. We witnessed one of the greatest Broncos seasons of all time and I'm supposed to look down on those accomplishments because we lost the Super Bowl?
I'm sorry but I do not ascribe to the school of thought that places ultimate value on "All or Nothing."
Are the Broncos All-In?
In the sense that they are re-tooled and have patched up their roster with three elite players via free agency, yes. In the sense that Elway will do whatever it takes to build a winner, and Pat Bowlen is more than happy to foot the bill, yes. In the sense that somehow these moves or this aggressiveness have dug a huge financial hole that will have grave repercussions upon future Broncos seasons? Not even close. The MSM can continue to trumpet this lazy line of reasoning and I will be here to point out the truth.
Truth--even after all these signings, even after giving out the most guaranteed money by any team, the Broncos still sit with 5.4 million in cap space and could still make more room if necessary.
Truth--even with a slew of their own FA's coming into UFA next season, the Broncos will have approximately 45-50 million free under the cap.
Truth--Peyton Manning would restructure his contract if necessary. Elway said he would have this year had the Broncos approached him to do so.
Truth--Despite signing elite FA's the Broncos still have a lot of young talent on cheap rookie deals.
We're all in for 2014. But by no means does that have any effect on 2015 and beyond.
Let me ask you this, would you rather be "all in" or have 30 million in cap space left like the Cleveland Browns?
Yes we're all in, but we're also holding the nuts (ahem, if you're a poker player--'the nuts' is the best hand). Let's see if New England can hang after adding their new toys. Let's see if some unknown steps up to the plate to challenge for our mantle. Until then the Denver Broncos remain the class of the AFC with a team that should be able to compete with anyone.
Don't let the odd outcome of Super Bowl 48 rob you of your common sense Broncos Country.