I would like to start by saying I have been a fan of this site since the Jay Cutler days and have since enjoyed experiencing the highs and lows of our Denver Broncos over the years with everyone here via posts, fan shots, and all the polls everyone loves taking part in. I never felt compelled to post until now so hopefully I can live up to some of the fine writing I've seen on here over the years.
As my title indicates I'm hoping and am very confident that the 3rd time will be the charm with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. As everyone knows this will be Peyton's 3rd year with the team and I believe this will finally be the year this team gets whatever monkey that's been has been haunting the team off its proverbial back. The first year we had Peyton and the 11 game win streak that was sparked in the comeback win over the chargers just felt like we were destined to win it all. During that win streak I had actually forgotten what the Broncos losing felt like (which is really saying something considering we were right off the heels of the Cutler/Orton/Tebow days).
It felt like we were far and away the best team in the league and the loss to the Ravens in the playoffs still is for me the worst loss Ive experienced in my days as a Broncos fan. I am still not over that one personally just because I felt we were a far superior team compared to the team that ending up winning it all. Then of course last year happened there was no magical 11 game win streak to enter the playoffs with but it seemed every record the Broncos could have broken on offense was broken. It felt like I was playing through a madden franchise season with the way the Broncos were putting up points on opponents. Last year spoiled me a little bit as a fan actually, as I found myself a little bit agitated if the Broncos didn't put up 40 on everyone they played and heaven forbid they actually lost a game. Honestly it felt like the Broncos owed us as fans the numerous ass beatings they put on teams just to make up for the heartbreak they had put us through in the playoffs the year before. The record breaking offense was fun to watch but as I stated earlier I still wasn't over the playoff loss so I held my breath until the games actually started to matter (the playoffs). Each playoff game that was played I guarded myself for the ultimate betrayal another loss. I had little to no hope for the team against the chargers and then the Patriots in the championship game. It felt like forever since we had beaten our foes in New England that we used to own. The way the Broncos dominated the AFC championship game I thought the Broncos had finally arrived they not only toppled the patriots (whom they were winless against for the previous two outings with Peyton at the helm) but they did so in such a convincing fashion I thought this would finally be the time I got to see our beloved Broncos hoist the Lombardi trophy to end the season.
I am 22 years old so I was a little too young to understand fandom when the Duke led Denver to their first two titles so this felt like the pinnacle of my life up to this point. I watched all the coverage in the week leading up to the big game, first take, sports center, if the broncos were on tv I was glued to my seat. I loved seeing our scared orange and blue plastered all over espn and nfl network, and while I would have rather been playing the 49ers I was still confident the Broncos had gotten over the hump and were destined for greatness.
I will avoid going in depth about the Super Bowl not only because it is never revisiting that but also because I cant remember much of my thoughts during it not because I drank too much, more because I think it has been repressed because it was such an awful experience. It was apparent from the first snap that something was wrong and all the confidence I had in the week leading up to the game was shattered, it felt like the Ravens game all over again. Seeing the defense unprepared for Percy Harvin (their fastest player) and Champ running around like he had never been a one time great at man coverage was crushing to see. I held out hope till the end but the better team won that day, whether it was coaching, gameplan, not being ready for the big stage, or the LGB figuring out the Manning code they certainly deserved that win. Peyton may not have been embarrassed by that game but I sure as hell was, I still get teased by friends and even random people when I am in public proudly displaying my Broncos gear. Which finally brings me to the point of this post; the 2014-2015 season.
I feel like this season is finally the one. And I mean it. This team has seen it all, the shock of being bounced in the first game of the postseason, the highs of an 11 game win streak, the lows of being humiliated in front of the entire world on the biggest stage, and finding what it takes to beat Tom Terrific and the hoodie with Peyton at the helm. Most importantly I believe this team has grown while removing necessary scar tissue in the form of fan favorite players such as Champ, Woodyard, and even solid contributors such as Robert Ayers and Knowshon.
Don't get me wrong I loved Champ (the quiet face of the franchise for the better part of the 2000's) and Woodyard the undrafted rookie that was elected team captain every year with the team, but they had to go. For them to have had a spot on this years roster they would have proved it by winning it all in the prior two years but they didn't and changes needed to be made.
While I wasnt a huge fan of the Talib deal, I loved the others and the jettisoning of Eric Decker needed to happen as well. So when I look at the new roster I obviously see lots of talent on both sides of the ball with an infusion of youth, speed and experience. We have a roster that has been around for the heartbreaking losses while at the same time have key players stepping in that were not a part of those losses and I think that is needed. Guys like TJ ward and Dware are hungry after being apart of losing franchises for their entire careers and hopefully that will show itself in their play for our very proud franchise.
While I do have extreme optimism once again I do have questions about the rb situation as well as the recovery from players like Von and chris harris but I still feel like the AFC is ours to lose. And does anyone here really believe the seahawks are 35 points better than these Broncos? Hell no, and if you do please pass me whatever it is you may be smoking. The Broncos have a schedule in which they will play against some of the best the NFC has to offer including Seattle at home (which I think will be a great Litmus test for this team).
I know this was a long post but since it was my first I wanted to make it a solid entry, if anyone has comments or questions about the teams of the past 2 years or this years team please feel free to comment as I would love to interact with the Broncos Community I have been passively a part of for the past couple years. Thanks for reading and of course I had to include a poll just to make this post truly official.