|3rd Down Conversions||7-15||3-10|
|Red Zone Att.||3-4||2-4|
And just like that, poof, the season is over. It is a harsh reality for football fans especially so for those of us like me that spend so much time revolving around the Broncos. Let the blame game begin, afterall, this has to be someone's fault. Blame Josh McDaniels, blame Kyle Orton, or Brandon Marshall. All had a hand in this, as all three had a hand in any success the Broncos had.
Football is the ultimate team game - win as a team, lose as a team. From the start of off-season conditioning, the Broncos had a problem with Brandon Marshall. Josh McDaniels was consistent in how he was dealt with - be it the off-season or training camp or the final game of the season. In the end, in all parts of life, that is all you can ask for, consistency.
The Broncos obviously didn't earn or deserve a trip to the playoffs. We can say that now because they won't make it, and it is all of their own doing. It's been 27 years since the Broncos were swept at home by the AFC West opponents on their schedule - they didn't play the Raiders that season - and 30 years since they lost to all the AFC West opponents on home soil. That should tell the story right there - can't beat your own division, can't win the division, can't get into the playoffs.
Speaking of just this game, the Broncos defense simply didn't show up - right from the start. Brandon Marshall doesn't rush the passer, Tony Scheffler doesn't play run defense. Jamaal Charles ran over and around the Broncos run defense, continuing a slide that started nearly 2 months ago. We've seen now that the Giants game was a mirage as New York finished the season giving up nearly 90 points in 2 games. Other that that it has been a struggle, week in, week out, for the defense to play 4 quarters.
Of course, it isn't all on the defense - just like last season wasn't all on the defense. The offense cannot run the ball - the Broncos are one dimensional. That isn't a recipe for success for any team, especially a team like the Broncos who has flaws.
No matter who you name, the Broncos were once again embarrassed in the final game of the season, in a game they had to win. The opponent matters little - the Chiefs proved that playing loose is a powerful boost. The Broncos, however, showed that they haven't yet figured out how to win, how to handle the pressure. That will be Josh McDaniels' biggest job this off-season - figuring out how to instill a winning attitude into the tea,.
There is plenty of time to discuss what we should do. For now, I need to take a deep breath. This was a tough season for many reasons and for one, I could do without all the drama. Give me 53 players that will do what I do at my job everyday - show up, on time, and give it all I've got.
Perhaps this is for the best - the Broncos flaws and weaknesses are there for everyone to see - including those who make personnel decisions. I'd prefer the truth to lies, and the truth is the Denver Broncos are average at best - as a team - where it matters most.
Let the Rebuilding Season begin.