How hard is it for a Denver Broncos fan to watch the Oakland Raiders come into Denver and physical dominate the home team? That must have been what the 1960's were like. Disgusting. Whether it's 59-14 or 23-20, losing to the Raiders at home is just something I can't stand.
Worse, it was Kyle Orton who played a big role in the loss. All those weeks of training camp devoted to him being the game manager we all (mostly all of us) thought he could be under John Fox. Granted, the offensive line played one its worst games in recent memory, but I lost count of how many open wide receivers Orton just flat out missed last week. He looked like a guy who was just trying too hard and he certainly didn't look comfortable leading this team.
That said, and this isn't a Kyle Orton bash, the entire team let the fans down in this first game. The defense did its job, that much is sure. They stopped the Raiders when they needed to be stopped and kept this game much closer than it should have been. The offense just didn't execute. Thirteen points...at home...on Monday Night Football...against the hated Oakland Raiders who soiled your home ground last season with 59 points. Disgusting.
So where does that leave us? Tim Tebow. Ha! Just kidding. This team has to lose a lot more games before Fox starts wondering what Tebow might be able to do under center, so for now this game is all about the offense bouncing back from the biggest let down in over ten months - for us fans anyway.
Personally, I think the defense will keep the game close. They are not yet great, but they are no longer the doormats of 2010 either. So this game against the Cincinnati Bengals is going to come down to the Broncos offense. Can they execute? Can Orton bounce back? Can the OL man the hell up? Those are all questions we need to find answers for tomorrow. I will say this, if the Broncos lose this game its going to hurt bad. Orton's reign will end much sooner - fairly or not, most fans will undoubtedly blame him. It is what it is, the rest of us just have to hope for the best.
If you want Tim Tebow to play sooner rather than later, then root for the Broncos to lose this game - it will make the Tebow era begin much sooner than it would have begun. As for me, I think Orton will actually bounce back and the Broncos will win big tomorrow, 31-13. If only because a loss would mean 5 more weeks of angry and pissed off fans. A win at least makes the debate go away for a few days...
Famous Broncos Quotes
Moving away from the depressing task of writing about the 2011 Broncos, I've compiled a short list of my most favorite Broncos quotes of all time. This was purred by Orton's, "I'm not going to cry over spilt milk" comment that really pissed me off at first, but now it just is what it is. Orton doesn't cry over spilt milk, but I am certain he cries over wet balls. I would too. Anyway, here are some of my favorites of all time!
"This one's for John!" ~ Pat Bowlen
I was openly weeping when these words were spoken. Was this quote cheesy? Absolutely, but does that matter? Anyone who suffered through the crushing defeats of the 1980's will testify to the unbelievable sense of accomplishment, relief and joy that January 25, 1998 brought to Broncos fans everywhere.
"The one's for you!" ~ Pat Bowlen
I love this quote because it capped the greatest season of Broncos football I had ever witnessed. I even got to attend the game in San Diego. Little did I know it also capped the end of an era and the beginning of the end of a tradition that had been ingrained in the Broncos organization for thirty years. Hopefully, we'll see a return to that tradition someday...
"It's all over fat man!" ~ Tom Jackson
Few remember that the Denver Broncos had a ten year stretch where they didn't beat the Oakland Raiders a single time. That is twenty straight defeats. It was embarrassing and the hatred for the dirty and often cheating Raiders grew each and every season. The Broncos first broke the losing streak on October 22, 1972 in Oakland's backyard, however it was the 1977 AFC Championship game that meant the most to Broncos fans. Tom Jackson's quote here signified an end of perpetual dominance of the Raiders over the AFC West.
We got 'em right where we want 'em. ~ Keith Bishop
On the day I became a Broncomaniac, Keith Bishop uttered a sentence as the offense took the field down 20-13 in the 1987 AFC Championship game that would begin one of the most famous drives in NFL history. I was eight years old and upon seeing Elway's greatness live on one of the world's biggest stages, I was hooked. I watched Broncos games before that and was a "fan", but I am certain that was the day I became a Broncomaniac. There is a difference between being a fan and a Broncomaniac, without a doubt! In any case, not even the Super Bowl loss to the New York Giantsdamped my mania.
"What's the old saying, 'A half a loaf is better than none'?" - Lou Saban
I'll end with the most infamous quote in Broncos history. The half a loaf game would cause Saban to lose his job in 1971. With the game tied 10-10 with the Miami Dolphins, Saban opted to run the clock out and go for the tie rather than to try and win the game. Something unheard of in today's NFL, but in hindsight it was unheard of back then as well. It got so bad during that season that the crowd would throw half loaves of bread onto the field in anger over Saban's rather unfortunate remarks.
There is my top 5, did I miss a really good one?