Heading into Sunday, the Denver Broncos (5-6) were considered 1.5 underdogs in their road game against the Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) the following week. That was before they frustrated and annoying the Pittsburgh Steelers all game long en route to a 24-17 home win.
Within a day the line completely flipped. And it flipped big to a 5-point favorite for the Broncos to extend their two-game win streak to three. Most fans would likely prefer to keep the underdog streak going, but Vegas has to make money and the opening line was not going to make them much money. Or so they predict.
Head Coach Vance Joseph appears to have found a way to strike a chord with this team. That chord is one of anger. Anger is always a good motivator.
“I think we get it,” Joseph said of the team being able to handle success. “Again, we’re 5-6, so I think we understand where we’ve been. I think the guys are still pissed off that we’re not better. That’s what we feel when we win these games. I look at the Houston game and go, ‘Ok, this is nice, but what happened with Houston?’ I’m like that critic for us. I think we all felt that way, that we could be better, but we’re not. We have to go make better happen and 5-6 is still not satisfying for our football team—not for me, especially. We’ll see. Let’s get 6-6 and see how that feels, but 5-6 feels like nothing to me, honestly.”
The one game at a time mantra is important, because the Broncos have very little leeway in terms of giving up ground on a very large muddling of AFC Teams gathering around that sixth and final playoff spot with five games to go.
Which would you prefer the Broncos be?
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