The 2019 Denver Broncos ended the season at perhaps the most optimistic 7-9 I have seen as a fan. When Ian St. Clair and I sat down to recap the Denver 2019 season on the MHR Radio Podcast, there was an obvious storyline that dominated the conversation. It was all about the quarterbacks.
As Ian said, there were three eras in 2019. The “Not Elite” Joe Flacco era, the “Meh Elite” Brandon Allen era, and the “Elite” Drew Lock era. It was a fun way to review the season, but it also raised an interesting question. With all the close losses, the Broncos were very close to being a playoff team. That seems crazy, as bad as the team looked at times, but it could have happened.
Imagine early on in the season, a couple fantom roughing the passer penalties against Von Miller and Bradley Chubb against the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars go the other way, and Denver is 9-7. The obvious holding call missed in the game against the Indianapolis Colts on Derek Wolfe in the end zone that would have resulted in a two-point swing and the Broncos are now 10-6 and in the AFC Playoffs.
All these “what-ifs” bring us to the question that was asked on the podcast. Would you prefer the Broncos win those games, and make the playoffs with Flacco as the QB, or are you happy the season played out the way it did?
If the Broncos make the playoffs we probably miss out on Drewcember. Broncos Country might be looking at 2020 as another year that starts with Flacco under center, and Lock waiting in the wings. That might not seem appealing, but would it be worth it to still be watching the Broncos play football right now?
As Ian said on the show, it’s short-term gratification versus the possibility of long-term success. As fans, we might be gearing up for a second week of playoffs right now, although that seems unlikely. But we would also be unsure about Lock and his potential to be the starter.
In the end, the argument can be made for wishing a couple things had happened differently putting the Broncos in the playoffs. However, the Drew Train steamrolled into Broncos Country, and I don’t think I would have it any other way.
What do you think Broncos Country? Would you have given up Drewcember to watch Flacco lead the team into the playoffs?