Well, Broncos Country, 2020 rears its ugly head again. I did some math.
First of all, as I say to Ian on the MHR Radio Podcast, I am not a numbers guy. That’s why I tell my students all the time, “math hard, teach social studies,” in my best caveman voice.
That being said, I had a thought the other day. Since it feels like 2015 was an entire lifetime ago, I decided to go back into ancient history. I went all the way back to 1977.
If you are paying attention, that’s the year the Orange Crush defense led the Broncos to their first AFC Championship game appearance. So, from that point to now it has been 43 years. We are in the 43rd season since that year.
In those seasons, the Broncos have been to 10 AFC Championship games. Not bad. For those keeping score, that means Denver has been one win away from the Super Bowl every 4.3 seasons on average.
I know, you are marveling at my ability to math. Believe me, I used a calculator. Obviously, there are a couple of stretches of sustained success, and two Hall of Fame QBs that helped those numbers.
The longest period between AFC Championship Game appearances on the list is 9 years, from 1977 to 1986. As it stands now, the Broncos are past the average amount of time, and seem more likely to eclipse that 9 year stretch than turning the franchise around.
As the Broncos prepare to take on the Chiefs, and at least keep it close, it feels like a shot at any form of relevancy is more than a few years away. Denver hasn’t defeated Kansas City since Bradley Roby returned Jamal Charles fumble for a touchdown in Week 2 of 2015.
I bet that’s not the first time you have read that this year. It won’t be the last if something big doesn’t happen in the bright lights of Sunday Night Football.
Being a fan hurts sometimes. As Broncos Country languishes through these awful years, we can look at those numbers I provided in several ways. The most obvious, as an indication of how far the team has fallen, or as an indication that the sun will rise again.
In the meantime, all we can do is sit back and hope for a surprise game from the Broncos potential QBOTF. If Drew Lock can return after his COVID suspension and play like we all hoped he would, a win won’t be that far out of the realm of possibilities.
Or, someone might put a quarter in the carousel for another go around.