Good morning, Broncos Country!
NFL football as we are normally accustomed this time of year - OTAs, regular player/coach appearances before the media, constant speculation on team chemistry and player role models - is not happening as organized professional sports continue to monitor their re-entry into a competitive arena.
But the sports gambling world - which had to resort to betting on Belarussian football and pro table tennis for a time - is gladly rolling out its usual list of odds for NFL teams:
Odds for winning the Super Bowl
Odds for repeating as Super Bowl champs (bleh!)
Odds for NFL MVP
Odds for OPOY/DPOY
Odds for Rookie of the Year
etc. etc. etc.
But you can also bet on when your team will win its first game of the season (Hopefully no one made that bet last year because I’m guessing you lost a ton of money on probably not choosing it to be Week 5!)
Now let’s be clear - I don’t give one single damn about what oddsmakers think about the Broncos’ chances of winning, and I certainly don’t care how much sports bettors will make if they pick it to be Week 1 against the Titans versus Week 7 against the Chiefs.
But I absolutely care about the Broncos winning both of those games. Or at least competing in both.
And so I am very interested in what kind of impact winning the first game of the season has on a team’s psyche - and ultimately how much it can make or break the direction of the season.
I’ve said it more than once on this blog how much I think momentum plays a part in competitive sports - Super Bowl 48, anyone? Or maybe...a 62-yard field goal attempt into the wind that is no good but gives the Texans the ball back in great field position so they could score a field goal just before half.
But aside from plays within a game that swing momentum to one team’s favor, being able to put a check mark in the ‘W’ column does wonders for the team’s confidence going into the next week.
Likewise a loss - and particularly multiple losses in a row - tend to zap any confidence a team has in itself. Imagine if the refs hadn’t screwed up the Bears-Broncos game last year in Week 2, and the Broncos marched into Lambeau 1-1 instead of 0-2.
Perhaps it’s only a slight difference in the team’s confidence at that point, but I would argue it easily makes a difference in the outcome to be 1-2 (or even 2-1) when facing Jacksonville the following week. And perhaps that is the difference in Broncos beating the Jags and then continuing on to beat the Chargers and Titans. Suddenly, it’s a 4-2 or 5-1 Broncos team taking on the Chiefs, which is definitely a boost compared to being a 2-6 team.
The point is - a change to one game outcome could have put the Broncos on an entirely different trajectory last season just from the momentum and confidence that came from the win.
So this season - with a young QB who only started five games last year, a new offensive coordinator and still a relatively new coaching staff - I believe a win against the Titans in Week 1 is crucial for gaining the confidence necessary to march into Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers and then to pulverize Tom Brady the following week at home.
And if the Broncos can be 4-2 or 5-1 by the time they meet the Chiefs in October, I like Denver’s odds.
Which week will be the Broncos’ first win in 2020?
This poll is closed
Week 1, Titans
Week 2, at Steelers
Week 3, Bucs
Week 4, at Jets
Week 5, at Patriots
Week 6, Dolphins
Don’t even think for a second I’m letting you choose "Chiefs" as the first win of the season
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