I want to believe. The Denver Broncos gave us the emotional lift in the first three weeks of the NFL season that many of us needed. There was even talk of the Broncos having games flexed into the Sunday night slot later in the year. Perhaps I bought in too hard. Broncos Country has been starving for fun football. After dropping to 3-3, that familiar feeling has crept back in.
And now, I don’t believe. It was a quick fall for the Broncos. And now, on a short week, it feels like the season hangs in the balance against the Cleveland Browns. A loss continues the slide, but a win brings the playoff discussion back to the table.
Unfortunately, it is really hard to buy into whatever it is the Broncos are selling. A defense that was supposed to be the strength of the team might as well be nicknamed the Tiki defense. Torched. The offense has a play caller that claims to want to run the football. The evidence suggests otherwise.
Honestly, if we notice the issues, so do the players. It is hard not to think that Vic Fangio and his staff are close to losing the locker room. They may already be checking out. On the MHR Radio Podcast, Ian St. Clair and I talked about the locker room no longer buying into Fangio.
With the Browns missing several offensive players, it stands to reason that the Broncos should be a big favorite. Still, the confidence in what Denver can accomplish is waning. Not because of the talent on the field, but because of the decision makers off it.
Thursday night games can be unpredictable. A win, with all the injuries to Cleveland, is certainly possible. However, looking at how the Broncos have completely collapsed, it feels like a win is completely outside the realm of reality. And that is the emotional side of fandom.
With Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb out, and Baker Mayfield sidelined, there is no doubt the Broncos could win. My heart wants to believe a win is possible. The downside of fandom is the emotional attachment. Will the Broncos pull off a win on the road in their only primetime game in the 2021 season?