Just a few days after the Denver Broncos beat the Kansas City Chiefs for the first time in 17 tries, it still feels a little strange. Wins are great, but it wasn’t that long ago that Broncos Country was begging to blow it up, fire Vance Joseph, and even tank the season for a shot at Caleb Williams.
Now, we sit in a rather surprising spot. Winners of two straight games, and finally getting a win against KC could reverse the whole thought process in Denver. As I asked Ian on Broncos Odds and Endzones, was this win worth it?
Obviously, any win is a good win on the surface, but I have been saying for weeks that if the Broncos were going to win, they better go on a big run. Sean Payton had better get this team to a spot where winning games that cause the team to miss out on generational QB talent in the draft means a potential playoff run.
Anytime before the franchise’s first win against Patrick Mahomes I would have been inclined to simply set fire to the whole thing. Fans were calling for a fire sale to stockpile draft picks. I was one of them.
But when Ian and I sat down to talk about the game it was pretty clear that a fire sale was out of the question. The trade deadline came and went, and not a single player of note was moved. Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Justin Simmons, and anyone else you can think of is still on the roster.
That means Payton believes in what he is doing. He is getting his team to buy into what he is doing. The Denver Broncos look like a team that is taking on the challenge of battling back now, not in the future.
Is this a realistic outlook? Maybe. The schedule might just open up for a 3-5 team to get things done. Predictions aside, the toughest game left on the schedule is the Monday Night Football game against the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo after the bye week. After that, the possibilities are there.
The Vikings just lost Kirk Cousins for the rest of the year. The Browns, Texans, and Chargers are just kind of meh at best. You could argue that the Lions and not the Bills are the toughest team left on the schedule. The Patriots don’t inspire anyone. One more Chargers matchup, and a season finale against the Raiders who just fired Josh McDaniels.
For a team that looked embarrassing at times through the first 6 games (think Miami), the road looks a lot less bumpy moving forward.
Does that mean the playoffs are a possibility (Jim Mora voiceover)? I wouldn’t venture a guess, but I also find myself starting to believe again. I’m terrified.