At halftime of the game against the San Diego Chargers, the Broncos season seemed in jeopardy. Down 24-0 on the road, a loss would have put Denver two games back with ten to play and left the Broncos with an unimpressive 2-4 record entering the bye week. Luckily for the Broncos, that didn't happen.
With a record-setting comeback, and a subsequent 35-24 win over the Chargers, the Broncos vaulted to the top of the AFC West and emerged a respectable 3-3 from an extremely difficult schedule through week 6, playing four playoff teams from last year and their toughest divisional opponent on the road.
Now the Broncos emerge from the bye week with confidence and swagger after looking dead at halftime last week. So where do the Broncos go from here?
Well, without trying to jinx the momentum from the huge win, it is very possible that the Broncos run the table the rest of the way. Their are several factors that point to this potential outcome.
The remaining schedule for the Broncos poses a few challenges, but some games that appeared to be extremely difficult at the beginning of the season are looking a bit more winnable at a second glance.
Take this weekend's upcoming game at home against New Orleans. At the beginning of the year, this looked like a potential toss-up. Any time you are facing a perennial playoff team with Drew Brees at the helm, you're in for a tough game, right?
Well, this season, while Brees and company continue to post big numbers in the passing game, their defense has been absolutely abysmal. Besides the first quarter against Atlanta, Manning has been nothing short of brilliant in shredding defenses that are much stouter than the Saints'. The Broncos defense should be able to slow The Saints one-dimensional offense just enough to win in a potential shootout.
After that, the Broncos only have one game remaining against a winning team this season: December 16th at Baltimore. While the Ravens remain a tough team, recent injuries to Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb have derailed a defense that was already looking rather porous against the run. A 43-13 shellacking at the hands of the Houston Texans exposed the Ravens as not being as tough as many thought they would be this season.
With a great combination of veteran leadership on both sides of the ball, Denver doesn't seem to be the type of team that will blow off a game against an easy opponent. Also, the return of D.J. Williams will be a key to strengthening their defense for a stretch run. While he is a knucklehead at times, Williams is also a very effective defensive player and one of the on-field leaders of the unit when he's not suspended.
All of these factors point to 11 straight wins, including the incredible comeback last Monday night, and a 13-3 season. There's always ifs and buts to these types of scenarios, but it is definitely a real possibility.
Here's saying it's going to happen.