The Denver Broncos should be flagged for illegal procedure! Pretenders to legitimacy, they fooled us into thinking that maybe, just maybe, they might actually be contenders for a playoff spot.
In the off-season faithful Denver fans pulled out what scant hairs we had left just trying to make sense of a young 32-year-old rookie head coach who’d kicked our franchise quarterback to the curb while making advances to a one-season-wonder from his native New England team.
Having failed in his coup attempt to woo Cassel over to the mile-high-magic of Denver, he settled for a pretty average quarterback in Kyle Orton, at which point we were confident that this was the proverbial rebuilding season.
Add to the mix a rebuilt defense with names that were completely unrecognizable to Bronco fans, we began to relish the idea of a 3 – 11 season, that is until he shocked us and the talking heads by beginning the season 6 – 0.
Who could blame us for believing in our new playoff-bound head coach, our stifling defense, and our journey –man-turned-savior-quarterback? With the San Diego Chargers looming smaller and smaller in our rear-view-mirror, we began to see visions of an AFC West crown in our future.
Why, even the talking heads began to choke on mouthfuls of humble-pie as they shamefacedly admitted that they’d misjudged the Denver Broncos. We began to power our way up every pundit’s power ranking.
How could we have predicted that, following our bye-week sitting on a 6 – 0 record, there were only two more wins in our future out of 10 remaining games? But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
With only three games left in the season (two of them must-win games against the lowly Raiders and Chiefs), and sitting on an 8 – 5 record, while clearly frustrated with the level of play we were still confident that a playoff spot was in our future.
Even the highly paid talking heads speculated that the Broncos would limp into the playoffs as the “five or six seed,” and so all was relatively calm in the city that hadn’t seen a playoff in three years.
Then the Raiders came to town. Did I mention that we’d beaten them when we visited Oakland? They handed us an unexpected but well deserved loss. Fast forward to the final game of the season.
There are ten permutations by which the Broncos can make the playoffs and in all of them they need some help. First though, they have to help themselves by winning against the 3 – 12 Chiefs at home. We get our first stroke of good fortune when The Playoff-bound Patriots lose to the Houston Texans. Now we’re one step closer.
Then Kyle Orton, sneaky bugger that he is, dons a Denver jersey and ends up playing for the Chiefs. Inexplicably our coach benches two of his best receivers in Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler, and with an injured Eddie Royal out of the picture, we are left with receivers that we frankly didn’t even know were on the roster.
The result: a 44 – 24 shellacking! So, once again we take our familiar seats in the off-season of also rans while the real contenders head to the playoffs. Why didn’t Denver just play the whole season like they did the last 10 games? At least that way we wouldn’t have gotten our hopes up and we might have ended up with a decent draft pick position.
Denver should be flagged for illegally enticing their fans into false hopes. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.