Denver Broncos: A Step In the Right Direction, or Lucky to Be .500?

Jason DanielCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2010

DENVER - JANUARY 03: Quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos and the offense head for the bench as the punting squad enters the field against the Kansas City Chiefs during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on January 3, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 44-24. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Although it was depressing to watch the Denver Broncos repeat their epic collapse of last year, I have managed to dismiss my anger in light of my growing optimism for this franchise.

Our last draft was clearly a great one, with several key players that matured tremendously and have nowhere to go but up. I really enjoy watching Knowshon Moreno run, and believe he can return Denver to their late '90s style of football, the type that won them two Super Bowl rings. Also, who didn't enjoy watching Robert Ayers suplex Jamaal Charles?

But then I started to question our record, and how the Denver faithful have made claims that we should have easily won 10-12 games. I know this because I was one of them.

But what if we were lucky to win eight?

Lets finally admit it...we were lucky to beat the Bengals. I haven't even managed to get that lucky playing Madden 10 on a last second play, let alone in real life. That was the most ridiculous catch anyone has ever seen, and if I was a Bengals fan I would have probably quit watching football for a few weeks. We don't get lucky, we're 7-9.

The Patriots game: Yeah, we won in overtime, but just barely. What happens if we lose that coin toss and Brady gets the ball first? One of the best final-drive quarterbacks of our time with a full 15:00 behind him...we probably wouldn't have stood a chance. We lose the coin toss, we're 6-10.

The Cowboys game: Romo drives the ball all the way down the field to the goal line, and tries to throw at Champ Bailey twice in a row with only a few ticks remaining on the clock, while on the other side of the field a Denver CB trips and leaves his WR wide open. If Romo looks left instead of right, we're 5-11.

So I ask you, how good are we?

Realistically, the 2009 Denver Broncos could have easily been tied with the (gulp) Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have sucked for so long that their constant top-10 draft picks are finally starting to mature into decent players, and I don't think we have more than another two-three years that we will be able to laugh at them with consistency. Next year this division might be a three-team race.

Unless the Denver Broncos figure it out, this may be a long few years. Now with talk of trading Brandon Marshall, losing our defensive coordinator Nolan, and several other coaches, the Denver Broncos are starting to look more and more like the Oakland Raiders everyday with this revolving door of personnel changes. Establish some consistency, trust your coaches, and lets make a run at this thing.

Thank goodness for the last place Kansas City Chiefs (oh wait, they blew us out).