Broncos' Early Season Thin Ice: 2007 Redux?

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Broncos' Early Season Thin Ice: 2007 Redux?

The first three games of 2008 seem strikingly similar to the first three of 2007 in many ways. 2007 was a season that began with excitement and promise, and then turned ugly in a hurry.  The question is, is this season different, or a variation of a trend?

Last year, the Broncos won their first three games in a heart palpitating style, knocking off Buffalo, Oakland, and then later Pittsburgh to end a three-game skid. Yesterday's nailbiter to beat New Orleans differentiated the Broncos' current season by vaulting to 3-0, but showed that there may not be a huge difference in the current Denver squad and its predecessor.

Denver got breaks again Sunday. This time, however, the gifts were from its opponent and not Ed Hochuli.  Two missed field goals, including the potential go-ahead score from Martin Gramatica late in the fourth, were main factors in the squeaker win.

Factor in a missed two-point conversion the Broncos foiled earlier in the game, and a fumble by Tony Scheffler deep in Saints territory in the final stanza, and you have just a few of the places where a break here or there turned the fortunes of the game.

Once again, not a game for the faint of heart.

The Broncos continue to put points on the board—34 more in a two-point victory over New Orleans.  Denver has by far scored the most points in the NFL after three weeks. Yet they've also coughed up large chunks of yards and points themselves, allowing the third MOST points in the league. 

Denver should be able to stop the bleeding Sunday against an anemic Chiefs team, but the game is in Kansas City, typically a house of horrors, no matter the teams' records. The Broncos are likely to return home in Week Five for a matchup against the Bucs as the 4-0 AFC West leaders.

Critical matchups follow with Jacksonville and New England prior to the bye.

This column will be on hiatus for a week or two, as I head off to Jamaica to do a little scouting on the beach for defensive help.

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