SNF Recap: Mile High Meltdown at Qualcomm
As if it were written in the stars, the fans of San Diego were treated to what many will call "Poetic Justice" when the San Diego Chargers helped the Denver Broncos complete one of the leagues biggest collapses in the history of the NFL.
At 8-5, the Broncos held a three-game lead over the Chargers with three games left to play and the unthinkable came to fruition Sunday night when the Chargers trampled their division foes 52-21.
For the NFL, it was another overhyped matchup that did not live up to snuff. This was supposed to be a showdown between two division rivals, but it looked more like a practice scrimmage for the AFC West Champion Chargers, as they completely dismantled the Broncos on both sides of the ball.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who was just snubbed from making the Pro Bowl earlier in the week, showed the fans of San Diego and a national audience which starting quarterback truly deserves Pro Bowl honors.
While running back LaDanian Tomlinson looked sharp shredding the Broncos defense for 96-yards and three touchdowns, the story was not so much how good the Chargers looked, but rather how bad the Broncos played.
Sunday night just became the epitome of this team's identity, in particular its' team leader. There have been moments throughout the season that quarterback Jay Cutler has looked like a million dollar bonus baby throwing 25-touchdowns, but then there have been those moments when he has not.
Cutler tossed two more picks in the team's loss, including a drive ending pick in the end zone just before the close of the first half. This was at a moment where San Diego leading 24-6, clearly had all of the momentum, but a Denver score would have been huge going into the locker room, especially receiving the ball to start the second half.
While some Denver fans may have had high hopes for the 7-9 team from a year ago, their 28-points allowed per game in the team's first three wins should have been a cause for concern. Now 8-8, ranked 29th overall in total defense, and out of the playoffs, reality has set in.
Looking over all that has happened in the last day or so, it's easy to say the Broncos collapsed, but if you look at their numbers maybe they just lived up to their potential.
In the 2008 season, the Bronco's defense allowed; 28-points per game (ranked 30th), 228.5-yards passing per game (ranked 26th), 26-sacks (ranked 26th), 146.1-yards rushing per game (ranked 27th), 26-rushing touchdowns (ranked 31st), and 20-run plays for 20 or more yards (ranked T-29th).
Before the Denver faithful turn their backs on the only Bronco's head coach to bring a championship to Denver, we must remember Shanahan came in as an offensive minded guru, who has time and time again proved himself as such. This season the team was ranked second in total yards and T-ninth in offensive touchdowns.
There's little question many changes will be needed in the offseason. Before you start calling for the coach's head, this team will need to be evaluated from the players, to the coaching staff, to the parking attendants, and concession stands.