By Derek Lofland
Only in the AFC West is this possible. The Chargers started the season 4-8. They managed to win their last four games to get back to 8-8. Most seasons that means one of two things:
1) Contention for a wild-card spot or:
2) Solid momentum headed into the following season. In the AFC West, it means you win the division and get to host a home playoff game.
It took 12 games for another team in their division to match the four-win mark.
Yet the Broncos found ways to lose to the Chiefs in Kansas City. They also lost to Oakland at home. Despite all that, they stood at 8-5 to the Chargers 5-8. Beat the Panthers, Bills, or Chargers and you are in the playoffs.
The Chargers managed to win their next two games and the Broncos managed to lose both games. Then the Broncos traveled to San Diego and laid their own egg. They lost 52-21 to complete the collapse.
The Broncos had some quality wins this season. They beat the Buccaneers, Chargers, Saints, Falcons, and Jets. Those are all teams that either made the playoffs or managed a winning record. They also played the Dolphins tough.
The problem is they managed to lose to teams like Jacksonville, Kansas City, Oakland, and Buffalo. They also beat Kansas City by only seven points on Dec. 7 and the Browns by only four points.
The Broncos had a few problems this season that were beyond their control.
They couldn’t keep a running back healthy. They had seven running backs that went on IR this season. It is very hard to have an effective offense when you are switching running backs every week.
The Broncos never got to run the ball with any consistency, because they couldn’t keep a back on the field...