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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Top Ten Reasons the Broncos Lost to Buffalo

  1. Another running back bites the dust. After a great start to the game, PJ Pope left the game with a hamstring injury--and though Selvin Young and Tatum Bell did their best to fill in, it was obvious that Pope was the best-prepared running back for the game. Unofficially, this was the millionth Broncos running back to leave a game because of an injury this year. Which is pretty freakin’ amazing.
  2. The Broncos offense notched up lots of yards but not a lot of points. Too many of their drives ended in field goals (or a missed field goal or a turnover late in the game) instead of touchdowns. 
  3. Defense that gave up too many big plays.
  4. Defense that gave up too many yards after the first contact.
  5. The Broncos lost the turnover battle--and they didn’t win too many games this year where they were on the wrong side of that number.
  6. Cutler’s interception on the two yard line while driving for what would have been the winning score is far from his only turnover in the red zone this year. He’ll never not be compared to Elway while he plays in Denver, but while he has thrown for a ton of yards this season--more by far than Elway ever did in any single season during his career--he hasn’t really earned that Elway mantle yet. Elway started in five Super Bowls in his career. Elway had the Broncos in the playoff ten times during his career (including three of his first four seasons and a Super Bowl appearance in his fourth year). Cutler has the physical abilities to be an amazing quarterback, but he still has a good distance to go before he’s truly one of the elite players in the league.
  7. A final offensive series in the first half that was purely inept. It was an ugly series that carried over to their first few series of the second half. As brilliant as their first couple drives were, they never quite regained that original footing.
  8. The strategy of kicking short to keep the ball from the Bills’ returner ensured that the Broncos lost the war for field position in a really big way. Big and ugly.
  9. The Bills were down early but never lost composure. They played a smart, steady, and clean game and absolutely earned the win.
  10. The football gods thought that a final game showdown between San Diego and Denver--two of NFL’s most mediocre teams playing in one of the NFL’s weakest divisions--would be an awfully funny way to end the season for one of these nearly-deserving teams. Whoever wins next week (and, of course, I still hope it’s the Broncos) will be hard-pressed to say that they truly earned the trip to off-season glory. Although San Diego has gone on a late winning streak that has killed off the three game lead that the Broncos had with three games left in the season. Whatever happens, though, the AFC West will be sending an 8-8 team to the playoffs this season. The sense of pride would be minimal.

There have been a ton of injuries and some bad luck for the Broncos this year, but that’s just football. In the final analysis, barring some surprise Super Bowl, this is going to be a tremendously disappointing season. Much of the early season badness can be traced to a bad defense, but the late season mistakes seem just as likely to come from the offense, the special teams, or the coaching staff. There is tremendous talent on the offensive side of the ball and a few shining lights on defense, but they need consistency, passion, and more talent on defense (and to a lesser extent, on special teams) to make this a really good team.

They had their chances today, but they failed to capitalize time and again on those opportunities. As I said: disappointing.

Comments & Trackbacks
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Regarding your #6, I think that would have been the tieing score ( assuming extra point ).

on Dec 21 2008 @ 05:48 PM

You’re right. I let the crankiness overwhelm my critical thinking skills (always in short supply) and got that one wrong. Sorry about that.

on Dec 21 2008 @ 05:56 PM

Sorry to hear about your sports team. I gather they suck now. I don’t follow such things, being a pure being of higher light.

Speaking of being really high, when are we going to get together for drinking again? It seems like it’s been ages.

on Dec 21 2008 @ 06:03 PM

I’m going to ignore the “being of higher light” stuff and get to the important part.

Some time after the new year begins--it will take a bit for me to catch up to my bills. And I think we’ll keep the next one small--and if someone can get in touch with Wadcutter, we should invite him to meet up and let us know how he’s been doing.

on Dec 21 2008 @ 06:13 PM

I’m pretty sure we’d all like to get together and <strikeout>get totally hammered</strikeout> commiserate about the election and talk with friends even if you ain’t carrying the financial load.

on Dec 21 2008 @ 06:25 PM

Yeah, well, I’m also going to be out of town for the next week. That window of opportunity is slipping away faster than a campaign promise.

on Dec 21 2008 @ 06:48 PM

Man, I’ve known people go to great lengths to try and get out of a bar bill, but skipping town is a new record.

And I’ll allow to pass, in the austere and dignified silence that befits a person of my Lightworker status, your unnecessary dismissive sneer about my status as a being of pure energy. See if I help YOU translate into a higher form, meatbag!

on Dec 21 2008 @ 09:50 PM

Good-natured personal ribbing aside…

It seems as if the football gods giveth, and the football gods taketh away. I remember you mentioning something in Week (I think) 4 that the Broncos were relying far too heavily on the Holy Heisman Spirit for their wins, and now it is really coming back to haunt them.

I’d mention something about the Ghost of Playoffs Past, but that’d be too many metaphors for a single comment.

My early line for Week 17: Chargers by 7, O/U at 43 1/2.

Play the ball where it lies, folk.

on Dec 21 2008 @ 10:47 PM

Speaking of the football gods, I dont think even they have the sense of humor to allow the Broncos into the playoffs with Tatum Bell as the starting tailback.  I want to win next week just so the Chargers dont.

on Dec 22 2008 @ 01:11 PM

"Whatever happens, though, the AFC West will be sending an 8-8 team to the playoffs this season.”

Only if San Diego wins.  If the Broncos win, they’ll be 9-7.

I’m guessing the line in the Indy at Denver/San Diego game will be home team plus 9-1/2 or so.

on Dec 22 2008 @ 06:49 PM

I should have made myself clear: while I don’t want the Broncos to drop into a fit of good sportsmanship and give up to San Diego, they really did everything right to lose that first match-up with the Chargers. If the Broncos end up winning, they’ll still be an 8-8 team in my book.

Of course, that’s just me being bitchy and disappointed, so what do I know?

on Dec 22 2008 @ 09:33 PM

You can’t expect them to win every game, as you said, it can be disappointing but they might have better luck next year. At this point, you can just analyze the game and hope that they will do that to and they won’t repeat any mistakes in the year to come. I think that you pretty much covered everything that went wrong.

on Dec 28 2008 @ 04:37 PM

Dude. Stop hanging your head in shame, and definitely stop burning your Mike Shanahan “Coach Of The Year” Memorial Mug. Ceramic only scorches.

Just give your usual post-game analysis.

Partly so I can gloat insufferably.

on Dec 30 2008 @ 01:33 AM

Boland finally listened to me.

on Dec 30 2008 @ 05:03 PM

OC, your wish, my command. To be fair, though, I don’t feel a whole lot of respect for the Chargers. I just feel less respect for the Broncos right now.

on Dec 30 2008 @ 07:54 PM
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