Notes as I begin sifting through the comments posted since my last entry … many of which I will reply to within the following 48 hours …
I can only hope that everyone else in Broncoland returning from near and far has more energy than I do, that the players and coaches who scattered about were able to get more rest than I could, and that no one is dealing with an injury that is as painful as this right elbow that flares and throbs with each letter I type.
Whether I managed to find much time for sleep amidst darting from one family function to another — all following a one-hour night of sleep that began the weekend last Thursday — won’t make a whit of difference for the Broncos as they reconvene Monday for practice, just as they have following other bye weekends in recent years.
But for the players and coaches, the potential benefits of the time away won’t be fully known until we see them in action Sunday night against Pittsburgh, when they look to snap a three-game skid and find their old form after going 4-8 in their last 12 games, including a 2-5 home record in that span.
“By no means is this thing over,” safety John Lynch said before the bye weekend. “It’s just we’ve got to come together — coaches, players, everyone — and get the thing right. Start doing things in the right way and making plays.
“I think we all believe we have the talent in this locker room. I think what’s become apparent, talent alone doesn’t win you games, you’ve got to execute and all those things, and I think we will when we come back.”
Some quick bye-week stats of note to mention as the Broncos begin gathering once again:
Denver is 14-4 following its bye week, which is the second-best post-bye record in the league. It was tied for the best with the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings, but both moved to 15-4 in that scenario Sunday with wins over the New York Jets and Chicago Bears, respectively …
… Head Coach Mike Shanahan’s post-bye record is 9-3, and his teams have won four such contests in succession, the most recent being a 13-3 Monday Night Football triumph over the Baltimore Ravens last October …
… The Broncos’ post-bye home record is 10-2.
Of course, numbers and references to the past are but a guideline; it is the present collection of Broncos — which, because of injuries last week, is down both Tom Nalen and Nate Jackson — who will have to try to uphold those trends.
More to come later today as the Broncos return to Dove Valley, return to practice and look to set their course right after a three-game losing streak leading into the one-week respite. Until then, I need to get some sleep myself, so vaya con Dios.