Three straight losses have left the Broncos tied with the Chargers in the AFC West. I agree with Broncos’ Head Coach Josh McDaniels, who this week said Sunday’s game against San Diego won’t decide the division title and won’t knock either team out of the playoff race.
I agree with that. There is no chance the season will end on Sunday. In that sense, it is not must-win, do-or-die or any other overused term.
At the same time, there have been several disturbing developments during the Broncos’ three-game losing streak. The offense has sputtered, the defense isn’t playing as well as it did earlier in the season, and now some injuries are creeping in.
Sunday’s game against the Chargers is a home game against a division foe. Those are critical. The stakes are magnified. The winner only gets a leg up and the loser still has time to recover. But it would much better to end the losing streak and get the leg up.
In the first six games we not only expected the Broncos to play well, we expected them to win. Throw in a little adversity and all of a sudden things don’t line up with our expectations.
The crazy part is that if we knew the Broncos would be 6-3 after nine games, I think many of us would have taken that in a heartbeat. In fact, I don’t just think that, I guarantee it.
But with their great start, the Broncos raised the level of expectation of those who pull for the team.
Here is what I expect the rest of the season:
1 – I EXPECT THE BRONCOS TO PLAY HARD. I know, this doesn’t count for much in pro football. But there is no way this team will pack it in. I’m not sure how many games they’ll win but I know they’ll continue to prepare hard, work hard and play hard.
2 – I EXPECT THE BRONCOS TO BE IN THE HUNT FOR THE AFC WEST TITLE THE ENTIRE SEASON. I don’t know which team will win it, but I don’t see the Broncos completely collapsing. Is it possible? Of course it is possible. But it is also possible for them to win five or six of their remaining seven games. After all, they did start 6-0.
3 – I EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. We talked about this a couple of months back. On the one hand, not having any idea what will happen is tough. It can be maddening. On the other hand, it is fun. There is something compelling about not having a good feel for what will happen in any given game.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.”
I guess it is a cliché for a reason. In the Broncos’ case, the future comes one game at a time, with San Diego up next.
The Broncos simply need a win. It doesn’t matter how they get it. I expect that if they beat the Chargers, it won’t come easy.
What are the keys for beating the Chargers and what are your expectations for this game and the rest of the season? As always, thank you for reading and posting your thoughts.