The season has now just begun. The quest to win the AFC was a primary goal for us as Broncos fans, but not internally with the organization. Why? PFM, that's why. How many times has he won the Division title in his 13 years as a Colt? (12 if you discount last year) 8! This is nothing new for him, this was never not an option, it was an expectation. it was an expectation to win and go beyond, to compete for the Lombardi Trophy. It's interesting to look back on past commentary of whether Peyton was back, were the Broncos capable of repeating, Defensive Tackle was the primary need of the team and we wouldn't be able to compete etc etc etc...how quickly 3 months can turn into someone singing your praises, claiming this is the best Peyton has ever played, this is the best defense the Broncos have had since the 97-98 superbowl year etc etc etc. I know see a little more of the insight of what Elway is trying to do, and doing very successfully and that is restoring the Broncos as a perennial team. John Elway took the Broncos to 5 Superbowls, and were in the playoffs 10 out of his 15 years. The restoration of that kind of consistancy and expectation is what he is building back with this franchise, something that was lost when he retired. Manning is his vehicle to restore the expectation and the desire for perfection to obtain the Lombardi trophy. Manning isn't his QB of the future, he is the QB of right now to groom the young players into a mentality that strives for this perfection, something that cannot be taught from a front office. Leadership and accountability start with the locker room, never settling not matter how perfect the win, this is the vision that Elway sought when bringing Manning to Denver, to instill in every player and in ever fan. (This is why you stop doing the wave and chearing when Manning is doing the no Huddle!)
Every division game is a tough game, every team save Baltimore is trying to play spoiler to the Broncos' season. With Baltimore losing to the Steelers, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Regardless of losing every game from now on, the Broncos will end up with the 4th seed in the playoffs by winning the AFC west. HOWEVER, we have an excellent chance to win the 3rd and 2nd seed depending on how things play out in the next 2 weeks. Here is why: 1. There is a 3 way tie between the Broncos, Patriots and Ravens at 9-3. Currently Baltimore still holds the 2 seed with a win over the patriots hold the 3 seed with a win over the Broncos. The Patriots next 2 games are monday night against Houston and Sunday Night against San Francisco. Baltimore's next 2 games are Sunday against the surging Redskins and Sunday again against Denver. We have the EASIEST schedule out of all of them and easiest schedule remaining. I feel NE will lose one of those games and Baltimore could lose both of them. At this point, the way Baltimore is playing, I do not see them winning either of their two games and as such, Denver could be the #2 seed in two weeks
Raiders game -
The Raiders will be playing their hearts out on Thursday due to the death of head coach Dennis Allen's father on Tuesday. As with KC, the Raiders will be playing extremely hard for their coach and are in Oakland, this will be a tough game to win despite their record. I feel the Broncos have had their fill of scares, but what is necessary is to establish a fast start by the offense. This will be a good game to establish mental toughness and opportunity for Moreno as the Raider's run defense is slightly lacking.
Injury news -
Wesley Woodyard did not practice on Tuesday with an ankle sprain and I would expect him to be held out of the game on Thursday. Reason being is that DJ Williams is a more than adequate fill in and we will need him in less than 2 weeks for Baltimore fully healed. Robert Ayers returned to practice after a leave of absence to deal with the untimely death of his father and should shore up the defensive pass rush. I am unsure about Stokley as he was held out with a hip injury and again, I would expect him to sit out as Tamme did an excellent job as the TE in the slot receiver routes.
Hope to see you all on Thursday and I leave you with Peyton's Rules...please abide by them
1) Thou shalt not covet nachos at the concession stand while the Broncos have the football.
2) Please, before becoming an NFL referee, learn how to count to 12.
3) Be prepared to catch a pass, even while sitting on your rump.
4) Keep quiet when the master is at work. There will be ample time to cheer after Manning reaches the end zone.
5) No visiting team gets out of here alive.
I am a Broncos fan and I believe. I believe in Mile High Magic and Bleed Orange and Blue. I celebrate the drive and the Mile High Salute. I create the THUNDER, share in the common dream and will forever be a proud citizen of BRONCOS COUNTRY