The Broncos are the Little Red Riding Hood of the NFL.
They’re cute, everyone likes them, and they can even skip through most of the forest of the NFL season without a lot of fear.
Ah, but there’s grandma’s house waiting at the end. And, like the monster waiting in grandma’s bed, the NFL playoffs have one hell of a bite.
Can the Broncos figure out the signs before they are devoured? Grandma’s big teeth? The horrible play of the offensive line. Grandma’s big eyes? The penalties. Grandma’s deep voice? The turnovers.
We all find comfort in the familiar.
The flannel shirt you wore right out of the dryer, your girlfriend’s banana bread, a Showgirls marathon on TV—these are the things that make us whole.
But nothing gives comfort like a game against the Oakland Raiders.
Perhaps it’s the porous coverage or the liquid tackling. Or maybe it’s just the way Raiders fans act like they could bite the head off a bat but really go home and play 50 Shades of Grey.
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
“Son,” he said to me, “just remember, good fortune just means life is about to kick your ass.”
The Broncos were at the top of all the power rankings last week. In fact, many pundits were already predicting they’d win it all.
So much for that nonsense. Let the Patriots have the praise.
It’s still a week away from Halloween, but the Broncos are getting scary.
Too many monsters. Too many ways for the opponent to die.
Tonight, the Broncos fed the Frankenstein that was Emmanuel Sanders.
The Chargers were torn limb from limb.
Be afraid, AFC West. Be very afraid.
Records are made to be broken, so they say.
When Peyton Manning is involved, though, they are simply broken to be made again. And again. And Again.
With every touchdown pass he throws, Manning rewrites the record books in orange and blue.
Is there any reason to think Manning can’t throw another 100 touchdowns as a Bronco?
No. No there is not.
“It’s so f#$king easy! It’s so easy!”
That’s how Julius Thomas described today’s game after his second touchdown.
But it really wasn’t. Don’t let the score fool you. The Jets had the ball and were one score away from tying the game with a minute left to play.
Lucky for the Broncos, the Jets were 95 yards away and Geno Smith was their quarterback.
Although the Cardinals have a good defense, they discovered one thing about playing the Denver Broncos.
Play man to man at your own risk.
Peyton Manning threw for the most yards in his career. Demaryius Thomas set a team single-game receiving record. And the Broncos nearly reached 600 yards in total offense.
This is what happens when you try and match talent with the Broncos. You find out what you knew all along.
You’re biting dust.
You’ll be tempted to look at the final score today and feel some sort of moral victory.
You’ll hear all the pundits next week. It will go something like this. The Broncos had to show they could hang with Seattle, they’ll say. And they did.
The Broncos never quit, they’ll say. They can build on this.
As Marcellus Wallace might say, that’s just pride f#$king with you.
It’s one thing to say you want to keep Peyton Manning off the field and control the clock.
It’s an entirely different thing to actually get it done.
Give the Chiefs credit. They barely gave the Broncos the ball in the second half, and they converted a ton of long third downs.
It got so bad, John Fox later joked his defense was operating as a “ball-control” defense.
If you only watched the first half of tonight’s game, you would have assumed the rest of the season was a waste of time.
Hand the Broncos the AFC.
If you’d only watched the second half, well, you would have assumed the same thing. The only difference?
You’d hand the Broncos a top-ten draft pick.
And that was pretty much the game. It remains to be seen just how great this Broncos team is, despite the lofty predictions and expectations.
Crazy, stupid season.