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  • Broncos, playoffs? Not so fast

    I thought this was a good article. Shows lots of positives, but at the same time provides a good reality check.


    BRONCOS, PLAYOFFS? NOT SO FAST

    Major news flash from Dove Valley: Jay Cutler says he has a good feel for the Broncos' offense. Not only that, he sounds good and looks good. And, may I add, the defense is looking good. Oh, and that new kicker . . . whoa, he's, like, looking really good.

    It's August and it's all good at the Valley of the Dove. Except it's not.

    Can I get a reality check from the congregation?

    They're talking the talk and feeling the love at Broncos headquarters. How much so? When Wade Phillips brought the Cowboys to town, he could have sworn he was deep in the heart of Metroplex traffic.

    "They've got a tremendous organization," Phillips said. "It's like Dallas. The fans are tremendously behind the team. They've got high expectations
    every year. I mean, I listened here earlier and they're talking about the Super Bowl. Guys are coming in here talking about the Super Bowl. A lot of other places aren't like that."

    Trouble is, a lot of other places are. New England, for instance. Indianapolis. San Diego. They ought to be talking Super Bowl in those cities. Denver? After seeing the Broncos of 2006-07, I'd settle for an occasional red-zone touchdown or an opposing quarterback on the ground.

    Hold the Kool-Aid already. Yes, Cutler appears primed to enter a new realm. Yes, Jim Bates, who was supposed to have all the answers, is gone. And yes, two of the other three teams in the AFC West are imminently beatable. Not only that, in the words of Pat Bowlen, "There's a new energy in the building."

    Uh-huh. And there also are several starters back on a defense that allowed 409 points, more than any other AFC team that didn't lose 15 games. Afterward, Mike Shanahan hired his third defensive coordinator in three years. Just to put that number in perspective, the Monfort Bros., at the rate they're going, will own the Rockies for 40 years and never have three general managers.

    The 2007 Broncos needed four last-second field goals from Jason Elam to finish 7-9. The Browns, meanwhile, were 10-6. So why mention it here? Because those 10 wins didn't get Cleveland a playoff berth in the big, bad AFC. But the Broncos will earn one this year because, well, because they're the Broncos. And because the food is good in the cafeteria at Dove Valley.

    Granted, in today's NFL, you can't get too caught up in last season. In the past decade, an average of six teams have made the playoffs after not getting there the previous season. The Buccaneers won the NFC South after finishing 4-12 in 2006. Washington snagged a wild card after a 5-11 '06 season.

    Maybe the Broncos will be one of those teams. But there are a lot of reasons to think they won't be, to think that Shanahan could establish a career first: missing the playoffs for three straight years. Inexperience, for one thing. One very big thing.

    A perusal of the Broncos' roster indicates that 67 of the 80 players in training camp have played two or fewer seasons in Denver. That's commonly known as a youth movement, not a playoff team waiting to happen.

    Unlike the Chargers, whose roster is littered with prime-time talents at or near the prime of their careers, the Broncos are lacking a core of such players. And it's easy enough to see why. There are two players — D.J. Williams and Ben Hamilton — remaining from the five draft classes of 2000-04.

    You have to like what the Broncos have done since then. Their draft class of '06, the one that included Cutler, Tony Scheffler, Brandon Marshall and Elvis Dumervil, may prove to be the greatest in franchise history. But they're not ready to make the playoffs. Not here, not now, not in the AFC.

    John Elway missed the playoffs six times in his first 13 seasons, during which the AFC generally was inferior to the NFC. And Cutler, surrounded by all those young players, is going to make the playoffs now that the tide has turned, now that the AFC is the powerhouse conference? No. It doesn't just take talent. It takes time.

    To paraphrase that slogan on Terrell Owens' T-shirt, I love me some reality. And reality suggests in no uncertain terms that the Broncos are a work in progress, not a threat to upset the Patriots or Colts in the playoffs. Maybe next year, but not this year.

    But hey, don't take my word for it. I've been known to be dead-on about these kinds of things, and I've been known to be dead wrong. We'll know soon enough, starting with the season opener at Oakland, sans Marshall.

    One week later, we'll have an even clearer view. That's when the Chargers come calling at Invesco Field at Mile High. The score the last time these two hooked up along I-25? Try San Diego 41, Elam 3.

    Wondering how much the Chargers respect the Broncos? We take you to San Diego, where Philip Rivers last was seen taunting Cutler from the sideline. A quarterback talking trash. Not a wide receiver punking a cornerback. A quarterback, for crying out loud, dissing another quarterback.

    Forget all the speculation, all the optimism, all the feel-good talk. If the Chargers come into Invesco and win again, we'll know all we need to know. And if the Broncos win at Oakland, then beat the Chargers? Same thing. We'll know all we need to know.

    http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_10269929
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  • #2
    Good article and good read...

    But the way he concentrated on the powerhouses like NE and Indy and how we weren't going to upset them, I think 'Broncos, Superbowl? Not so fast' would've fit better.

    Every year, teams jump into the playoffs... and I expect that of our team. I would agree we're not Superbowl ready yet.

    Thanks, Reid!
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    • #3
      Originally posted by LordTrychon View Post
      Good article and good read...

      But the way he concentrated on the powerhouses like NE and Indy and how we weren't going to upset them, I think 'Broncos, Superbowl? Not so fast' would've fit better.

      Every year, teams jump into the playoffs... and I expect that of our team. I would agree we're not Superbowl ready yet.

      I think one of the main reasons that some arent so high on your team is this years schedule. You need to ask yourself of all these teams we play who are we really better then?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LordTrychon View Post
        Good article and good read...

        But the way he concentrated on the powerhouses like NE and Indy and how we weren't going to upset them, I think 'Broncos, Superbowl? Not so fast' would've fit better.

        Every year, teams jump into the playoffs... and I expect that of our team. I would agree we're not Superbowl ready yet.

        I agree. It's a good reality check, but the piece would have worked better had it compared us with the Bills, Titans, Texans and Browns, since that's whom we will be competing against for the last wild-card spot (possibly even the Jets and Raiders in that mix).

        Considering the amount of youth on our team, it's hard to get a good read on what to expect. I think we can go anywhere from 5-11 to 11-5. Like a lot of people have said, I think we lose games we have no business losing, and win a few that no one expects us to.

        As long as we see consistent improvement across the board, I wouldn't be too bummed if we miss the playoffs. I think we're at least a year away from being a playoff team, though I'm excited at the thought that everything could change if our young players step up and Shanahan works some of his magic.
        Hoping for a defensive-minded head coach and a return to the ZBS on offense. At the very least, no more cheaters for head coach.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Fins4Life View Post
          I think one of the main reasons that some arent so high on your team is this years schedule. You need to ask yourself of all these teams we play who are we really better then?
          I agree and I don't expect everyone to just bow down to our team. We haven't earned that yet and we deserve skepticism.

          As for our schedule... that's why we play the games... but I expect to be better than about 10 of them.

          It's not the easiest schedule ever, but at least we get the bonus of it being a third-place schedule.
          Thanks, Reid!
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          • #6
            Why exactly does the article provide a good reality check? Because it provides a negative outlook about this season for the Broncos?

            Are fans not supposed to be excited about the team this year because this guy says they aren't going to make the playoffs?

            Are the players not supposed to be excited about this season because this guy thinks they can't make the playoffs?

            IT'S AUGUST PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

            PLAYERS AND FANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE EXCITED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCCESS THIS YEAR!!!!!!

            Players better be excited about the possibility of success and even expect success or their chances of achieving success will be greatly diminished.

            If fans can't at least be excited about the possibility that the team they root for could achieve success, when it's August, then why bother being a fan? There will be plenty of time for pessimism in November and December if it becomes clear that the team is not going to achieve the success it set out to achieve.

            This article was nothing but a writer having nothing better to write about then to try to belittle the confidence of a team that has traditionally contended for the playoffs but has struggled the past couple of years. The Broncos are far from a laughing stock team that is to be belittled when the players and coaches express confidence in their ability to compete for a playoff spot.
            My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
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            • #7
              At least this article was objective and tried to bring in valid points about why it will be difficult for Denver to reach the playoffs. Most ppl with this mind set just point to the past two years and say "broncos suck".

              Quote from OP "John Elway missed the playoffs six times in his first 13 seasons"

              Another prime example of molding stats to fit your point of view.

              "He could have easily said John Elway took his team to the playoffs seven times in his first 13 seasons, before he hit the bigtime!"

              Here was my post on the same subject yesterday.

              Its interesting to see how people mold statistics to support their point of view. My favorite is the infamous "After the Elway superbowl years Shanahan has only won one playoff game..." The first part tries to negate the fact that shanahan won back to back superbowls and the second tries to negate all the trips to the playoffs since and the appearance in the 2005 AFC championship game. The stat mentioned is accurate but its crafted to make Shanny look bad. There are only a handful teams that have enjoyed the same level of success or better than Denver over the same time period.

              That said, I like the fact that Bronco fans demand excellence. A 7-9 season is unacceptable. It's that attitude that helps make the Broncos a perrenial contender for the last 20 years. Go Denver!

              To close let me draft my own statistic and mold it to make Shanny look good. "Since the impressive back to back superbowl wins, Shanahan has led the Broncos to four trips to the playoffs, one trip to the AFC Championship, and has only finished barely under .500 twice in ten years!"

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              • #8
                To paraphrase that slogan on Terrell Owens' T-shirt, I love me some reality. And reality suggests in no uncertain terms that the Broncos are a work in progress, not a threat to upset the Patriots or Colts in the playoffs. Maybe next year, but not this year.
                Originally posted by LordTrychon View Post
                Good article and good read...

                But the way he concentrated on the powerhouses like NE and Indy and how we weren't going to upset them, I think 'Broncos, Superbowl? Not so fast' would've fit better.

                Every year, teams jump into the playoffs... and I expect that of our team. I would agree we're not Superbowl ready yet.

                Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too. Making the playoffs and making the Super Bowl are far different things. Certainly young teams like ours don't win the Super Bowl that often but plenty have made the playoffs.

                I would take being playoff fodder for the eventual Super Bowl champs as a set in the right direction. But really, once you make the playoffs, anything can happen.
                "You can't take the sky from me..."
                ------
                "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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                • #9
                  I get so tired of hearing how this was a 3 win team without those 4 Jason Elam FG's!

                  The bottom line is this is the NFL and the coaches made the calls, and Cutler and company did what they needed to get Elam there! The year we went 13-3 and to the AFC CG the team was very lucky and had a lot of calls go their way. I don't recall hearing how close that team was to 10-6.

                  Likewise, save for some bogus calls in the GB and Chicago game not to mention an idiot punter kicking to Hester and this team went 9-7 for the second year in a row.

                  BUT IT DIDN'T HAPPEN THAT WAY! We could talk about what ifs all the time but the team went 7-9 not 3-13 like many would try to convince you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jhildebrand View Post
                    I get so tired of hearing how this was a 3 win team without those 4 Jason Elam FG's!

                    The bottom line is this is the NFL and the coaches made the calls, and Cutler and company did what they needed to get Elam there! The year we went 13-3 and to the AFC CG the team was very lucky and had a lot of calls go their way. I don't recall hearing how close that team was to 10-6.

                    Likewise, save for some bogus calls in the GB and Chicago game not to mention an idiot punter kicking to Hester and this team went 9-7 for the second year in a row.

                    BUT IT DIDN'T HAPPEN THAT WAY! We could talk about what ifs all the time but the team went 7-9 not 3-13 like many would try to convince you.
                    I hear ya. The Broncos were 7-9 and that's what we played like. No reason for the IFs, in either direction.
                    "You can't take the sky from me..."
                    ------
                    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jhildebrand View Post
                      I get so tired of hearing how this was a 3 win team without those 4 Jason Elam FG's!

                      The bottom line is this is the NFL and the coaches made the calls, and Cutler and company did what they needed to get Elam there! The year we went 13-3 and to the AFC CG the team was very lucky and had a lot of calls go their way. I don't recall hearing how close that team was to 10-6.

                      Likewise, save for some bogus calls in the GB and Chicago game not to mention an idiot punter kicking to Hester and this team went 9-7 for the second year in a row.

                      BUT IT DIDN'T HAPPEN THAT WAY! We could talk about what ifs all the time but the team went 7-9 not 3-13 like many would try to convince you.
                      Last year is last year. Hell look at Balt, Chicago, and the Jets in 2006 and see where they were in 2007.

                      We have a new scheme, a ton of new faces, some old faces in new roles, and an entirely new outlook in the locker room.

                      There is no measuring stick for this team, but most of us feel we have improved both in talent and in health to do good to great things in 2008.

                      Only three 15 more days...

                      R Ayers - B Cofield - A Haynesworth - CJ ohnson
                      J Anderson - J Beason - DJ Williams
                      R Bailey - P Amukamara - R Hill - A Goodman

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fins4Life View Post
                        I think one of the main reasons that some arent so high on your team is this years schedule. You need to ask yourself of all these teams we play who are we really better then?
                        You have to be kidding?

                        Who are we NOT better than?

                        We can beat and sweep the entire NFC South, so that's Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and New Orleans. NO and Tampa are in Denver, so the best of that group are home games.

                        I don't know why we could not beat Miami, the NY Jets, Buffalo or Cleveland, and we can win five of six AFC West games, including sweeping Oakland and KC, and spilt with SD.

                        The tough games are New England, but we ususally beat them, at San Diego but that is the last game of the season, so it likely won't mean much for us, and Jacksonsville who we have at home.

                        There is no reason to think the Broncos can't get to 10-6 and make the playoffs, and to me, that's conservative.

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                        • #13
                          How can a 16-0 team not make the playoffs? Was there a rule change?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jhns View Post
                            How can a 16-0 team not make the playoffs? Was there a rule change?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AC1 View Post
                              I agree. It's a good reality check, but the piece would have worked better had it compared us with the Bills, Titans, Texans and Browns, since that's whom we will be competing against for the last wild-card spot (possibly even the Jets and Raiders in that mix).

                              Considering the amount of youth on our team, it's hard to get a good read on what to expect. I think we can go anywhere from 5-11 to 11-5. Like a lot of people have said, I think we lose games we have no business losing, and win a few that no one expects us to.

                              As long as we see consistent improvement across the board, I wouldn't be too bummed if we miss the playoffs. I think we're at least a year away from being a playoff team, though I'm excited at the thought that everything could change if our young players step up and Shanahan works some of his magic.
                              I agree completly...Cept for the 11-5.....I think it is a lot to ask for us to win that many games in the AFC.....Just too many variables.....But good post
                              Thanx Blondie79 for the sweet Sig....Love it and I will rock it with pridesigpic

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