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Quality of NFL champions in aught years finally improving?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by lex
    No, they (SF and Dallas) would most likely be favorites.
    Yeah, I agree with you, but I think that Denver team would be favorites over NE, the Colts, and the Steelers. Didn't get to see the Rams, Ravens, or Bucs, but unless they were much better than NE, we probably would be favored over them too.

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    • #32
      This is a bit tangential to the topic, but I think it warrants mention.

      A couple of folks have alluded to what made the late 90's Bronco teams successful: A great offense centered around a very good running game. The mantra for opposing teams back then was to weather the storm, try not to give up too much and even it up later in the game. Denver would get off to very fast starts, build up 10-14 pt leads in the first quarter and sometimes more. The defense was pretty good, but a major contributing factor to that was the fact that they didn't have to be great when they were playing from ahead and could count on the offense to score points or at the very least to consume time on long drives. My main point here is that for the most part it is more the rule than the exception for a team with a dominant offense and a decent defense to win a SB as opposed to a dominant D with an average offense (with the Ravens being the notable exception....they were by no means a good offensive team, but they didn't make many mistakes). For a while I think Shanahan, while he had a just average to above average talent at qb was determined to win in way similar to how the Ravens did, but for various reasons that didn't work out.

      Now that he has what a lot of people think is a potentially great quarterback I think he is trying to get back to the win on offense model. He hasn't abandoned the defense by any means, and having the talent they now have on defense makes things much easier, but the focus in the off season seems to have been getting weapons to Cutler. Think about this for a second. In 1997-98 it was Elway, Davis, Sharpe, Smith and McCaffery as the core of the offense skill position wise. Now its Cutler, Henry, Walker, Scheffler, Graham and Marshal. I think Shanahan sees the kind of potential in the current lineup skill position wise that the Broncos didn't have with Griese or Plummer. Cutler is the lynchpin of it all of course, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by BDMuhe
        This is a bit tangential to the topic, but I think it warrants mention.

        A couple of folks have alluded to what made the late 90's Bronco teams successful: A great offense centered around a very good running game. The mantra for opposing teams back then was to weather the storm, try not to give up too much and even it up later in the game. Denver would get off to very fast starts, build up 10-14 pt leads in the first quarter and sometimes more. The defense was pretty good, but a major contributing factor to that was the fact that they didn't have to be great when they were playing from ahead and could count on the offense to score points or at the very least to consume time on long drives. My main point here is that for the most part it is more the rule than the exception for a team with a dominant offense and a decent defense to win a SB as opposed to a dominant D with an average offense (with the Ravens being the notable exception....they were by no means a good offensive team, but they didn't make many mistakes). For a while I think Shanahan, while he had a just average to above average talent at qb was determined to win in way similar to how the Ravens did, but for various reasons that didn't work out.

        Now that he has what a lot of people think is a potentially great quarterback I think he is trying to get back to the win on offense model. He hasn't abandoned the defense by any means, and having the talent they now have on defense makes things much easier, but the focus in the off season seems to have been getting weapons to Cutler. Think about this for a second. In 1997-98 it was Elway, Davis, Sharpe, Smith and McCaffery as the core of the offense skill position wise. Now its Cutler, Henry, Walker, Scheffler, Graham and Marshal. I think Shanahan sees the kind of potential in the current lineup skill position wise that the Broncos didn't have with Griese or Plummer. Cutler is the lynchpin of it all of course, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out.
        I agree, this is seemingly the most talent at offense assembled since the SB; Shanny is going to make a run using a very high powered offense to win, and a good but not great defense to be competitive. I hadn't thought of the Ravens thing; good angle.

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        • #34
          The line is the lynchpin.

          Other than that I agree with BD; as far as the "why are you a Bronco fan?" thread, because of this. Our line was small but brutally effective in the 90s, and I think this one has the potential to be a great one, too, in part because it still has Nalen and Lepsis from that line. Pears is gonna be a star (or as much of a star as any offensive lineman can be) and if the reports on Myers and Kuper are even remotely near the truth they'll be great, too. My only concern is the depth behind them that will have to be starting once Lepsis and Nalen retire, but ball control offense with good production wins games.

          That's why the run is so critical, and why Shanny focuses on it; it's great to go out and throw an 80 yard bomb for 6, but every time you do that your D is right back on the field. It's MUCH better to have grueling 9:00 drives, both in terms of conditioning and morale. Nothing rips the heart out of a D like watching the offense get three yards here, five yards there, we never give up a lot, but, dang, they just scored. We ought to know that very well after last year. Grind the D into the turf then push them around in the fourth; that's how you win, and that's what the Broncos do when we've got the talent.

          I think we're there again and have nothing but optimism for our prospects, both short and long term. We've got a LOT of very young and talented players on both sides of the ball, and if Holdman (or someone) can be a solid SLB and everyone stays healthy I don't really see any major holes anywhere on this team. The quality has dipped recently because few teams who can say that now; if we truly are one of them we could go on a run like the Pats at the start of the decade.
          SIGN RANDALL GODFREY FOR SLB AND BACKUP MLB NOW!!!

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