With every Denver Broncos story for the first 7 weeks of the season focusing on Tim Tebow it is about time to turn our focus on the rest of the team. The Broncos are quickly approaching the midway point of their season and the team is still struggling to find its identity. With 2 wins and 4 losses on their record the Broncos find themselves alone in the basement of the AFC West, a division which is quickly looking like one of the worst in football right now. The AFC West is so bad in fact, that it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Broncos could still finish first or second in their division.
Last Sunday’s game versus the Miami Dolphins was a painful game to watch. For a majority of the game the Denver Broncos looked like a different team than they have all season. The offensive game plan was completely different than anything the team had run all year and it showed. The offense struggled to move the ball, the blocking was some of the worst we have seen all year and the offense as a whole looked genuinely out of sync. The special teams were anything but special and the defense was mediocre against a terrible Miami offense. The Broncos went into their bye week with questions and emerged as healthy as they have been all year, put on easily their worst performance to date, and ultimately finished with their second win of the season. For 55 minutes of the 60 minute game the Broncos appeared to be front runners of the Andrew Luck Bowl.
However in the last 5 minutes of the game the Broncos looked as if they were a completely different team. They looked like a team that has a chance to compete in one of the worst divisions in football. The Broncos put forth a true team effort, the offense scored at will, the defense played excellent, and the special teams converted on all of their opportunities. The last 5 minutes of the game versus the Miami Dolphins was an example of what the Denver Broncos are capable of if they execute in all phases of the game which they haven’t done for quite some time.
The other teams in the AFC west are bending over backwards to keep the Broncos in the race for the division title. San Diego is the front runner of the Division at 4-2, but something about them says they are going to collapse late in the season rather than finish strong like usual. The Oakland Raiders at 4-3 are coming off a shutout loss to the lowly Chiefs. The Raiders have disgraced Al Davis by trading their next 2 first round draft picks for a washed up quarterback that hasn’t played all year and wasn’t that good when he did play last. As a result look for the Raiders to quickly fall from glory, especially if Darren McFadden stays injured. The Chiefs who started out 0-3 are now 3-3 and are looking like they could compete for the division title, but nothing about this team is that good.
The problem for the Broncos is that no one, including themselves, really knows where this team is headed. The Broncos could just as easily finish the season division champions as they could finish last overall. For the Broncos to finish the season with even a .500 record would be considered a victory by most after the way that the season started. With several tough games on the horizon for the Broncos, most notably the Detroit Lions this Sunday, fans should have a much better idea of which way this team is heading in a couple of weeks.
If the Broncos play the first 55 minutes against the Lions like they did against the Dolphins, not even the most miraculous of comebacks will save them from suffering their 5th loss of the season. Don’t be surprised however if the Broncos emerge winners from Sundays game with the Lions. The Lions have lost back to back games and have suffered several key injuries as of late. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is day to day with an ankle injury, although it looks as if he will play Sunday, but look for Jahvid Best to miss this weekend’s game and take advantage of the team’s upcoming bye week to get healthy. With a win this weekend and 2 division games after that, the Broncos could quickly turn their season around in the matter of just a few short weeks. Whether they can play as a team and actually do that remains to be seen.