It's a slow news day and the Broncos are coming off of a bye week. Hence, the reason why this is news worthy.
Woody Page – longtime columnist of the Denver Post and a regular on ESPN's 'Around the Horn' wrote a column detailing why the Denver Broncos will not only finish the season with a 12-4 record and a first round bye – but will also advance to the Super Bowl to face the New York Giants and Peyton Manning's brother, Eli.
Paige makes a lot of bold predictions in this article, including "that the Broncos will win their next seven games". Denver's next seven games are against the Saints, Chargers and the Bucs at home, while traveling on the road to play the Bengals, Panthers, Chiefs and the Raiders.
To finish off the season, the Broncos then face the Ravens in Baltimore and play their final two games at home vs. the Browns and the Chiefs.
I love that the Broncos are getting good press coming off of their 35-24 victory over the San Diego Chargers. I realize that in completing a 24 point comeback – tied for largest in Broncos history – there is a lot of euphoria surrounding the Broncos and high expectations yet again for a team that entered the 2012 NFL season as the third largest favorite by Vegas to win the Super Bowl this season.
But let's temper our expectations and step back for a second. This is a Broncos team that is just 3-3 and were outplayed by three elite teams in the Falcons, Texans and Patriots. Let's remember that in each of those three games, the Broncos trailed by 20+ points. Hell, in the Chargers game, the Broncos trailed by 24 points.
I don't mean to ruin the party, but why exactly are the Broncos now such a favorite to advance to the Super Bowl? Because they had a miraculous comeback vs. the Chargers last week? Are we forgetting that the Chargers absolutely stomped over the Broncos for the entire first half?
Am I arguing that the Broncos have no chance at advancing to the Super Bowl, as Paige states in his column? No.
My point is, why all of a sudden do people forget, that in four major games against these "elite" opponents that the Broncos were vastly outplayed in 11 of the 16 quarters? The Broncos only came alive in the fourth quarter, and finally started scoring with the game somewhat out of reach in games vs. the Pats, Falcons and Texans.
In the game vs. the Chargers, the Broncos played a perfect second half, but they played a first half in which they couldn't seem to do anything right. They turned the ball over three times – two times on special teams fumbles – and beat a Chargers team that wasn't even considered an elite team entering the game in the first place.
So what is my point?
Let's hold off on the seven game win streak for the Broncos. There isn't even a single team in the NFL with a win streak of that magnitude at the current moment. Let's hold off on the Broncos advancing to the Super Bowl. Hell, let's hold off on crowning the Broncos AFC West champions when they are tied with the Chargers at the top of the division with a 3-3 record with 10 games left to go.
The Broncos played one of the best single halves in NFL history. But just because the Broncos looked like an elite team for one half, doesn't necessarily mean that they are an elite team.
It's going to take more than one half of excellent play for the Broncos to prove that they're Super Bowl-worthy.
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