It was week six in the 2011 NFL season and the Denver Broncos were playing the Miami Dolphins. The Broncos were 1-4 and considered one of the worst teams in football, but Tim Tebow was now the starting quarterback of the Broncos and people were excited.
The Broncos, including Tebow, were terrible in that game. They were behind 15-0 to a winless Dolphins team with four minutes to go in the game. Everyone knows what happened next; a scoring drive, a successful onsides kick, another touchdown and a two-point conversion. All of the sudden the game was tied and the Broncos would go onto win the game in overtime.
The excitement in Denver was unbelievable and it continued for the next three months. During that time, there was a six game winning streak that featured many improbable wins. Marion Barber of the Chicago Bears ran out of bounds and somehow the Broncos won a game that they were awful in. The point is this; it’s amazing how the mind-set has changed from last season to this season. No one cared how they won last season; as long as they won. The euphoria over a team that, frankly, was winning with smoke and mirrors was tangible.
Fast-forward to 2012 and the Broncos are on another six game winning streak, but some people are not happy with the way they are winning. They didn’t beat the Kansas City Chiefs by enough; Peyton Manning didn’t look great and so on. By the way, Manning threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns but that apparently is not good enough for some. During their current winning streak, the Broncos have won every game by seven points or more and have blown out three of their opponents.
With a win on Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Broncos will wrap up the AFC West in week 13. As magical as the ride was in 2011, it took until the last Sunday of the season to clinch and they backed into that title with three straight losses. No one is saying the Broncos are playing their best football right now but the six game winning streak this season is built on substance, not on a series of miracles.
I’m not taking anything away from what Tebow and the Broncos did last season; I enjoyed it as much as anyone but what is going on in 2012 is real. The 2011 Broncos were never going to win the Super Bowl, this team can and that’s what it is supposed to be about. Not all six game winning streaks are created the same!
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