It was October 12, 2012 and I was sitting at a wedding when I overheard the following. “We paid 18 million dollars for this guy, Peyton Manning, and we are going to finish last.” At the time, the Denver Broncos were 2-3 and headed into a Monday night matchup with the San Diego Chargers. Everyone remembers what happened that night, and the Broncos have not lost since. The object here is not to point out that the guy who thought that was wrong; the point is to show how far the Broncos have come.
There have been games won with the offense, there have been games won with the defense and the special teams have chipped in along the way. There were those who thought that the New Orleans Saints would come into Denver and put up 40 points. That was the Broncos most complete win of the season. There were those who thought the Broncos would stub their toe on the road versus the Cincinnati Bengals or Carolina Panthers. They won both easily. There were those who thought that the Chargers were going make one last stand and knock off the Broncos. The AFC West was basically won when the Broncos beat the Chargers for a second time. Then there were those who thought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would give the Broncos a run for their money, especially the defense. The final score was only an eight point margin, but the Broncos were in control from the third-quarter forward.
Looking back, none of us paid enough attention to all of the changes and that it was going to take time. Now seven straight wins later, it all makes sense. Manning needed time to get back into the flow of the game, the rest of the offense had to get used to Manning and the offense as a whole just needed time. The defense that was so bad at times through five weeks needed time to gel and has been a top five unit since their last loss.
The Broncos have evolved before our very eyes and they would tell you they are not done yet. As I sat at that wedding, they were 2-3 and now they are 9-3. Many doubted, many wanted a certain quarterback back and many were questioning the signing of Manning. The Broncos have now won seven in row, clinched the AFC West and are rolling towards the playoffs. One has to wonder; where are those people now?
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