It’s the morning after for the fans of the Denver Broncos and the pain is still there, but guesses what? The sun came up and life will go on, promise. At least that’s what my Mom always told me. No one especially me is excusing what happened in Saturday’s upset loss to the Baltimore Ravens; just go read my four post game articles if you don’t believe me. However it’s not all bad going forward and since we can’t go backwards; forward sounds like a good idea.
The first thing is this at least from my perspective; I always believed that this season was going to be one of transition. I thought they would win the division but going 13-3, and grabbing the number one seed never entered my mind. Again that does not excuse blowing the opportunity they had but I still believe the Broncos have a chance to be better next season. They may not be 13-3 again but they could be 12-4, and be a better team.
Peyton Manning exceeded all expectations this season with his performance and the offense was good, but not great. Two things are going to happen through the off-season; Manning is going to continue to rehab his neck and the offense as a whole will get more mini-camps, a training camp, a preseason and another regular season. Manning should be stronger right from day one and those nerves have eight more months to regenerate. Manning also now has a season under his belt with his offensive line, his receivers and his running backs. They now have a baseline and they can build from there. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker had a rough day on Saturday but they are two of the better, young receivers in the NFL and will only get better. They will be some changes but the main parts of the offense will return.
It appears that the Broncos will finally have the same defensive coordinator for two straight seasons; Jack Del Rio is expected back and that’s huge. Despite an awful performance versus the Ravens, the defense took big strides this season. Just as the offense will be better because they have now had a season together; the defense will be better because they finally get to stay in the same system. They have a couple of areas to address and there will be plenty of time to get into all of the draft needs, but the talent base is all ready in place.
The Broncos are also 18 million dollars under the salary cap which means they will be able to add some key pieces via free agency. As with the draft; there will be time to get into what they should do in free agency but the point is this, the Broncos have plenty of flexibility to get better.
None of this takes away from the pain we feel today but way back in August; I pointed to next season as the year I was looking forward to the most. The Broncos exceeded my expectations and certainly got everyone’s hopes up but when I remove the emotion, I am still optimistic about next season.
Go to the window and look outside; the sun came up.
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