By Eric Caveman
Two weeks of the 2014 NFL season are in the books. The Denver Broncos are 2-0, and are unanimously ranked atop the power rankings by the national media. The rest of the AFC West has 1 win combined. The despised Seahawks are reeling from a San Diego thumping. Most everyone on the Broncos’ team is healthy, and Wes Welker is back practicing with the team after his suspension snafu. Prater is soon to follow.
So everything’s all happy and buzzing in Denver. There’s talk of going 16-0 and winning the Super Bowl flooding the headlines. Couldn’t be better, right?
The reaction from fans and the local media is that the Broncos are pathetic. Their offense has taken a significant step backwards. Their defense is Swiss cheese. Their play calling is horrendous. I’ve even heard talk that John Fox needs to fired.
What??? 31 other fan bases are probably wondering who stuck a stick up our collective butts, and wishing they had our problems. Why should we not be stoked? When a team goes 2-0 to start the season, and is quarterbacked by a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, it has a 99.96% chance of making the playoffs (yes, I made that up). Who is going to beat us in the AFC? Buffalo? Cincinnati? Certainly not the Patriots. The Broncos are about as sure to get back to the Super Bowl as a team can be.
So why all the fuss? Some say that Peyton Manning is having a bad start. I disagree – he’s 43 for 62 with 6 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Shut up. Others say that we’re having trouble scoring. Not really – in the first half of games (before a huge lead is established), the Broncos have scored touchdowns on 6 out of 9 drives. That’s ridiculous.
The only legitimate complaint is the play calling. We get these huge leads and then coast the rest of the way. This itself causes the other imaginary issues. For example, the Broncos defense is actually amazing…when they’re not handicapped by the prevent system. When the Broncos are 4-3-4, they get pressure, they stop runs, they cover well, and they give up almost no points. Then Fox puts them in a prevent defense, and they give up 10 yards a clip. The unit does what a prevent is designed to do: bend and not break. Is it frustrating? Yes. Has it failed? Nope.
The Broncos are 2-0 against playoff teams from last year. They COULD have scored 50 points per game, and held their opponents to 10 if Fox were more aggressive. But even if they had done that, they’d still be 2-0. And until the Broncos actually lose a game due to horrible play calling, Fox can keep his job. Everyone in Denver needs to calm down, stop whining, and appreciate the fact that we have the best team in the NFL right here. And no amount of play-calling sandbagging can hide that.
Now, who’s up for a little revenge?