Why the Broncos Will Miss the NFL Playoffs This Season
We are halfway through the NFL preseason, and I think I have one prediction for the season that will be true. The Denver Broncos will miss the playoffs.
After reading that opening line, I could hear all of Bronco nation gasping for air and ready to pin me against a wall somewhere in Northern Colorado. But hear me out on this one, and let the disagreements begin.
Let's get through the bullet points on why I think this will become reality:
1.) THE QUARTERBACK SITUATION IS MORE UNSETTLED THAN WE THOUGHT
Heading into the game versus San Francisco, much of the talk was about how Trevor Siemian looked good and was the leader when it came to claiming the top spot in the locker room. After this past weekend's game, that thought doesn't look as cemented as it did and Mark Sanchez doesn't look much better. The Broncos need a true leader at the QB position, and Siemian showed that he is soft under pressure and can't carry the weight of the team on his shoulders.
He finished the game 10 of 14 for 75 yards and also had one interception to go along with him being rattled on the field.
Sanchez wasn't any better, and had multiple errors that led to Denver handing the game over to San Francisco.
Paxton Lynch has shown great promise in the preseason, but keep in mind that he is still a rookie. Remember how well Peyton Manning played in his first season with the Colts? You don't do you? Because it was that tough of a season that it gets pushed to the side in his illustrious career. The Colts finished 3-13 in his debut season, and his QB rating was 71.2.
So every rookie comes out of the starting gate at least a little shaky. Can't we expect the same from Lynch if he starts?
2.) GARY KUBIAK NO LONGER HAS PEYTON MANNING
Let me preface the above statement with this: This is not talking about Peyton Manning as the starting quarterback.
This has to do with Peyton Manning the "field general", who probably could be one of the best head coaches in the league if that is something he wanted to do.
There were many times throughout last season that Gary Kubiak made on-field decisions that made all of us, even the most die hard Broncos fans, scratch our heads in confusion. At times, his clock management left a lot to be desired and sometimes he got a little to "trigger happy" when he would throw the review flag, which would then cost the team a timeout.
When Peyton Manning was on the field, he led the charge and knew how to coordinate the plays on the field on the fly. For the defense, that is carried by the knowledge of Wade Phillips and the leaders that side of the ball has.
So without Manning this year, can Kubiak handle carrying the team forward himself?
3.) WATCHING THIS TEAM IS MUCH DIFFERENT THAN LAST YEAR
There was something about last year's team, even with the struggles that Peyton Manning had at times, that just felt special.
Maybe it had to do with the fact that most of us knew that it was going to be Manning's final swan song before the curtain drew to a close?
It could have to do with the fact that the Denver defense was that damn good all of last season, that they hid the flaws that the rest of the team had.
Or maybe it just had to do with the fact that we LOVE our team, and knew we had the chance to win it all?
When it comes down to it, we knew we had a championship caliber team with the Broncos last season but this season does feel much different. If you feel like they have a chance to compete with the Pittsburgh's, New England's, and even (dare I say) the Raiders, than maybe you don't believe Peyton Manning is truly retired.
Or you may even think that John Elway is going to come out of retirement.
Either way Broncos fans, football season is almost here and we are all excited for the first regular season kickoff. But I have a feeling that is all we'll be excited about for the upcoming campaign.