Phew. The Broncos needed that win. Yet, a word of warning to Broncos Country: As glorious as the shut out against the New York Jets was, now is certainly not the time to slide into rose-colored complacency.
No doubt, the eight-game losing streak was painful. But it was the wake-up call the Broncos needed. For several seasons now the Broncos have not been a cohesive team, with all the parts in good working order. Super Bowl 50 masked, to some degree, the holes in the Broncos roster. The Broncos triumphed in the 2015 season by the skin of the teeth — specifically, by the might of their defense.
The Broncos were lulled into thinking that they were better than they were. So they ignored mediocrity at the quarterback position. They patched leaking holes, thinking that’s all it would take to continue sneaking through as a contender. Boy did that eight-game losing streak put paid to that approach.
Failure can be a good thing. It forces much-needed assessment, analysis and rebuilding. Maybe trading away key defensive players and losing the defensive coordinator wasn’t too smart — especially considering that the franchise’s recent success had been totally dependent on that unit.
Maybe hiring a novice head coach wasn’t going to be a smooth transition.
Maybe the general manager, sacrosanct though Elway is in Broncos Country, isn’t great at picking quarterbacks.
Broncos fans, don’t despair: There may not be a post-season, but it’s going to be a heck of an off-season.
Shana Goldberg may be reached at email@example.com
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