The Denver Broncos are once again the Kings of the AFC West, but there was no hooting, hollering, or howling after the game. The title hats and t-shirts are still in their cardboard boxes, and smiles should have been a Mile wide, but they weren’t because the Broncos lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 7-3.
In an odd turn of events, Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers helped the Broncos tremendously by beating the Oakland Raiders 38-26. Thus, the Broncos head into the playoffs on a three game skid, and will likely host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday night. Bring on the terrible towels, leave the terrible offense at home, please.
The Broncos’ offense struggled mightily against a Chiefs team that was allowing 22.3 points per game. Unfortunately for the Broncos, the Steelers are allowing just 14.5 points per game. The Broncos didn’t get their first 1st down of the game until the second quarter.
Everyone looked up in the fourth quarter expecting the clock to strike Tebow o’clock. The Broncos needed to punch the ball into the end zone just once to take the lead, but it was something that they had not done all day. Hopefully, Tebow magic wasn’t left back in 2011.
Kyle Orton heard plenty of ‘boos’ upon his return to Denver. He played like his usual self going a modest 15-for-29 for 180 yards, but the key for him was he didn’t throw any picks. In fact Orton tested Champ Bailey early and often in the first half, completing 6 passes to Dwayne Bowe for 93 yards before Bowe left the game with a neck injury.
Orton’s Denver replacement, Tim Tebow, finished the afternoon 6-of-22 for 60 yards with one fumble, and one interception thrown on the very last play of the game.
“Just like the rest of our team, not quite good enough,” John Fox said of Tebow’s performance. “It wasn’t bad. It was a 7-3 game, and I’d say that was pretty much a defensive battle on both sides. I don’t know with a 7-3 score there are any offensive coordinators running around really excited.”
The big-time highlight reel for the Broncos came in the form of Willis McGahee and Britton Colquitt. McGahee had his 7th 100+ rushing yard game with 28 carries for 145 yards. Colquitt stepped out onto the field nine times averaging 44.7 yards per punt. He put the ball inside the 20-yard line five times.
Even though you could hear a pin drop amongst the quiet playoff celebration, John Fox told his players that this is a new season moving forward and that they should be amped for post season play.
“We’re AFC West champs. It doesn’t matter how you do it. Once you get into the dance, they can’t kick you out, so what we do with it will be determined here next weekend. We’re excited about it. The team is excited about it.”
It’s true what they say – Victory is the sweetest when you get to know defeat. Now that the lesson is learned, the Broncos need to go undefeated from here on out.