Despite the Denver Broncos’ second consecutive loss and a 1-2 start to the season, head coach John Fox was as cool as a cucumber Monday afternoon during his weekly press conference.
“As I reminded them (the Broncos), the guys walking around with the rings from last year were 7-7 after 14 games,” Fox said of the New York Giants. “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. We started the season 1-4 a year ago. There’s no panic, there’s no ‘sky’s falling.’”
The eventual Super Bowl Champions always seem to hit a lull during their season.
The Giants of 2011 were 9-7 entering the post season. The Green Bay Packers went 10-6, but lost back-to-back games to the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins in 2010. The New Orleans Saints went 13-3, but they lost their last three regular season games before they won the Super Bowl in 2009. Even the 2008 Steelers lost four games. The 2007 Giants started the season 6-2, but ended it 4-4. The 2006 Indianapolis Colts won their first nine games, but lost the next four of seven to end the regular season. Finally, the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers endured a three game losing streak on their way to an 11-5 record.
There is no perfect season. Yes, the Miami Dolphins did it in 1972 under Don Shula, but that was during a 14-game schedule. A season with 16 games is an eternity. As coach Fox always says, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
The Broncos have the second most difficult schedule in the league ranked only behind the Giants. Perhaps that’s why Fox isn’t putting too much stock into this 1-2 start.
“It wasn’t like the schedule snuck up on us, you know what I mean,” Fox said. “We knew it was what it was and we knew it was very tough and it doesn’t get much easier.”
The fact of the matter is the Broncos have found themselves down by 20 points to start the fourth quarter in their two losses against the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans. Both comeback attempts were well executed, but the clock was not their friend.
“We’ve just got to be a little more consistent the first three quarters so we’re not in that position. We started very fast actually, but after the fast start, there was a little lull after the start till the fourth quarter,” Fox said about the game against Houston.
We’re not even to the first quarter of the season yet, so don’t sweat it. Fox isn’t.