The Denver Broncos were down 14-0 to the Dallas Cowboys, which isn’t nearly as bad as the 24-0 deficit they faced against the San Diego Chargers around this time last year in a Monday Night Football game, but it’s still more adversity than they’ve faced all year.
On the road, facing an offense that didn’t appear to be able to be slowed down whatsoever, the Broncos had to fight back in the first half, and appeared to have the game well in hand in the third quarter when they led 35-20.
Then, the Cowboys showed some resiliency and ended up taking back the lead, and the Broncos trailed 41-48 in the fourth quarter after Tony Romo’s touchdown pass to Cole Beasley.
Denver scored 10 unanswered to finish the game, and if you didn’t see the unfolding of what I just described, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article right now. The point being, Denver faced serious adversity for the first time this entire season. The Broncos had to play from behind in the fourth quarter, something that they haven’t had to do in a long, long time.
In fact, it was the first time the Broncos had their back against the wall since they played the Ravens in the playoffs, but instead of a double overtime loss, the Broncos showed some resiliency and beat the Cowboys. John Fox likened it to Denver’s big comeback win over San Diego last season in that the team faced resiliency, kept their cool, and came back to get the W.
“It tests your mettle, I think it’s a good spot to be in. I think, you go back to a year ago and that comeback against San Diego kind of propelled us confidence-wise going forward. It’s just hard to predict how we’re going to react but I think it’s a good test and I thought it was a good character win for us this early in the season.”
So, in essence, the Broncos were able to get the feeling of losing while still winning the game. Generally when teams lose, the coach says it builds character. When you win a close one like the Broncos did against the Cowboys, the feeling is pretty much the same, but you have the added bonus (and relief) of being 5-0 instead of 4-1.
This was incredibly important last year as Denver was facing a 2-4 record if they lost to San Diego, so that game was obviously more critical to the standings but the Broncos are also playing with another undefeated 5-0 team within the division in Kansas City.
If the Broncos get the same confidence boost from their close call in Dallas as they did against San Diego on the road last year, then you can consider me a happy camper. The Broncos were absolutely unstoppable after the San Diego game last year, en route to 11 straight wins and then a disappointing playoff defeat.
The Broncos have Jacksonville coming to town this week, so they need to quickly forget about Dallas and get to game-planning for the Jaguars. The fact that the Broncos are favored in this game–even thought it’s a home game–by 28 points is disturbing and a complete distraction to me.
They may end up winning by 30, but that doesn’t really make a difference to me. The Broncos need to remain focused even though the Jaguars haven’t been good this year, because this game could be pretty much their Super Bowl this season. They are going to come ready to play, looking for an upset.