Denver Broncos Set For Most Important Game Since John Elway


December 29, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) watches from the sideline during the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 34-14. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s finally Broncos-Chargers gameday, and the anticipation is killing me.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating a bit, but I a year’s worth of waiting for this game has finally come to an end. It’s been almost exactly a year since the Broncos lost to the Baltimore Ravens in last year’s Divisional Round, a memory that is burning in ever Broncos fan’s mind, no matter how much they lie to you that it’s not.

Let’s face it–this is the most important Denver Broncos game since John Elway retired, and that includes an AFC Championship game against the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers what feels like a lifetime ago.

This game is so important because the Broncos are facing yet another small window, which they can either buck up and run through, or they can yet again let another team run through it. The Broncos can let the Chargers be this year’s “TEAM OF DESTINY”or they can be the team of destiny themselves.

This game is so big, that no one really knows what to expect. Memories of playoffs past are haunting the minds of Broncos fans as we all temper expectations against the Chargers, even though this Broncos team is the best one in the history of the franchise.

Yep, I said it.

If any Broncos team were to win the Super Bowl, this one HAS to be it, right? Well, it all starts today. Peyton Manning is going to be the league’s most valuable player. The Broncos have broken countless records, overcome countless injuries, and have simply blown through the rest of the NFL since losing to the Patriots in week five of the 2012 season, losing only FOUR games total since that time.

The defense isn’t as great as it was last year, but despite the difference in defensive ranking, the Broncos are yet again 13-3. They didn’t go undefeated like some people thought, and they didn’t score 60 points in a game like some people thought they might (ME).

This Broncos team is human, and they have lost to the Chargers this season already. At home. That fact combined with last year’s playoff loss to the Ravens and every conspiracy theory and odd trend in recent NFL years has prompted many to believe that the Broncos are actually an underdog in this game, and the players in Denver have to be sick of hearing about it.

The fact is, no matter how many times you want to bring up that game in Denver against the Chargers, everyone wants to conveniently forget that the Broncos beat San Diego on THEIR home field as well, and have only three losses in Denver since Tim Tebow left town.

Can the Chargers beat the Broncos twice in Denver in the same season? Could Peyton Manning allow himself to go 0-3 against Philip Rivers in his playoff career? Will the trend of teams beating the Eagles in their first home game of the season and going on to win the Super Bowl continue with the Chargers winning it all?

Is the NFL rigged?

These are all questions that are filling my mind and consuming the thoughts of many others as I type this with more adrenaline than I have typed any other article in my life, and it’s barely 6 AM.

If the Broncos lose to the Chargers, I will be Orange Crushed. If the Broncos lose to the Chargers, it could very well be the pin that popped the balloon filled with the air of Super Bowl hope for the Broncos in the foreseeable future.

Players will be leaving after this season, whether it ends in a Super Bowl victory or a crappy playoff loss to the Chargers or Patriots. This Broncos team with the “Five 10 Club” the “Four Horsemen” the greatest QB arguably to play the game will go down simply as one of the best stat fillers of all-time.

You want to leave a legacy? Today is the day to start. The Broncos aren’t going to have an easy road to the Super Bowl, but at least it goes through Denver…today.

This is the most important game the Denver Broncos have played since John Elway. This is a game that could either spark a Super Bowl run, or could kill those dreams for a while. So what’s going to happen?

My money is on the Broncos.