Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) after their loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts won 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
All of those free agents, all that success in assembling the best team possible during the offseason, was for nothing.
Ever since Peyton Manning came to Denver during the 2012 season, the playoffs have been a painful memory of what could have been. The loss to the Baltimore Ravens in 2013 was not too bad. The Super Bowl loss to the Seattle Seahawks was brutal to take. But Sunday’s 24-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts was perhaps the most devastating.
The Broncos fought hard against the Ravens, then were one game away from winning the ultimate prize. Now for the Broncos to be defeated in the divisional round for the second time in three years was a punch to the stomach. To me, it seemed like the team was out of sorts ever since the loss to the St. Louis Rams. They lost their identity and went with a new one that seemed to work but in the end just did not end up working out.
I give props to C.J. Anderson. He was the bright spot in what seemed to be a bleak end to the season. I honestly believe that they have something to work with with him as the running back. Even if Peyton Manning does not return in 2015, C.J. Anderson will look to build off of a successful 2014 campaign in which he did not really see game action until Week 10 against the Oakland Raiders.
During the offseason, John Elway did what he could to assemble the best team possible. Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, Demarcus Ware, and Emmanuel Sanders were all brought in to become the missing pieces to a championship run. However, it just did not seem like it was the year. To the eyes of a lot of people, it appears the offseason turned out to be a major disappointment. And that is the gut wrenching part of it. A team with so much success ends up doing worse in the playoffs than last year.
The Broncos now enter the offseason with more questions than answers. Will Peyton Manning play another year? Is John Fox done in Denver? What happens with all the players hitting the free agency market? Will Adam Gase and Jack Del Rio move on or stay? This is perhaps the first offseason in a while in which I am uncertain of what is going to happen. Not knowing what will happen does not exactly put my mind at ease.
An offseason with so much promise ends up becoming a huge failure. Now entering the 2015 offseason, the Denver Broncos fanbase will be on their toes hoping that there will be a faint glimmer of hope that everything will turn out better for the team. But we can only hope.