Broncos confirm lack of focus in 2014 playoffs vs. Colts


Last year’s playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts was as disappointing as it gets for the Denver Broncos. Players have confirmed it was due to a lack of focus on the present, and too much focus on a matchup that never happened…

We all knew it, deep down inside. The Denver Broncos had a complete lack of focus in the 2014 playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck. We saw how badly the Colts were drubbed by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, proving their weaknesses that were even further amplified in 2015 when the loss of Andrew Luck proved too detrimental for them to even make the playoffs.

The Colts came into Denver in the Divisional round last year, beat the Broncos, and sent everyone home in disgust. What in the world happened?

Players and coaches alike were too focused on their next job, their next contract, or even the next game against the New England Patriots, and not enough on the task at hand. Beating the Colts wasn’t even of secondary importance — it was third or fourth on the list of priorities for some.

Here’s what cornerback Aqib Talib said this week on last year’s loss to the Colts in the playoffs:

“In my opinion, I think we were focused on New England. We just knew we were going to tear [Indianapolis QB] Andrew Luck and the Colts, knock them out and get them up out of here. We were ready to go to New England. When I look back on last year, there was a lot of, ‘Next week when we go to New England we have to play [New England TE Rob] ‘Gronk’ [Gronkowski] like this.’ There was a bunch of future talk when we didn’t even get the Colts yet. I think that was our biggest problem last year.”

Chris Harris Jr. also laid down a bit of truth.

Pretty stunning, if you ask me…

Harris didn’t have much to think about in the way of getting paid at this time last year. The Broncos had just inked him to a big-time extension so a contract or the offseason wasn’t anything he had to think about.

As much as it had to do with the fact that Harris didn’t have the distraction of a contract issue, it’s fair for him to say what he did. The Broncos agreed to ‘mutually part ways’ with head coach John Fox after last year’s playoff loss, and he wasted no time signing a deal with the Chicago Bears. Likewise, Jack Del Rio took what he later basically called a dream job with the Oakland Raiders as their head coach.

And that’s exactly why we were all AOK with the firing of Fox and his staff last offseason. The Broncos needed new leadership. They needed new focus, not a bunch of guys trying to land head coaching gigs elsewhere in the NFL.

Despite all the potential contract issues facing this team this offseason, there seems to be a renewed focus and drive for the Broncos in this year’s playoffs. The coaching staff is entirely focused on the task at hand, and the players are ticked off about last year’s finish.

My expectation, my belief, my hope is that the Broncos prove this year that the 2014 season was merely a great lesson to be learned in the grand picture of a Super Bowl run.