There’s a certain curse that came with growing up in Colorado as a Broncos fan. It’s called optimism. After you saw John Elway pull off a few of those come from behind victories he made famous, you started to believe that there was always a chance. Of course, not all Broncos fans turned out as optimistic as me…maybe they took those early Super Bowl losses and Simpsons jokes harder than I did.
After all the shenanigans this last off-season, Broncos fans were about as pessimistic as I can ever remember them being. And I had my own concerns coming out of the pre-season, though I wasn’t predicting the 4-12 finish that some were.
But after two weeks, I’m feeling pretty good about the Broncos. Yes, I know the Bengals game required a miracle finish, but great defense put them in that position — and that game looks even better after seeing the Bengals go into Green Bay to knock off the Packers yesterday. And yesterday, the Broncos handily beat the Browns. The Browns aren’t anywhere close to a good team, but Broncos teams have historically played to the level of their opponents. Not yesterday — they handily beat a team they should have handily beaten.
I’m not ready to proclaim them a Super Bowl contender, and probably not even a playoff team. But I don’t think they are going to be a pushover. The rest of the schedule is tough — the only weak teams are the Chiefs and Raiders, but the rivalries with theses teams mean they are never gimme’s. But I’m starting to think that defense might keep the Broncos in some games, and that maybe McDaniels’ skills match his confidence. Most important, I think the Broncos players confidence in McDaniels might be growing to match his own.