Posted Sat Sep 13th by Ian Henson
I may appear an unbiased blogger atop my blue and orange ivory tower,
but make no qualms about it, I am in fact an asshole. I’ll call any fan of an NFC team out with the quickness and let them know that the lowliest AFC Wild Card team would run the gamut all the way to the Super Bowl. That is if the AFC Wild Card team happened to be in the NFC. However, week one, fate came out of nowhere with her awful baseball bat and knocked me but good in the back of the knee.
The Chicago Bears beat the Indianapolis Colts convincingly Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys made the upstart Cleveland Browns look like an expansion team… And Tom Brady is gone for the season. What?! The Kansas City Chiefs, playing with their backup quarterback, nearly took out the New England Patriots! How many suicide/pick ’em poolers made permanent sweat stains towards the end of that game? You know who looked the best out of every team in week one? The Atlanta Falcons… The Atlanta … Falcons. Hmm. Well, that was until Monday night. At that point rookie receiver Eddie Royal smashed that little chip on Michael Turner’s shoulder with a sledge hammer.
You hear about how every team in the NFL had the opportunity to get Tom Brady in the draft, as he was picked in the sixth round. Every team could have drafted Terrell Davis, as he was picked in the sixth round. Well, every team could have picked Eddie Royal, as he was picked in the second round. The Broncos ignored DeSean friggin’ Jackson to get this guy. Hmm– I degress.
What’s going on here guys? The New England Patriots had, in the preseason, the easiest strength of schedule, followed by the Oakland Raiders, then the San Diego Chargers, and finally the Denver Broncos.
To me in my personal thoughts, this meant a resurgence of the AFC West, however deep in the dark depths of my mind. I also knew this– when the AFC West is the most competitive division in the AFC, the rest of the AFC is well, sad. Sorry for the sacrilegious talk, I will stop soon, promise. However, I am not ready to sit back and watch someone like the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles split the next five to six Super Bowls.
ESPN’s preseason, ‘Power Ranking’ had the following order for their top 10: New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers. That top ten is a combined 5-5 coming out of week one… They’re petrified to update their rank for this week, because it’s going to include the likes of the Tennessee Titans (preseason rank 16), Denver Broncos (23), Baltimore Ravens (22), Philadelphia Eagles (13) and Carolina Panthers (20) all moving up significantly. In fact, looking at the list, it’s as if the AFC doesn’t exist anymore…
Now out of those five listed, who showed the most panache during week one? I told you that I love when nobody picks the Broncos to do anything prior to the season. I don’t know why though, it’s inexcusable, as anyone who had paid attention should have known that the Denver Broncos had significantly improved. The exclamation, beyond the surprises: Jay Cutler, Eddie Royal, Ryan Clady, Ryan Harris, D.J. Williams, Elvis Dumervil or Marlon McCree. The cold, hard fact is, Denver was playing without their most talented player (Brandon Marshall) and most notable off-season signing (Boss Bailey). Imagine what it’s going to be like with those two and future Hall of Famer Tom Nalen back in the starting lineup.
Yes, it was only a week ago, that more than a few experts were picking the Oakland Raiders to beat the Denver Broncos. It was only a week ago that the New England Patriots were shoe-ins to win the Super Bowl again. It was only a week ago that Peyton Manning was set to tornado the rest of the AFC and face-off against the Chargers or the Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
But beyond a week ago Denver fans, remember, a week ago is a week ago and Denver sits solo atop the AFC West, at least until week two is over… However, on any given Sunday, as you can see, anything can happen.
Now, let’s go Broncos!