Posted Thu Jan 20th by Monty
It’s that time of year again, when the four strongest, hottest, and luckiest teams in the NFL are preparing to do battle to earn the right to play in that grand Game of Games, the Super Bowl.
For the fifth straight year, the Denver Broncos aren’t among them. In fact, one could fairly say they’re as far from that stage as they’ve ever been.
Their once-upon-a-time Quarterback of the Future isn’t. He’s there. Jay Cutler, quarterback, Chicago Bears, is coming off the biggest game of his career to face an even bigger one. It’s the Quarterback Matchup of the Season, and Cutler’s Bears are 3-1/2 point home underdogs, according to Super Bowl spreads at BetUS. The Broncos’ 2006 first-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt will face his now-rival Green Bay Packers, along with preseason MVP favorite and media darling Aaron Rodgers, for the right to play in the Super Bowl.
Cutler has his doubters. Sue me, but I’m rooting for the kid. And I’m among that group of Broncos fans (perhaps a minority) that wish he had never been traded.
Because no matter how you feel about Josh McDaniels or Tim Tebow or Kyle Orton or Mike Shanahan, the man most responsible for Cutler’s swift exit out of Denver is no longer with the team. The Broncos’ short-sighted decision to trade Cutler was part of a plan — McDaniels’ plan — that is no longer in place.
It was ultimately Pat Bowlen‘s decision, but it was brought on by McDaniels, and it was a short-term solution to a short-term problem. It didn’t pay short-term dividends (the Broncos went 12-20 in two seasons since). It certainly won’t pay long-term dividends (the picks have been drafted, disappointingly, and Orton is out the door).
Meanwhile, Jay Cutler is another four-touchdown no-interception playoff performance away from the Super Bowl.
Not that anyone’s talking about it — of the four teams still in the mix, the Bears are the biggest underdogs to win it all, despite their seed, home field advantage, and Cutler’s flawless postseason debut.
Don’t say Jay Cutler isn’t capable; he just proved he is. Jay Cutler is playing playoff-caliber football now; Tim Tebow might play playoff-caliber football someday.
And the rebuilding Denver Broncos would have been a lot closer to the Super Bowl with the offensive system of old in place, and Jay Cutler leading the way. Hopefully the new regime will have learned the lessons of old, and, given a similar situation, will let cooler heads prevail.