Peyton Manning can't win in big games. The offensive line is a disaster, the Broncos cannot generate a pass rush, they allow too many points and this team can't win the Super Bowl unless they make some big changes. Oh, and if they don't win it all, John Fox should be fired. The Broncos lost a game. It took until October 21, but Denver sports talk radio has gotten something meaty to gnaw on.
Despite the Broncos' torrid 2013 pace, stunning yardage and scoring totals and nearly flawless record, despite the emergence of Julius Thomas, Danny Trevathian and Knowshon Moreno, Tuesday, October 21, 2013 is a day for tearing Denver down. The day the dogs finally got their treat. They're slobbering over it like they haven't eaten in weeks.
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos were one Ronnie Hillman fumble away from breaking the Colts last night, and walking away with a win for the ages. With less than two minutes left the Broncos drove the ball to the two yard line and were going to score to take the lead 37-36, leaving the Colts to respond in a game they had dominated throughout. Impossibly, the team shook off all the problems that had plagued it for three quarters and nearly snapped victory from the jaws of defeat. But then Hillman dropped the ball.
As impressive as the Broncos comeback was in the fourth quarter, it doesn't fit the narrative for sports talk radio. Instead, Kiszla and Burns and Marks and Shapiro and Cowherd and all the rest are burying their snouts in the Broncos, sucking at their sinew and burrowing for their marrow with their claws. It's days like this when being a sports radio listener can drive a person crazy.
With three hours of air time to fill you would think hosts could find time to put a regular season road loss in perspective. They would rather seize on every Broncos' flaw, slurping on each until they have convinced themselves that all hope is lost. And they will bury their negativity in the yard so that, even if the Broncos win next week, they can dig it back up again and stand over it and growl the next time Denver faces adversity.
With the exception of the Chiefs, who are nowhere near as good as their perfect record would suggest, every team in the NFL has faced at least one loss. The Broncos are still a playoff team and still a favorite to represent the AFC in the big game in February. They will almost certainly dispatch Shanahan's Redskins in another historic homecoming next Sunday.
None of that makes for the kind of dialogue that sports radio hosts foam at the mouth for.
The talkers in this town have waited all season for this day. They finally have their Broncos' loss. They can finally relish the pain. They can chew through the tough exterior of Denver's 2013 campaign and tongue the soft pink center. These shameless bitches have been waiting in the yard and barking at the door and, finally, the Broncos threw them a bone.