Saturday, June 21, 2008

'08 Season Record: Cause for Optimism?

Or delusion? Ever hear the way Lewis Black says that? Delooosion. Well, Ian, I've given some thought to the same topic on which you have held forth so persuasively. This is something you hope the players never do (yeah, right)... prognosticate. Being a creature of habit, there is a certain way I have always broken down the Broncos' upcoming season. The repetitious and structured nature of the schedule lends itself to this.

Division opponents: At this time, a split with San Diego would seem a reasonable goal with game two at Denver being the obvious venue. It comes after a Monday night game at Oakland. Nothing in the NFL is easy. KC and Oakland are in the process of getting better, too, but a sweep of both will be necessary. 5-1?

AFC East: Buffalo and Miami at home; Patriots and Jets on the road. Optimistically speaking, we could say defeats of the home opponents and split the road games. I like the Bills and respect them; always have. But, I think winning at Mile High will be too much for them. At this point few would expect the Dolphins to defeat the Broncos although they did defeat the Ravens ... Cutler's arm should do well in the Meadowlands allowing DeWayne to have a successful reappearance in his old stomping grounds. Realistically, we are expecting an L in New England although the Broncos have had some success even there... 3-1?

NFC South: This is where the luck of the scheduling is most advantageous. The two toughest teams from this group, the Saints and the Bucs, appear in Denver early in the season. The Broncos travel to Atlanta and Carolina during the second half of the season. Would a sweep of this division be too optimistic, especially after '07's unsatisfactory performance vs. the NFC North? Nah! 4-0?

The other two second place teams from AFC divisions: This is the most problematic of these segments. The tougher of the two, Jacksonville, is a home game in the first half of the season. Normally, I would figure that as an L, but the Broncos could conceivably be 5-0 at that point. Momentum and the hysteria of Denver's home fans would be formidable obstacles for the Jags to overcome. The Browns have a weird, symbiotic relationship with the Broncos. The nature of the symbiosis seems to be just when the Browns are starting to get good, the Broncos rain on their parade. Not yet? 1-1? 2-0?

Let's see, 5+3+4+1 or 2=13 or 14. Wow, Ian, you are persuasive!

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