Broncos Win By Losing

Well, it was a really fun ride. Stop laughing, I’m serious. It was a blast going 7-1 down that magical stretch when things just started falling into place for the Denver Broncos.

Unfortunately every lucky streak — and that’s what it was, don’t kid yourself — must come to an end at some point. After the Patriots game I still thought that the Broncos would win out, make the playoffs, and c0uld even win a playoff game at home.

I see nothing. And if I’m being honest, I have no desire to see this version of this team playing an obviously superior Pittsburgh or New England in the “real season” of the playoffs.

They’re not good enough. And going to the playoffs at this point is pointless.

Getting shelled by a squad that is so obviously better than this team does not have a purpose. Sure, it would be great for the fanbase, and yes, I’m sure Tim Tebow would benefit from “live bullets” in the playoffs. But this is not a playoff team, and if the game in Buffalo on Christmas Eve told us anything, it’s that they’re not even really very close.

Consider: The Buffalo Bills had lost seven straight contests, against both good and bad competition, a freefall that dropped them from playoff consideration in a division that is much tougher than Denver’s AFC West. They beat our asses up and down the field, and ended up getting a lopsided 40-14 victory.

Not only that, but it seems Tebow was more concerned with the birth of his Lord and Savior the next day than he was about Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills.

So now, with a heart full of Christ and an eye, amazingly, still on a playoff berth, the Broncos return home to face division rival Kansas City and — oh my — former Bronco starting quarterback Kyle Orton, who knows the offense, Tim’s strengths and weaknesses, where to attack the Denver D, and is starting for the Chiefs.

Oh my.

Two weeks ago, while Tebow got figured out and defeated by a better New England team, Kyle Orton figured out and defeated a far superior Green Bay team.

Oh my.

As I said a few weeks ago, Orton getting into a situation where he’s appreciated by the coaching staff, fans and teammates for his ability is exactly what he needed. It’s also what he could have had in Denver.

He didn’t get it. And now he has a shot at taking a wrecking ball to Denver’s hopes.

And honestly? I hope he does.

Call me a bad fan, I dare you. My want for the Broncos to lose this weekend is borne not of hatred for the team, but out of love for a better draft pick which, in time, could result in a better team long-term than the version we’re currently watching.

The difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs is about 5 draft spots. If we trade our first rounder, we get more by not making the playoffs. If we stay in our slot and draft, we have a shot at a better player if we don’t make the playoffs. In either scenario, we ostensibly improve the team more by losing.

When Mike Shanahan was the coach in Denver, we were consistently in the hunt until late in the season, then went to the playoffs and got absolutely shelled. We gained nothing from that, except mediocre draft positioning and mediocre results. When you’ve got a lot of holes, you need as much fodder as possible to play with in the draft.

This is a team with a lot of holes. Willis McGahee is 1,000 years old, and can’t stay healthy now that we’re at the end of the season. Brian Dawkins is likely done, and neither of the two safeties drafted in 2011 has made a legitimate claim to the heirship. We need a middle linebacker badly, even a poor man’s Patrick Willis would do. We need depth on the O-Line, and I haven’t even gotten into the need for a legitimate, starting-caliber Defensive Tackle (or two).

Lose, and we can add more pieces, and maybe this team becomes a true contender next year. Yes, breathless Tebowmaniacs, even with Tim playing quarterback.

Win, and we set back our team’s development by at least one year, possibly more.

And if Tim plays next year like he played in Buffalo?


If I’m being honest, on the first day of the off season (which will likely begin on Monday), I call the Jacksonville Jaguars (a team that has such a hard on for Tim that its fans were buying teal “Tebow” jerseys before Tim was even drafted) and ask them what they’d give up to lead the league in jersey sales next year.

Because that is what Tim Tebow brings to the table.

Jersey sales and mediocrity.


  1. Kyle “King Neckbeard” Orton is going to do the Broncos dirrrrrty. I’ll take the over on 3 TDs and 300 yards.

  2. I would take that NP.

  3. I will take your dare and call you a terrible fan. In fact, I will go even further. You see, no real fan would ever hope for their team to lose when they have a shot at the postseason. As the sub-.500 Seahawks proved all bets are off in the playoffs and any team can win a game. So if you really want the Broncos to lose, why don’t you go and root for the Raiders. I’m sure they would welcome you and they may even waive the mandatory felony conviction if you’re lucky.

  4. The New England game was Tebow’s best played game even though they lost.

    I stopped reading when you started talking up Kyle Orton…

    This team would likely be 4 and 12 again with Kyle Orton playing out the season, maybe 5 and 11. The biggest problem is the Broncos horrible end of season play, no matter who the quarterback is.

  5. I have to agree with you, Magic. This season has gone way beyond expectations and it has been due mostly to luck in playing teams with injury issues and, yes, to Tebow’s determination which was helped immensely by opposing teams’ unfamiliarity with him. I would rather chuckle and smile at the miracle that has happened so far than end the season with a certain playoff wipeout that will turn that smile upside-down. Better to get higher draft picks for the long-haul than sacrifice it for the short-term illusion of success.

  6. You lost me when you started the personal attacks. If you had any class whatsoever you wouldn’t do it anonymously, but at least you gave the real reason you don’t want Tebow as the starting QB for “your” team.

  7. Silly man… talent is down on the list of a “winning team”. This game relies on strategy and sound coaching. Did you see “Money Ball”? Go see it. To accept anything less then a Super Bowl win every season is un-bronco. How long have you been a fan, 2 years, 3? I used to go see them play Cleveland when they had Flloyd Little. At the end of the game 2 feet of snow had fallen and the score was 3 to 6. We would stay til the end in the 5 level. Don’t want to listen to no ‘Johnny Come Lately” telling me we should be happy with a loss so we can get a better draft pick…. I hope you are humiliated by your comments, at a later date. I am, like you a realist. I understand they are weak. However the whole idea of being a Bronco fan (No other fans in the league can hold a candle to us) is that never say die attitude. Give me a break….

    • Magic Sam says:

      You’ve got to be shitting me.

      No other fans in the league can hold a candle to Bronco fans? Are you kidding? I went to the Monday Night opener. And when a light rain started falling, people left the stands IN DROVES. Because of a light rain in September. When they returned, and Orton hit a receiver in the hands with a pass, the chants for Tebow started. I used to think like you do about Bronco fans, but you’re kidding yourself if you think our fanbase can even come close to that of the Steelers or Cowboys or Packers. I’ve never been more disgusted with a fanbase than I was with how these fans of this team gave Kyle Orton the middle finger from the moment he arrived until well after he’d left.

      Talent is down on the list? Are you out of your goddamn mind? Show me a Super Bowl winner in the last 15 years that WAS NOT in the top 5 of most talented teams in the league.

      Good grief. Oh, and for the record, I’ve been a fan of this team for 25 years AND a season ticket holder, so while I’m not as old-balls as you are, I’m every bit the fan that you are.

      You want to continue to watch this team score 3 points in four quarters? That’s your business. I WANT ENJOYABLE FOOTBALL.

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