Wow! Guy takes a day off since the draft is slowing for a bit and i come back to this.
OK, where to start here.
1. It is not a strawman argument, even though you concocted a very simple one in response to my sarcasm. I guess I did not touch a nerve, I must have severed one
Your logic is that DEN is so flawed from a personnel position that last years 8-8 record was simply an aberration even with the QB that must not be mentioned!
2. I am not even going to attempt to respond to your second part of your post. It's absurd, and has nothing to do with playing football. I too could set up an unwinnable argument for you, but that's not how life is in reality. I always show both sides and concede what is wrong because I do not get caught up in looking tough or having to be right.
3. Let's talk football:
A. Every team in the NFL has a playoff caliber element to it. To blindly ascribe teams actual ability is ridiculous. DEN was not an especially individually talented team last year, but they played much better than the sum of their parts, especially on defense. That is why team sports are so damn unpredictable. Teams play better or worse than the sum of their parts every week. The best ones simply out play the team across from them more often than not. So, please stop with the drama over talent. Talent means NOTHING without execution on game day. Something DEN proved mightily they COULD do last year.
I seriously do not think the most talented team won the SB last year. Just the best TEAM playing together at the right time. Much like GB last year. Both the past SB winners were barely Playoff participants.
B. INDY was not very talented in the Payton Manning era. And, it more than showed last year without him. What they were was a systems team, which I have already explained. Their OL has been extremely poor and only decent at protecting inside out. They were bottom 2 in run blocking, pass protection, and missed assignments. They are horrific versus what DEN already has with injured and young guys. Add in a QB who gets rid of the ball on time, rarely gets sacked, and takes you out of bad plays pre-snap and they instantly look a lot better and probably perform much better without any improvement themselves. What happens when they get healthy and get another year under their belt as well? I think they will do tremendously better because they will not have to protect as long and can have the presnap advantage instead of disadvantage they had with last years limited scheme.
C. INDY's defense was built to play with a lead and failed miserably when they had to play standard defense. DEN, not only played well when they were straight up with teams, they excelled down the stretch of close games. Imagine what they could do with a 2 score lead? DEN's defense has a lot more bite into them and having an offense that would be close to leading the league in average drive and Points per drive would only make them stronger. Also, not leading the league in 3 and outs and average FP wouldn't hurt them either.
When INDY went to the SB 3 years ago, the defense stepped up for Manning that year. They won 4 games when Manning did not put up 24 points like they were designed to do. It was only When their defensive stars got Hurt in the second half of the SB that they failed. Peyton was undefeated and in the SB with half a defense behind him. That TEAM played much better than their natural talent.
That is my argument, plain and simple. Yes, DEN needs more talented players at key spots. All teams do. However, the good and great teams find ways to win anyway. That was DEN last year. I think they will be better with Manning right off the bat and I think they need to find some Vet FA's to come on board and play like Bunkley did for them last year. There are still plenty of those guys out there and I hope they are not done.
Finally, There is an old Maxim in Consulting. "Never forget the NOW, in order to take advantage of the future. The future is never gauranteed. Only the Present."