Originally Posted by Tombstone RJ
Pat Bowlen hired Shanny, then kept Shanny around way, way too long.
Shanahan did take the Broncos to the AFC Championship Game without a franchise QB in 2005 so I would say three more years was justified.
The 2000-06 Broncos went through a pretty decent run considering Shanahan didn't have a difference maker at QB. In 2000, they were arguably the second-best team in the AFC but they got the worst draw (Ravens) in the wild card round.
2001 they were a mediocre team.
I think they were the second-best AFC team in 2002, but the top AFC team (Raiders) absolutely owned them during the regular season.
The 2003 end result was sour, but still think that team had a lot of misfortune work against them. They outplayed the Chiefs when both teams were 5-0 and went down on a non-clipping call on the Dante Hall PR. Jake Plummer's injury cost them more games. After baffling Peyton Manning in the regular season meeting, they got a bad draw of facing him in the first round after Larry Coyer threw the kitchen sink at him to get into the playoffs. Say want you want, but Jake Plummer is not going to beat Manning twice.
2004 was certainly a disappointment. They started off 5-1 and then lost control of their nice start with an ugly loss to a lowly Bengals team on MNF.
2005 was a fun year.
With a 7-2 start, 2006 had the potential to be special again but they blew a 17-point second-half lead versus the Chargers on SNF and the rest is history.