Originally Posted by CEH
I tend to agree. Denver was never really a "viable" Super Bowl contender post '98.
All the playoff games on the road were not even competitive. Enjoyable maybe but a "viable" Super Bowl contender I would say no
Just cruise over to the Tebowmaina vs ManningMania thread to see how the arguments change depending on what you want to argue. In Shanny's case just getting to the playoffs as a wildcard team and never being competitive in any game on the road is OK but many to wait and see how the 2012 season turns out to decide which year is more enjoyable most likely because Denver was able to secure a home playoff game before being exposed on the road.
Even John Lynch said the 2005 season was "smoke and mirrors"
I would expect a 13-3 team to build upon 2005 but
2006 - Lost to the 6 win 49ers at home with a chance to go to the playoffs
2007 - Missed playoffs
2008 - Epic 3 game lead blown and a loss to the 6 win Bills team at home followed by what Shanny knew was a compete mismatch and 52 point beatdown in SD
So depending on how you want to judge a team defines Shanny's success post '98
Getting into the playoffs is enjoyable . Getting "blowed out" is not and I know Elway and Bowlen are not in this for the fun of it
2005 was smoke and mirrors...and Yet we would have been favored in the SB over the Seahawks. Hell, we would have beaten the Seahawks. We were smoke and mirrors because of the Offense though. Rod Smith had almost nothing left and was still our best WR, an aging Mike Anderson on his second go round and Tatum Bell amassing over 2k yards...while impressive hardly a scary threat to anyone.
But some of the arguments your making is luck of the draw. They didn't get blown out by the Ravens on the road, and many (myself included) thought we were the 2nd best team in the NFL that year going into the playoffs.
2006 we had Al Wilson lining up without a working neck against the 49ers in a must win game...after winning a must win game against the Bengals the week before. Sometimes teams play spoiler (see Saints v Dallas this last week).
Then we had the misfortune to run into Manning's Colts a few times. We could have beaten about anyone else in the conference those years. Hell we traded Portis for Champ and drafted D.Will as a result of those games in order to match up, which lead up to our high water mark in 05, before trying to rebuild on the fly.
That 3 game slide...the Only game they actually blew was against Buffalo. We got beat by a pretty damn good Panthers team on the road, and again had to travel to SD to end the year which was a set up from the moment Hochuli blew his wistle. Expectations got out of control for a young team that was a year away because the division was bad. If either Stokely holds onto the ball in the endzone or Bowe recovers an onside kick, this isn't even up for discussion.
I am not even sure what point we are arguing. Denver tried to rebuild post SB years while remaining competitive. They had mixed results, but were where they were supposed to be most years, and in the hunt, nearly missing out on a 3rd SB. To say they weren't legitimate SB contenders...what does that mean? Were the 9-7 Giants (who needed help to make the playoffs), the Cardinals, Titans (music city miracle), Ravens (champ missed pick), young Brady led Pats, the Rex Grossman led Bears, Hasselbecks Seahawks, really more legitimate title contenders than Denver during this period?