Now is not the time to panic, Broncos Country

If you listen to most people on Twitter, in the media or on radio, you’d think the Broncos are currently in the midst of a two-year collapse, not sitting at 7-4 for with a Lombardi Trophy in the building.

But that’s just the way things are in Broncos Country: We’re worry warts. Unless the Broncos are undefeated and winning by double digits, the sky is falling and all hope is lost.

So, with the benefit of all of us in mind, I’ll quote the great-again Aaron Rodgers … “R. E. L. A. X.”

Yes, Denver is in unfamiliar territory, at least as of late, but they’re not in dangerous waters, not yet. They’re in fine positioning, maybe not ideal, but fine.

Despite popular opinion, you don’t need to have a 13-3 record and home field advantage throughout the playoffs to play in a Super Bowl. It helps, but, as the Broncos proved in 1997, it’s not the be-all-end-all.

This team, especially if Trevor Siemian can build off his second-half performance from Sunday night, is still plenty capable of making the playoffs and competing for a Super Bowl.

We, as Broncos fans, have been spoiled. Not only have we made the playoffs in five straight seasons, but we’ve had a bye in each of the last four. That’s not normal. Unless you’re the New England Patriots, that type of success isn’t sustainable. Even the Seattle Seahawks squeaked into last year’s playoffs as a Wild Card.

This team has traversed their fair share of bumps in the road (some fairly big), but they’ve yet to come to a road block — and yes, I’ve watched the offense.

Right now, all anyone needs to be worrying about is making the playoffs. From there, anything is possible. And despite the Broncos currently sitting in the seventh seed, one tiebreaker out of the final Wild Card, the odds are still in Denver’s favor.

While we may not like to admit it, the Kansas City Chiefs are really, really good. You don’t win 19 out of your last 23 games on accident; for better or worse, they’re one of the best teams in football, and falling to them in overtime, while excruciatingly painful, is not a bad loss. In reality, Sunday night was one of the best performances I’ve seen from this team as a whole, apart from the special teams.

So while Denver’s final five games include three playoff teams and the up-and-coming Tennessee Titans, the Broncos should have every reason to expect success.

Unquestionably, Siemian played the best game of his young career against the Chiefs, and he did so against a defensive front that was actively trying to murder him — and getting pretty close, too. If he can be anywhere near that quarterback down the homestretch, and if the defense can continue to do what they do and the special teams pulls its act together, the Broncos could be reaching their peak as the season closes.

And I have reason to believe that their competition won’t be doing the same.

As I said before, the Chiefs are good, and I have no doubt that they’ll remain well within the playoff picture, but I cannot say the same for the Miami Dolphins team that is currently sitting in that sixth and final Wild Card spot.

While they’re riding a six-game winning streak, they’re opponents during that stretch have a combined record of 25-41. In their final five games they’ll face teams with a combined record of 28-26-1.

The Dolphins are definitely a better team than in years past, but they’ll have to prove they’re the real deal in the final month of the season. Until then, I’ll put my money on the Broncos.

The other team worth looking at is the Oakland Raiders. Now, before Raider Nation rips me a new one, the Raiders have earned everything they’ve received this season.

They’re good, plain and simple.

But could they collapse? Sure. Anything’s possibly when you live so close to the edge.

Oakland has nine wins, and seven of those have come in games decided by seven points or less. Four have been decided by three points or less.

Derek Carr and the Raiders have been this year’s version of the cardiac kids, and with all five of their remaining games coming against quality opponents (a record of 5-6 or better), it wouldn’t be a surprise if a few of those breaks started going the other way.

Then again, the same could have been said for last year’s Broncos, and they won the Super Bowl.

The point being: The Broncos are okay. They’re a good team, and they’re playoff worthy. Just because it’s been a tough road doesn’t mean it won’t be a successful one.

Of course it’s been stressful. Would the Broncos do it any other way?

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