Thanks to the way the Broncos handled the New York Jets yesterday, you can bet we'll be hearing plenty of fans espousing the most popular, and positive, theory to explain the squad's inexplicable season to date: The team plays up to, or down to, the level of its opponents. And since, by definition, only good teams advance to the postseason -- and because, with a three game lead and just four tilts left in the season, even Jay Cutler and company probably can't find a way to blow a playoff nod -- the Broncos are positioned to make a run for the ages! No wonder Coast to Coast tickets is already selling tickets for Broncos appearances in a first-round contest and the AFC championship game. Super Bowl XLIII, here we come!
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There's just one problem. During the first twelve games of the 2008 campaign, this hypothesis has been wrong as often as it's been right.
Look at the record. The Broncos lost to the woeful Raiders on November 23 -- but they also humiliated the Silver and Black on September 8. And while they defeated the Jets and the Atlanta Falcons, both of which have been playing well, they lost to a couple of other upper-tier squads, the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots (against the latter on October 20, they went down 41-7). And instead of losing to the terrible Cleveland Browns on November 6, the Broncos came out on top, barely; the final tally was 34-30.
How does the aforementioned theory explain all of that? It doesn't. Basically, the Broncos play up to, or down to, the level of their opponents except when they don't. Glad we cleared that up. -- Michael Roberts