It's still mathematically possible for the Broncos to make the playoffs (if a whole bunch of other teams lose and Broncos win), but it ain't likely. And frankly, even if they do make it, do we really want to see them blown out by the Patriots or the Bengals?
While the first half Broncos surprised everyone with a shut-down defense, an inexplicably effective offense and a 6-2 record, the second half Broncos looked the way many people predicted they would: bad. The have gone 2-5 with one game remaining.
And Kyle Orton. Well, he was Kyle Orton -- a great backup QB.
What to do now?
Should I be angry or remain pleasantly surprised? Should I be concerned or enthusiastic about next year? Should I buy a hoodie and roll the sleeves all the way up?
The only thing I can think of to do is root for the Vikings tonight when they play the Bears. Since the Broncos got Chicago's first-round pick in 2010 (and Orton) in exchange for Jay Cutler, how good that pick is depends on how badly the Bears do.
At the moment, the Broncos have the ninth pick, and several mock drafts speculate that the team will take Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain (you can catch him in the BCS Championship game on January 7), but they've got to take a quarterback too. And 2010 will have at least five who could be drafted in the first or early second rounds.
So, go Vikings? Give me some hope for next year.