Moral Victory? Morale Victory?

Let’s face it . . . there is such a thing as a moral victory.

Not for players and not for coaches, but those paid professionals spending the 60+ hours a week scheming and planning to win every Sunday. But for the rest of us, the “observers”, there are such things as moral victories.

The Denver Broncos went into the loudest* stadium in the NFL, and took the defending the World-Champion Seattle Seahawks to the overtime. Eventually losing 26-20.

(* – Can an open air stadium really be that loud without piping in artificial noise? See Arrowhead Stadium also.)

Yes, the Broncos not only took on the champs. And their “very loud” stadium. But they also survived an opening-possession fumble by Montee Ball. And costly red-zone interception by Peyton Manning. And a fourth-quater 17-3 deficit.

And you know what cost them the game at the end? The coin toss.

Not that the “bend don’t break” defense didn’t finally break. Because they didn’t bow their necks and get off the field in the extra frame. But if the coin lands right for Denver, who doesn’t think that offense and the momentum doesn’t end the game in about six to eight plays?

How’d they get there . . . With less than one minute to play, Manning executed a 42-yard rocket to Emmanuel Sanders, then, a few plays later, a  26-yard pass to Jacob Tamme for a touchdown. On the Broncos’ two-point conversion, Manning hit Demaryius Thomas in the back of the end zone, who tapped two feet inbounds in spite of coverage by Richard Sherman and another Seahawk. The Broncos tied the game.

It was the type of drive that Hall of Fame quarterbacks and championship teams manufacture. Now . . . Why did they need a last-minute miracle? Like we’ve seen with all the games so far this season – inconsistency.

  • On the Broncos’ first offensive snap of this game against the Seattle Seahawks, Manning watched running back Ball fumble the ball after a nine-yard carry, resulting in a turnover. Eerily similar to their first offensive snap to the last time these two teams lined up – in the Super Bowl.
  • The running and short-screen game couldn’t get going. That offensive line needs to start MOVING people.

To be fair there is one shining positive from that game, one we haven’t seen a whole lot so far this season . . .  The defense kept the Seahawks in check. Three-and-outs. A turnover. Containing Russell Wilson on “most” of his scrambles.

Yes, Broncos’ Fans . . . there is a such thing as a moral victory. This was it. Think about how lousy we’d all feel if this was a 35-3 loss? THAT’s why it’s a moral victory.

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