In 1996, the Broncos lost at home in the playoffs to the Jaguars, squandering the top seed in the AFC. Sixteen years later, it happened again, this time to the Ravens.
The quarterback of the team that lost to Jacksonville now runs the front office in Denver, and he hopes that the Broncos recover from the disappointment now the same way they did then.
According to the Associated Press, Elway compared the game that ultimately sparked a pair of NFL titles to last year’s double-overtime loss to Baltimore during a keynote address at an event held Wednesday by the National Sports Center for the Disabled at Sports Authority Field.
“[B]elieve me, that’s what I’m praying that we’re going to do these next two, three, four years is to use last year and be able to get over the hump and get to the Super Bowl and be able to win it,” Elway said.
This year, Elway has a quarterback whose arm is stronger as Peyton Manning is farther removed from a quartet of neck surgeries. And with Wes Welker joining a group of wideouts that includes Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and newcomer Wes Welker, Elway said he’s “truly jealous of the weapons that Peyton gets to throw to.”
On the other side of the ball, defensive end Elvis Dumervil is now long gone and linebacker Von Miller may be, too, for the first four games of the season.
“Hopefully everything goes good with Von Miller, we’ll know about that coming up,” Elway said, regarding the appeal of Miller’s four-game suspension for violating a still-unspecified policy. “But I watch him in practice every single day and I will tell you there’s not a more talented football player on offense or defense that I’ve ever seen than Von Miller.”
Still, the most important player is Manning. If he’s ever better this year, the Broncos could be very hard to beat — during the regular season, in January, or in February.