The Denver Broncos are tired of hearing it. They might be the first 6-0 team in NFL history to be treated like their 0-6 by many of their own fans and the media.
Much of the hue and cry has been directed at 39-year-old quarterback Peyton Manning. After another game wherein he tossed more interceptions (3) than touchdowns (1), the bullseye was again painted on 18's back.
It's hard to fault the 24-year-old in his fourth-year for coming out swinging in defense of his quarterback. Since Manning arrived in Denver in 2012, he's led the Broncos to three consecutive double-digit-win seasons, three consecutive division titles, and the franchise's seventh Super Bowl berth.
He also brought another MVP award to the hallowed halls of the Denver Broncos organization. And he's done it in his late 30s. It's true that Manning has struggled mightily in his 18th year.
There are a multitude of reasons for it, but the bottom line is, he's playing his worst football since his rookie year. And it's an alien, foreign phenomena to behold for a Broncos fanbase so accustomed to winning and seeing Manning dominate the league.
Perhaps young Ronnie is right. Maybe some people aren't considering the full picture. It's easy to blame the quarterback when things don't go right. But the team is 6-0.
Even Demaryius Thomas, Manning's most trusted target, is in disbelief at the level of criticism being leveled in his quarterbacks's direction.
"We don't really care what people say," wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said. "I know I just got to make more plays and make people be quiet on it. Me dropping a ball, they probably say something about Peyton after that. ... I bet there are people that blame Peyton when I dropped the ball. He's our quarterback. Our leader. I know I can make more plays for him."
Justified or not, until Manning stops throwing picks in bunches and handing the opposing team six points, the din will continue.
Just try to remember, the Denver Broncos are 6-0.
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