Mission Impossible

Warning: The team you are witnessing will self-destruct in the second half. After a third straight game that came down to the wire, the Denver Broncos' luck finally ran out against the New York Giants.

With five seconds left in the game, the hearts of Bronco fans around the world sunk as Eli Manning hit Amani Toomer for the game winning touchdown.

So much for the five game winning streak, it was fun while it lasted. Let's hope this is not the beginning of the end. The Broncos losing in the last minute of the game should be no surprise to anyone, including themselves. The team's performance in the second half was typical of what we've seen the past three games, poor. As good as this team has been in the first half is as bad as they perform in the seconnd half.

The Broncos come out flying high scoring points and looking like they are a legitimate contender in the first half. Their offense is unstoppable and nothing gets by the defense. The second thirty minutes is a completely different story.

After building up what is considered an insurmountable lead in the first half, the entire team loses steam in the second. The problem is, "THIS TEAM CAN'T PUT AWAY TEAMS!" Consider this the eighth wonder of the world, at least for Bronco fans.

The offense can't buy a first down, a completed pass or a touchdown. After running over the opposing defenses in the first half, the offense resembles a jumbled mess. The offense needs to get first downs at critical junctures, such as when there are three minutes left in a close game. There have been a few bright spots, mainly the Broncos not giving up turnovers. Turnovers aside, the Broncos can't afford to have three and outs in a close game.

The mighty Denver defense can't do it all by themselves. They make mistakes and give up big plays. Most of the big plays are given up in the third and fourth quarters. The new and improved defensive line has done a great job, but needs to find a way not only to pressure the quarterback, but get a sack. The rookie cornerbacks have done a fantastic job this season, but are definitely being tested at the end of the game when it matters most. Like the rest of the team, their performance seems to go down a notch in the last half of the game.

The Broncos have a problem that needs to be fixed or they will keep losing the close games. The mission for the Broncos is this - match the intensity of the first half. If they choose to accept this mission, they will do something many others think is impossible - win a playoff game without John Elway.



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