DENVER, Colo. - Despite all the scenarios and mathematical equations, the Denver Broncos season did not end with Atlanta's loss to the Cleveland Browns.
It ended much earlier.
It ended with a Baltimore embarrassment on national television, two lopsided thrashings by the Oakland Raiders, and overtime losses to Indianapolis and San Diego.
It ended with heartbreaking losses to Miami and the New York Jets, where a total of eight points separated winners from losers.
It ended with dropped passes, missed (and thrown) interceptions, unsuccessful field goals and a stale offensive scheme designed around a quarterback that hasn't proven the ability to throw a pass further than twenty-yards.
It ended with a head coach coining the phrase "obviously disappointed" during far too many post-game press conferences.
No, the Denver Broncos' season didn't come to an end on the final game of the 2002 regular season.
It ended a long time ago.
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