Divergance 03/20/2009Posted by sportretort in denver broncos, Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: broncos playoffs, broncos seasons, denver broncos, jake plummer, Jay Cutler, Josh mcdaniels, mike shanahan, pittsburgh steelers
Two storied NFL franchises came together for a football game. We did not know it then, but these two teams would move in markedly different directions over the next few years.
January 22, 2006. Denver, Colorado. The Denver Broncos (14-3) host the Pittsburgh Steelers (13-5) for the AFC
championship, and the Broncos are favored. Well, the Steelers won 34-17, and go on to win the Super Bowl two weeks later. Mike Shanahan was the Broncos coach and Jake Plummer was the QB. The Steelers were coached by Bill Cowher. Plummer throws two interceptions and loses two fumbles. It is the beginning of the end for Plummer.
In the 2006 draft, the Broncos trade up to the 11 th overall pick and draft QB Jay Cutler. Plummer starts the 2006 season as the Broncos starter, and starts the first 11 games. He is replaced as the starter by Cutler in game 12, and never starts again. Plummer’s 2006 stats include 11 td passes, 13 interceptions and a QB rating of 68.8. Cutler has started all 37 Broncos games since he replaced Plummer. Since that playoff game, the Broncos have had a record of 24 – 24. They have had no playoff apperances. Last season, they finished 8 – 8, but lost their last 3 games after having a 3 game lead in the division. They have had defensive issues, and Shanahan was fired at the end of the season. New head coach Josh McDaniels is currently involved in a battle with Cutler, who has requested a trade.
Steeler head Coach Cowher coaches the 2007 season in Pittsburgh, then retires after an 8-8 season. The Steelers hire Mike Tomlin, Vikings defensive coordinator, as their head coach. Since that Playoff game, the Steelers have a record of 30 – 18. Last season, the Steelers won the Superbowl.
On that January day in 2006, both franchises were feeling good about themselves. The future looked bright. Since that day, the Steelers have won 2 Super Bowls, have missed the playoffs only once, and are the Reigning champions. The Broncos, on the other hand, have not been back to the playoffs, and are embarking on a new era with a rookie head coach feuding with his pro bowl quarterback.
For Broncos fans, that beautiful, sunny Denver day started with such promise. Has it really been only 1150 days?