The Broncos are 4-0 and are the surprise of the NFL so far. This summer, before training camp began, I saw this as a possibility and made comparisons to the miracle season of the 1977 Broncos. Even I didn't expect the defense to play as well as it has!
Just like that 77 team, the early season schedule is setting up for a franchise defining game in week 5. That 77 team was 4-0, too, but they weren't taken too seriously. "The Broncos are off to a nice start but they've had an easy schedule" was heard about the 77 team as they headed into a week 5 showdown against the defending Super Bowl Champs and hated rivals Oakland Raiders. The Raiders entered that contest at the top of their game. Veteran NBC Broadcaster Charlie Jones, when promoting the Broncos/Raiders battle of the unbeatens in 77, said "I don't think anybody can beat the Raiders"
Longtime Bronco fans know what happened next. The 77 Broncos stunned the Raiders 30-7 in Oakland and were off to a 12-2 season and a berth in the Super Bowl. I still have the newspaper describing that great win (photo above)
The 2009 Broncos defining game, their toughest test to date, will be this Sunday against the New England Patriots. The Patriots have won 3 Super Bowls this decade and came within minutes of another Super Bowl victory and an undefeated season only two seasons ago. I say a win against the Patriots this Sunday will propel the Broncos to a magical season, better than anyone expected (even me). Yes the schedule gets much tougher after the Patriots game (road games against the Chargers and Ravens among others) and the team will stumble a few times but the positive momentum of a 5-0 start will carry the Broncos to the playoffs!