Win the games you're supposed to

With only 16 games in the regular season, every NFL game is important. But I think the key to a successful season is to play up to your level, not down to your opponents. And that means your team needs to beat the teams they’re supposed to beat and win their division games at home. The Broncos were supposed to beat the Bengals and did. And beating the Chargers on the road gets the season off to a good start. But the season really starts with Monday night’s home game against Oakland.

Knock on wood, but it looks like Clinton Portis will be healthy for this game. After many years riding John Elway’s arm, the Bronco’s have become a running team. It’s a nice feeling – odd, but nice. It may be more fun to watch a passing team, but running teams feel more in control. It was great that Elway had all those 4th quarter comebacks. But it’s even better when you don’t have to come back at all.

It’s going to be my first game of the season. After the Giants, Jets, Patriots and Bills games are broadcast, there’s not much air time left for left coast teams. But if the Broncos win this game, I may have to follow the rest of the season at a sports bar.