Let’s start by responding to a comment by MEH. Mike Shanahan was dubbed the MasterMind in ‘97. Wins in Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII made the name stick. And his subsequent playoff record without John Elway has brought that into doubt. At the start of the season, I thought that this would be a make or break year for Shanahan. And the MasterMind Watch was my way of recording his progress.
The year started with a bold personnel move. IMO, I’d say that trading Portis for Bailey didn’t work out. The rushing attack didn’t achieve the consistency and red zone efficiency that it had with Portis. And Bailey wasn’t enough to shut down Peyton Manning and the Colts in the playoffs.
The year ended with another big personnel move. Plummer will be the QB for the immediate future. Keeping Plummer as QB is akin to keeping Shanahan as Head Coach - he’s not quite what you wished, but he’s better than the alternatives. I wish that Shanahan was as deft with personnel moves as he was with offensive X’s and O’s. And I wish that Plummer would show more composure as QB.
I think that the Broncos are destined to be the bridesmaid, but not the bride. Good enough to reach the postseason, but not good enough to go deep into the postseason. I think that can only be changed if Bowlen finds a personnel guru to advise the MasterMind.