Desperation is a common response when confronted with the reality that there is a wide gulf between self-image and reality. The Broncos lost 43-8 in the Super Bowl after being a slight favorite heading into the game. Peyton Manning and the offense dominated the conversation before the game. His legacy was about to be set. Super Bowl loser was not the legacy he, or others, were expecting.

John Elway knows a thing or two about losing Super Bowls. He lost his first two by a combined score of 81-30. That feeling had to rush back to him as he watched the Seahawks dismantle the team he so proudly assembled. What do you do when your championship window hinges on an aging quarterback? You look for quick fixes, and that is exactly what Elway did this offseason.

The Broncos spent $110M in two days on the defensive side of the ball

  • CB Aqib Talib 3 years, $57M
  • DE DeMarcus Ware 3 years, $30M
  • S T.J. Ward 4 years, $23M

Ironically, it was not the Broncos defense that had trouble being tough enough. Their offense folded up shop after a few crushing hits. The only change there was the signing of WR Emmanuel Sanders to a 3 year, $18M contract.

Elway enters this game believing he has bought the toughness he needs to handle Seattle. Should they come up short again, that desperate feeling will come rushing back, and not even his checkbook will be able to make it go away.