DENVER — It’s been 34 games since the Denver Broncos were last labeled an underdog in a football game.
Just to give you some perspective, here are 10 things that have happened since then.
- A presidential election and a papal conclave
- Gay marriage was legalized in 10 states and 8 countries; marijuana was legalized in two states
- The Eurozone entered and exited a recession
- Egypt drafted two constitutions in addition to electing and ousting a president
- “Breaking Bad” won seven Emmys then went out of production
- Gangnam Style became and ceased to be an internet sensation
- Ariana Grande went from releasing her first single to having a No. 1 hit
- A World Cup and a Winter Olympics
- Tiger Woods suffered injuries to his Achilles, elbow, back and knee
- 14 NFL players were arrested on domestic violence charges
The Broncos’ long run as favorites is expected to come to an end Sunday, when they head to Seattle to face the Seahawks. As of Friday, the Broncos were considered 4.5-point underdogs against an opponent that defeated them 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
You’d have to go all the way back to Oct. 7, 2012 to find the last time Las Vegas prognosticators predicted a loss for the Broncos. The team was a 6-point underdog on the road against the New England Patriots that Sunday, and wound up losing the game 31-21.
At that point in the 2012 season, Peyton Manning’s first with the team, the Broncos had a losing record at 2-3.
The tide turned in a major way one game later.
Though the team wasn’t considered underdogs on the road against the San Diego Charges in their ensuing contest, they weren’t considered favorites either. Las Vegas issued a “pick ’em” status for the game, meaning neither team was perceived to have the upper hand.
The Broncos entered halftime of that game trailing 24-0. They stormed back in the second half and ended up winning 35-24.
Since that Monday night, the Broncos have been 27-5. And according to Vegas, each one of the five games the team has lost in that span — including last season’s Super Bowl loss and the playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens a season before that — has been an upset.
Just in case you’re wondering, being named an underdog isn’t necessarily an ominous omen for teams quarterbacked by Peyton Manning. Since 2003, the Broncos’ signal caller is 14-6 when his team was on the wrong side of the pregame point spread.