Listen, I'm not going to say I have a totally formed opinion on this matter. And I'm aware that it is a bold (and perhaps cruel) move to accuse someone of cheating when there isn't any non-circumstantial evidence that they did. However, I've seen some talk on a few posts about that Denver game, and I wanted to get a feel for what everyone else is thinking around here.
We went into Denver after a tough loss to the Raiders. Before that, we'd won a couple of games straight. We were sitting at 5-3 and while we'd lost 3 games, we'd been very competitive in all of them.
On the other side of the field was a Broncos team that was coming off 4 straight losses, the last two being the most galling (getting killed at home by Oakland and losing to a bad 49ers team in London).
Many of us expected a victory that day, and instead... well, everyone here knows how bad it got. Now I'd like to look at what I know...
1) Denver had tried taping another team's walkthrough, although apparently the 49ers were warned about the Broncos potentially doing that. (On a side note, isn't it a tad odd that the Niners would get warned about something like that? It doesn't speak very strongly for innocence)
2) Denver needed this win in a bad, bad way.
3) Several of the principal participants in "spygate" (including the most important guy, the actual film guy) are (or were) in Denver.
4) Todd Haley was furious after the game, and said something very odd to McDaniels that may have had any number of meanings, but COULD very definitely be taken as "I know you cheated you jackass".
5) We got blown out for the very first time this year, with the offense (particularly our running game) unable to do anything and our defense getting torched time after time after time.
6) After the first onslaught, the Chiefs pulled it together and outplayed Denver down the stretch (I know, there are a lot of reasons for this, but it remains a fact).
Ok, so we've covered what I know. Now here's what I SAW
That's right, something was just... off... about that first half.
Listen, if we got whipped, we got whipped. Oh well. Stuff happens.
But to get totally, utterly, completely destroyed like that? To be unable to run the ball at all? Against a bad Denver defense? That's a little weird. They just seemed so much... well... better than any of the other times I'd seen them play. Faster to the ball, always in the right spot. Almost as if they knew what was going to happen
Now here's my speculation...
After the game, Swimfan put up this post, speculating Haley was upset because McDaniels cheated. He put forth the idea that McDaniels pulled a BB and taped us, giving him an unfair edge.
Now remember, this was BEFORE any of this stuff came out about the Broncos and what they did against the 49ers.
Here's where it's tough for me. When you look at everything together, it just doesn't seem all that likely that this would be some kind of isolated incident. I mean, what are the odds that they'd try to pull this against a non-division rival in a foreign country but NOT do it in their own house against a rival in a game they NEEDED to win?
I have no idea whether this adds up to anything, and there really isn't enough evidence to incriminate. But it certainly looks strange.
Gun to my head, I'd say that the Broncos had an edge that day. Too much circumstantial evidence to ignore (see JComp, I can put forth opinions sometimes :) ). I'd like to know what everyone else thinks.
I wrote this post because I genuinely want to know what people think. I personally don't feel that strongly either way (hence the fact that I'd need a gun to my head to make a decision). Let's not have anyone put words in my mouth and say I'm "making excuses" or whatever. I'm just curious, and I wanted to know what people thought.