Jan 27, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; General view of Super Bowl XLVIII logo at the media center in the Convention Center prior to Super Bowl XLVII. The Baltimore Ravens will play the San Francisco 49ers on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It's in the script (but not in stone): Broncos Super in XLVIII


  When you have Peyton Manning running things on the field and John Elway running things inside the building, it’s never too early to start thinking Super Bowl XLVIII.

  Denver Bronco fans picked up good vibes last season and are hungry for more – even though the games that really matter won’t start until after that last Christmas present is unwrapped.

  The Broncos’ 13-3 record in Manning’s first season at the controls would be the reason Denver is one of the favorites to win it all next time around – the stunning loss to Baltimore in the playoffs be damned.

  According to a variety of oddsmakers, there are four teams rated far in front of all the others:  Denver, New England, San Francisco and Seattle.

  The oddsmakers are right on.  It’ll be Denver against San Francisco in the Super Bowl and Denver will win it, 33-24.

  Here’s the script more than six months early:

  First, San Francisco, a defense-oriented  team that features a tough running game with the occasional land or air explosion from young quarterback Colin Kaepernick, will earn home-field advantage in the NFC and defeat Atlanta, then Seattle to earn its Super Bowl spot.

 San Francisco and Seattle will both be better than they were last season.  Green Bay will be an offensive force thanks to QB Aaron Rogers, but won’t have the defense to handle either the Seahawks or 49ers.  Ditto Atlanta.

  Other possible darkhorse challengers from the NFC?  Chicago, possibly Detroit, maybe the Giants.  Minnesota and Washington, playoff teams last year, will regress.  The Cowboys will still be the Cowboys.

  Now comes the easy part of the equation, the AFC.

  Denver will romp through the AFC West despite a big improvement from Kansas City.  The Chiefs have a new coach in Andy Reid, a new QB in Alex Smith and a running game second to none.  They will hop over the Chargers and Raiders, but the Broncos will still win the West by at least two games.

  The Patriots will win the East, but won’t be nearly the team we have seen recently because QB Tom Brady’s security blanket Wes Welker is now in Denver and both tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, will not stay healthy over the entire season.

  Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark hit it on the head recently, saying, “I think what’s really underestimated is Wes Welker’s importance to not only the New England Patriots, but Tom Brady.  Losing him is huge. … Even when guys aren’t around (Brady), even when he’s not about to be sacked, when his clock goes off in his head that the ball should be out, we’ll see him duck, we’ll see him flinch. When you get Tom Brady doing that, the whole New England Patriots mystique goes away.”

  That Patriot mystique took a big hit last year when Baltimore physically pounded them in the playoffs.

  It will take a bigger hit this season.

  As for Baltimore, the Ravens have re-signed QB Joe Flacco and have stud running back Ray Rice, but lost wide receiver Anquan Boldin and virtually its entire defense.  Case closed.

  Perennial  power Pittsburgh will put up a fight each week, but isn’t what it was two seasons ago.

  Cincinnati is the team on the rise in the division and has added free agent and draft talent to both sides of the ball.

  In the South, Houston and upstart Indy are the teams to watch.

  The AFC playoffs will see Denver and Houston again having byes in the first round, with Denver then beating Indy at home and surprising Cincinnati – which will oust the Patriots – in the AFC Title Game.

  Then it will be two long weeks of Super hype, Manning interviews, Elway interviews … and a third Super Bowl title as Manning, Welker & Co. simply have too much for the 49ers to stop.

  There you have it:  The next NFL season in a nutshell, literally.  

Tags: Denver Broncos San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl XLVIII

  • loverpoint

    What a terrible evaluation of the AFC.

    AFC East- N.E. is probably not as good as they were last year but I would say that Miami has made vast improvements and they are the team in the East to look out for.
    AFC North- Despite the depletion of Baltimore, they did draft well and got Dumerville from the Broncos. Cincinnati should win this division. If they can’t then they need to replace Andy Dalton and their coach.
    AFC South- This is going to be the most interesting division. 2 years ago it looked like Houston would dominate this division for the next decade. Indy has the best QB in the division and this year JAX and TENN both had outstanding Free Agencies and drafts.
    AFC West- Last year the Broncos were way over hyped and had one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, yet they found a way to lose to Baltimore at Mile High Stadium. They are lucky in that they are still heads above everyone else in the worst division in the NFL.

    • Keith Campbell

      Denver did not have an easy schedule last year….pay attention….

  • http://sbpra.com/paulvsuffriti Paul V. Suffriti

    I had to laugh after reading the article. I remember when the Eagles put together the dream team before the season started and many predicted that they were going to be the team to beat in the Super Bowl. Chemistry, injuries and good team depth will be the determining factor going into the playoffs. Broncos writers and fans can daydream about the end of the season but unexpected things happen during the regular season…..might not turn out to be what you think.

    • bronncohowie

      Broncos will win the NEXT TWO SUPER BOWLS. They have a HOF qb and arguably the best receivers in the league. Their running game will be improved with Alex Gibbs on board to teach the young linemen the traditional Denver zone blocking scheme which Montee Ball will become a master running behind it. Their defense will be much improved and their division is weak. They ALREADY have the chemistry and with a couple more free agent signings they will have the depth.

      • http://sbpra.com/paulvsuffriti Paul V. Suffriti

        Peyton Manning is not the best playoff QB and has a history of coming up short…..so predicting they will win the next two Super Bowls is quite a stretch…..get back with me when the playoffs start.

  • VR

    Peyton Manning is a choke. He is one of the greatest regular season quarterbacks ever but he cant get it done in the playoffs! Ever. How does he only have one SB ring when hes been in the playoffs every year. Niners will win the SB next year bc there is no team in the AFC that has a good defense! None! Niners gna take the league by storm. 15-1 regular season record. 3-0 in the playoffs. Niners will win SB 48!

    • bronncohowie

      Niners qb will have the typical 2nd year blues and they have no plan B.

  • James

    Yup the Ravens lost almost their entire defense…. and got a new one that is a huge improvement over last year. Cinci taking the AFC North, I think not….