The Denver Broncos are smack dab in the middle of their season, getting the bye week at the absolute perfect time and using that time to get healthy and recover from the first eight games of the season.
The Broncos are not unlike any other team in the NFL–they are banged up but for the most part remain in-tact and appear poised for a big second half run.
At this point in the season, the crystal ball hasn’t fully cleared up but it’s pretty plain to see who most of the teams in the NFL are, but we all know that starters are a dime a dozen and finishers are one in a million. The Broncos have gotten off to a hot 7-1 start, looking like arguably the best team in the NFL, but there are areas they need to improve upon, and fast.
At the halfway point, we know the MVP of this team is Peyton Manning and what he brings to the table week in and week out. With Manning under center, you can never count the Broncos out of a game, no matter how dire the situation (see: San Diego, 2012 on MNF).
Personally, I feel like the Broncos are the best team in the NFL, and that’s taking off my orange lens glasses. I think the Broncos are beatable, but there’s really only one way to do it and so far we’ve seen the Broncos win a couple of games even though teams have done almost exactly what it takes to beat them.
The only team to get the best of the Broncos was the Colts, and you hate to make excuses or wonder “what if?” but the Broncos easily could have won that game as well.
So, at the midway point, let’s take a look at reasons why the Broncos won’t win the Super Bowl, and reasons why they will. The bad news first.
Why the Broncos Won’t Win the Super Bowl
The Broncos seem to only be able to get in their own way, but they do have a couple of weaknesses at this point, or at least points that could be cause for concern.
1. Pass Protection
The Broncos have to make it a priority to adjust to their injuries along the offensive line in the second half of the season. It remains to be seen whether or not their current offensive line alignment is what they are planning to roll with for the rest of the season, but that would be wise so long as they can make it work injury-wise.
Losing Ryan Clady hurts down the stretch, and in the last three games we’ve seen what a rash of injuries can do to your QB. Peyton Manning is banged up and is going to need all the time he can get in this bye week to rest up, heal up, and get back at it 100 percent when the Broncos take on the Chargers.
I don’t think the Broncos’ defense has been a major problem, nor do I foresee it being a problem as the season progresses. What IS a problem is when you compound the fact that the Broncos can score at will, and they don’t require five, six, or seven minutes to score the ball. The rate at which the Broncos score the football is incredible, and when you couple their quick strike ability with the fact that they can’t seem to stop turning the ball over in recent weeks, it becomes a problem.
The Broncos have to find a way to cut down on the turnovers, especially the fumbles. If Denver can be even more efficient with the football than they have been, then they’ll take a huge step toward earning a title this season.
Why the Broncos WILL win the Super Bowl
There are many reasons I could include in here.
1. Peyton Manning, MVP
Need I say more? Manning nearly eclipsed the 3,000 yard mark at the midway point of the season, and has 29 touchdown tosses through eight games. The numbers he is putting up are remarkable, and he will assuredly be the league’s MVP just one year after losing out on that award to Adrian Peterson.
2. The return of Von Miller
The Broncos’ defensive MVP may be Wesley Woodyard, but Von Miller is so important to this squad. If and when he returns to form, the Broncos’ defense can return to the form it showed in 2012 when they were top 10 unit in the league.
3. The Four Horsemen
Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker comprise the best quartet of pass catchers in the NFL, and give the Broncos an embarrassment of riches in the passing game.
4. A Fifth Horsemen
It’s hard to discount what Knowshon Moreno has done this season, leading the league in touchdowns at nine (total) and playing the way he has as a runner, receiver, and pass protector. He has quietly been an X-factor for the Broncos this season offensively, but the noise is picking up at a rapid rate. This guy is showing why he was a first rounder in 2009.
5. Scoring versatility
The Broncos can score in all three phases of the game. When you couple their ability to score offensively with the threat that Trindon Holliday provides as a returner and the way the defense can force turnovers when they are on top of their game, it’s hard to think that if the Broncos can get hot down the stretch this season that they could be stopped by anyone in the NFL.
In the End
I have high hopes for this Broncos team, as I’m sure many of you do. This is the best Broncos team I have ever seen, the most complete and if the defense continues to play like it did against the Redskins, there’s no telling how high the ceiling will reach.