Jun 10, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) speaks to the media following mini camp drills at the Broncos practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos don’t have history on their side. Not since the Miami Dolphins in 1972 has an NFL team lost the Super Bowl and won it the following season.
That’s not a trend you want to have staring you in the face, but as we saw the San Antonio Spurs do in the NBA this year, winning a title — even against the same opponent — is not impossible in pro sports even if you lost the previous year.
And the Broncos were killed in the Super Bowl against Seattle, but you don’t need me to tell you that.
But that beating serves as a reminder to players, coaches, fans, and everyone in between that it’s the little things that can’t be missed. The fine details that cannot be overlooked.
The Broncos are a team that is rarely equipped to make a run back to the Super Bowl the year after losing it, and not only are they as good as they were at the end of last season, I think they are even better now.
John Elway knows a thing or two about brutal losses, especially in the Super Bowl. Elway’s Broncos teams were part of some of the worst beatdowns in Super Bowl history before Peyton Manning’s experience in orange.
And Elway also remembers what it’s like to lose in heartbreaking fashion, only to come back the next season and win it all.
Manning himself has experienced heartbreak after heartbreak. He knows the agony of defeat on the NFL’s biggest stage in more ways than one. Manning knows what it is to lose the Super Bowl — multiple times — and he was also part of the biggest Super Bowl beating of the century.
Needless to say, the Broncos have been humbled. But like I said, they are a team that is rarely equipped to return to prominence.
Having so many guys who have played in the Super Bowl helps, and the Broncos have plenty of personnel who could collaborate on a very intriguing book that would be titled, “How Not to Win the Super Bowl”.
Amazingly, the Broncos’ roster in 2014 is better than it was in 2013. A lot of that is due to the return of players who missed significant time last year due to injury, but the Broncos also spent nearly $125 million on free agents Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware, and Emmanuel Sanders.
The defense was comprised of young players who would serve as solid depth on a normal roster on the NFL’s biggest stage, and now is oozing depth. The offense lacked explosiveness and now appears to be a revitalized unit.
The Broncos are ready to get back into the Super Bowl, and it’s because they have the special type of people in the organization who are wired to do it. Starting from the top with John Elway to John Fox, and down to quarterback Peyton Manning, this is a group of guys who have the mental fortitude and drive to continually get better.
At least on paper, that has certainly happened this offseason, and after losing to Seattle and Baltimore in absolutely heartbreaking fashion these last two years, it’s going to take everything they’ve got to get it done in 2014.
The Broncos are ready.