Welcome to this week’s installment of the Mile High Mailbag. In this column, we answer your questions via social media on pressing matters that concern the Denver Broncos.
Today’s first question comes from Jose M, via Google+.
With all the big name players that are on the current roster and the new big name additions that were added, are we looking at another Eagles-type result or will it be another trip to the Superbowl?
Jose is referring to the whole “Dream Team” fiasco with the Eagles. I won’t dare apply that term to our beloved Broncos.
But I will endeavor to remove my Orange-colored glasses for this one. In all seriousness, since the 1972 Dolphins, no team has lost the Super Bowl and then won it the following year. That’s a long time.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Records are made to be broken. Just ask Tom Brady about Peyton Manning’s 55 TDs last year.
The truth is, the Broncos are better positioned than any other Super Bowl-losing team in NFL history, to not only repeat their trip to the big game, but win it all. And there are a few reasons why.
First, as long as Peyton Manning is the quarterback in Denver, the Broncos will always be vying for a Super Bowl berth. There’s no getting around that. With Manning comes monumental expectations, both at the team level and the fans.
Manning has justified these expectations with two consecutive seasons as the AFC’s #1 seed in the playoffs. Each year, they’ve fallen short, but this year could be very different.
Second, we all must remember that the Broncos made that phenomenal run down the stretch and into the playoffs without several key starters on defense, all of whom are expected back. Missing 6 starters in the Super Bowl is going to take it’s toll.
Von Miller, for example, is an elite, blue chip talent. When he’s on the field, he changes the game. Period. So, when he’s not in the game, naturally you’re going to notice a difference.
Chris Harris, Jr is a top 10 cornerback in this league. He missed the AFC title game and the Super Bowl. He’ll be back. Rahim Moore, the starting free safety, is back. Derek Wolfe is back.
The bottom line, is that just getting these injured starters back is going to impact the Broncos’ defense in a big way. Think 2012 big.
Losing Danny Trevathan today to a broken knee cap for 6-8 weeks, as the starting weakside LB, is a blow. But he’ll likely be back following the Broncos week 4 bye. And with Brandon Marshall and Lamin Barrow waiting in the wings, I’m not too worried about it. The Broncos dodged a bullet. It could have been season ending.
Lastly, although the Broncos let a lot of talent walk in free agency, they more than made up for it in the quality of their new acquisitions. DeMarcus Ware is still an elite pass rusher and difference maker. See last Thursday night’s game vs the Seahawks.
Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) sacks Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Aqib Talib and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are probably a wash when it comes to coverage skills, but Talib is the superior player in run support and brings a physical toughness and attitude that DRC lacked.
Last but not least, T.J. Ward came to Denver. Mark my words. Ward will be the biggest difference maker on this defense. He changes the complexion of the game. In the box, or in coverage, or behind the line of scrimmage, Ward makes plays.
This team will again field the NFL’s top offense. And their defense won’t be far behind. This is why I feel confident that the Broncos can not only make it back to the Super Bowl, but win it all.
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