Denver Broncos: Countdown to Sunday

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9– Games the Broncos play against teams who made the playoffs last year: 4 games against teams who won their division last year (Seattle, New England, Cincinnati and Indianapolis), 4 games against Division Rivals (Kansas City and San Diego) and 1 against a perennial Super Bowl contender (San Francisco). Yeah, the schedule gets a little tougher this year.

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8– Jersey number worn by Kicker Brandon McManus who has big shoes to fill, or at least a big right shoe to fill, for the first 4 games of the season. The Broncos face 4 teams who all won 10 or more games last year in the first 4 weeks of the season, and McManus will be asked to fill in for Matt Prater as he serves his suspension for drinking a beer… yep, a beer.

7 – Ok, you know what 7 is and will always be, Mr. John Elway has built the deepest most talented team the Broncos have had in a while. He has stockpiled tenacious, aggressive veteran leaders with explosive and talented youth. He brought in a revered and respected leader in DeMarcus Ware to captain the defense along with Aqib Talib and TJ Ward to pair with their record setting offense. Old number 7 looks like every bit the GM he was the QB… ok, maybe that’s a little over the top.