At 4-1, the Denver Broncos are one overtime possession away from potentially being undefeated. Week 6 should have given Bronco Country some warm and fuzzies, as the running game finally looked good against a tough run defense in the New York Jets. Demaryius Thomas has remembered how to catch a football. The defense is starting to gel. It could be argued that the best secondary in the league plays in Denver. You should feel good going into Sunday against San Francisco.
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I feel good, but it seems as though the excitement could fizzle quickly. Peyton Manning et al are about to hit a stretch of games that could be a way to make a statement about which team is the best in the league, or it could be a stretch that brings up questions and fears about where the 2014 season is going to end up.
Let’s start with Sunday night. San Francisco is set up to give Denver fits. The 49ers defense is capable of pounding any team into submission. Frank Gore is a running back that can wear down opposing defenses. Colin Kaepernick is like a giant version of Russell Wilson (and I think we all know how well Denver has done against him). It’s a home game, which is a plus, but there are land mines all over Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
After that, San Diego on a Thursday night. Full disclosure, I believe the NFL needs to abandon the fiasco that is Thursday night football. I would rather have a spike driven between my big toe nail than watch the awful product that is being put on the field on Thursday nights. Not to mention, San Diego is playing scary good right now, and have always given Manning problems. They have a top ten defense, a top ten offense, and Phillip Rivers loves to play the Broncos. Anything could happen.
Then, as if to put a cherry on top of a this sundae, Tom Brady and the Patriots will be waiting for Denver out in Foxboro. After looking like a shell of their former selves, the Patriots rattled of a couple of convincing victories, against the Bengals, then the Bills. Most likely, Brady will not be dealing with an ankle injury anymore, either. That feels like a trap game.
New England will be ready for the Broncos. It will be a chance for them to make a statement, which means Denver better be up to the challenge, or it could be a miserable end to tough run of games.
Of course, everyone knows that Peyton Manning will be prepared. The game against the Jets showed exactly how well the Broncos can adjust to a team that is willing to sell out the run game to prevent the offense from getting the passing game going. The Broncos look like the team to beat in the AFC, and Denver should be excited. Just remember, excitement can turn to despair pretty quickly.