Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos mascot Miles signal a first down against the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 40-14. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
PO Staff Discussion
Here’s what our staff at Predominantly Orange had to say about who they’d prefer the Broncos play in the divisional round.
Matt Petrero: Let me start with the team I least wish to see, the Pittsburgh Steelers (even though I still want them to beat down the Ravens). That leaves Indy and Cincy. In a home game, neither team scares me. Our history against Cincy is a very favorable one. I feel that the Week 16 loss against the Bengals was a bit of an aberration. Cincy is a horrible playoff team and “The Red Rifle” is bound to be throwing picks.
As for Indy, the “Nimble Neck Beard”, Andrew Luck is good enough to make me a bit uneasy. However, that defense couldn’t stop the Broncos’ second string. So in either of those match-ups, I think only the Broncos can beat the Broncos. That said, I want another shot at righting the wrong from Week 16. Bring on the Bungles.
Ty Walden: I would have to agree with Matt on this. The Steelers worry me the most. I saw a few of their games and their offense is amazing. If Le’Veon Bell can’t go during the playoffs, I’ll feel a bit at ease, but not by much.
Cincinnati has been normally a one and done team. The fact that they play Indy on the road doesn’t help them. If we do play Cincy, I do think we would have a huge shot.
As for Indy, I would like that matchup too. While Luck is a solid quarterback, he turns the ball over too much. An opponent never wants to give Manning more points to put on the scoreboard. Plus if I remember correctly, the secondary of the Colts is not the best.
So, with all that said, I would like to see Indy come to town.
Dan Armelli: At the risk of sounding redundant, I have to agree that Pittsburgh is the team I’d least like to face. Especially if Le’Veon Bell is healthy; I fear he could tear the Denver D to shreds in more ways than just the run game. It makes sense that they ended up as the #3 seed.
I’d most like to face the Bengals. For one, I really want revenge since I was there in person for the Monday Night game and was miserable in the second half. Secondly, I’m a believer of it being tough to beat a team twice in a season, which makes the Broncos’ 6-0 record against divisional opponents this year quite the accomplishment. This means I think the Broncos would have a tougher time against the Colts. Andrew Luck’s already proven he’s a tough out in the playoffs with that comeback win over the Chiefs last year.
Lastly, I just don’t think Cincy’s O is that good. If Brandon Marshall is able to come back for the divisional round, we should have more success against their RBs and most of all covering Gresham. This way Dalton has to test the Broncos’ CBs and there’s no way that works out well for him, especially in the playoffs.
Gabe Harris: None of the teams worry me really. The Steelers lost to the Jets, Bucs, Saints and Browns this year (almost twice to the Browns). They have serious issues on defense and wouldn’t provide much stopping power for our offense. Meanwhile, we have the CB’s to severely limit Antonio Brown and our Rush D would likewise be able to limit Bell, if he even plays.
That being said, I think I’d like to face the Bengals for two reasons, one I’d like to get revenge for that loss, which I think was a total fluke, second I’d like the Ravens to face the Pats because I think they can give the Pats some trouble and could pull a sneaky upset.
Ty Walden: I agree with that Gabe on the Ravens/Pats. They could give them some trouble going back to recent playoff meetings.
Sayre Bedinger: Out of the Steelers, Colts, and Bengals, I would choose the Bengals, though none of the teams really get me in a tizzy. The short of it is that the Bengals have — by a hundred miles — the worst quarterback out of those three particular teams. I would rather face Andy Dalton than Andrew Luck or Ben Roethlisberger any day. The Bengals are also one of the worst teams in the NFL at sacking the quarterback.
Ian St Clair: As long as the Broncos play how they’re capable, it doesn’t matter who or where they play. That’s the mindset this team has and it should. If we’re going to play this game, I would rather do it over who can beat New England. Of the three teams, Baltimore has the best chance. Of course that would mean Broncos Country has to root for the Ravens because they have shown they can go into Foxborough and beat the Patriots. Of the three teams that could come to Denver, it doesn’t matter. I think the Broncos have a huge edge over all three teams in every facet.
Adam Malnati: I would have to agree with Ian. The Broncos shouldn’t have to worry about any team they face. They have the most talented team in the tourney. I have always been more inclined to just cross the bridge when you come to it.
And Ian is right about wanting the team with the best chance at beating the Patriots to win. If the road to AZ can go through Denver, that is the best scenario. Although, we can cross that bridge when we come to it.
Matt Petrero: I don’t ask for any opponent. I remember about being thrilled about getting Jax in 1997.
Gabe Harris: Yeah, thanks Mark Brunell.