The Denver Broncos are 6-0, despite what you may be reading on Twitter about how terrible they are.
That 6-0 start has typically meant, in the history of this franchise, that more likely than not, they’ll be heading to the Super Bowl. In 1977, 1986, 1997, 1998, and 2013, the Broncos had the same record and wound up on the game’s biggest stage. The only time they did not make it to the Super Bowl was in Josh McDaniels’ first year as the team’s head coach in 2009, when they started off undefeated and wound up the most disappointing 8-8 team in franchise history.
So can the Broncos get back to the Super Bowl this year?
Well, it’s going to take some work.
Along with their undefeated start this season has come an unprecedented number of undefeated teams around the rest of the NFL. Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals also share a glittery 6-0 record at this point, while the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers are both 5-0 after having early season bye weeks.
With five undefeated teams around the NFL, there’s plenty of greatness to go around this season, so despite history pointing to the Broncos returning to the Super Bowl, they’ll have to get past another pair of teams currently playing top flight football in their own conference.
Which is why this year, home field advantage is especially critical for them. It doesn’t matter who is playing quarterback for this team — if you have the best defense in the NFL and home field advantage, anything can happen come playoff time.
The Broncos have become masters this season at creating turnovers. They are the best team in the NFL at getting to the quarterback and are absolutely flying around the field. If you think the defense hasn’t proven it can impose its will consider that no other team in the NFL had won a game this season without an offensive touchdown, while the Broncos capped off their 2nd of the year with a pick-six from Chris Harris Jr. in Oakland against the Raiders.
The other time they did it was on the heels of an interception for a touchdown by Aqib Talib in week one vs. Baltimore.
Despite the offense making some big plays against the Kansas City Chiefs, it was a forced fumble from Brandon Marshall on Jamaal Charles that popped up into the arms of Bradley Roby, who scored, that would seal a week 2 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The defense has stepped up in a huge way all season long, picking off a pass from Matt Stafford on what would have otherwise been a game-changing drive against the Lions, intercepting Josh McCown a pair of times in the Cleveland game, one resulting in a touchdown and the other resulting in the final 3 points to seal the victory.
There’s no question the defense has balled out this season, but have they simply been bailing the offense out? What’s going on with the Broncos that we’re seeing such anemic ball movement in 2015?
Peyton Manning’s decline is part of the reason, but the offensive line has been banged up considerably, and the running game has been non-existent save for Ronnie Hillman. The tight end position has provided no consistent production, but these guys have gotten it done when they needed to most.
When the offense needed to get points, Brandon McManus put them on the board, and by whatever formula it took to get there, the Broncos have achieved a 6-0 record for the 7th time in history.
7 is a good number, Broncos fans. Perhaps even prophetic.
The Broncos are going to need a lot of juice added offensively if they are going to make it to the Super Bowl, but armed with the best defense in football, this team is primed for a big second half run with all the pundits at this point doubting whether or not this team even deserves to be in the discussion as one of the best in the NFL right now.
The biggest test of the year so far will come on a Sunday Night stage against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Denver, where they will honor the great Pat Bowlen with a Ring of Fame induction. Former Broncos players will be in attendance to celebrate, and the house will be absolutely rocking.
That game has the potential to be a statement to the rest of the league moving forward this season that the Broncos are indeed for real, and ready to make it to their 7th Super Bowl.