Denver Broncos can make the Super Bowl this year, and this is how

Many things would have to go right, but the Denver Broncos can be playing football in February

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs
Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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The Denver Broncos can make the Super Bowl this year, and this is how
2. Field a top 8 scoring defense

Going back to the 2013 NFL season when the Seattle Seahawks won, defeating the Denver Broncos, there were only two other instances of teams who had a worse than an eighth-ranked scoring defense. That came during the last two years, when the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs had the 15th and 16th-ranked defenses, respectively.

So, in 80% of the last 10 Super Bowls, the winning team fielded a top-eight scoring defense or better. Those are pretty reliable numbers for what the Denver Broncos will need to do on the defensive side of the ball in 2023. The team ranked 14th in points allowed on defense last year, but they were one of the best scoring defenses in the NFL to begin the year before the massive losing streak.

The wheels seemed to fall off and as naive as it might sound, I bet the defense just was simply tired of always needing to play at their very best. Denver had a very good defense last year, certainly one of the seven best in the NFL. Now, with Ejiro Evero departing for the Carolina Panthers, they turned back to an old friend in Vance Joseph to run the defense.

He was most recently with the Arizona Cardinals from 2019-2022 after two failed seasons as the Denver Broncos head coach. Joseph is certainly not the best DC out there, but his work as a HC and DC since 2017 gives him more experience than a lot of defensive coordinators.

Denver also features one of the NFL's best secondaries, a very good ILB core, and what we hope is a competent defensive line. The defense does feature enough playmakers to field a top-eight unit. And honestly, with how good Denver's defenses have been this decade, fielding a top-eight unit is nothing that should come as any sort of challenge for them.

What we can gather with these first two points, going back to my first slide, is that at the very least, Denver will need to have both a top-10 offense and defense to win the Super Bowl, unless one of their units is truly elite. I don't think it's all that realistic to suggest that Denver can rank number one on either side of the ball, but their being within the top 10 does feel attainable to me.