The 20 biggest what-ifs in Denver Broncos history

  • Blockbuster trade for Calvin Johnson?
  • Missing out on Kyle Shanahan
  • Steve Young the Denver Broncos QB?

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12. What if Von Miller & Chris Harris Jr. didn't miss Super Bowl 48?

From the very first snap of Super Bowl 48, the Denver Broncos were doomed. I guess you could ask the question -- What if the snap doesn't go over Peyton Manning's head?

That is a fair question, but the "what if" that I dwell on more than anything with that legendary 2013 team is, what if Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr., at the very least, had been able to play in this game?

The Denver Broncos' defense, at that point in the season, was so badly depleted. They put up such a tough fight with what they had against the Patriots in the AFC Championship game that year, but this was a defense that started:

- Paris Lenon
- Nate Irving
- Shaun Phillips
- Mike Adams
- Duke Ihenacho

The Broncos were obviously dealing with some bad injury issues that year and Miller had torn his ACL late in the season. It didn't feel like as crippling of an injury at the time because the Broncos set an NFL record for points scored in a season. You kind of felt like this was a team that could overcome any obstacle they were facing defensively, but they just didn't have anyone to stop the bleeding.

How different does that game look with a healthy Von Miller or Chris Harris Jr, who was also injured in the playoffs? What about having Derek Wolfe for that game? The Broncos didn't have a single QB hit or sack on Russell Wilson.