What’s the story?
Would we have guessed that the Broncos would advance to 13-3 in Peyton’s first season in Denver? Maybe. Would we have guessed that the Broncos would be ousted in the final moments of a playoff game they seemed to have had in the bag by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Ravens? Maybe not. The Broncos are hoping to repeat the former and avoid the latter in this year’s Lombardi chase.
Leader and commander:
Peyton Manning John Fox.
New kid on the block:
Wes Welker, former Patriot. One can only imagine that the Patriots are wishing they could pull a Cher and Turn Back Time; one would highly doubt they would have been so quick to deal Welker had they known the apocalypse was coming for their starting receiving corp. Welker, on the other hand, now has the coolest resume of any current receiver, having caught passes from two future Hall of Famers (Brady and Manning) who are in the discussion of best-ever. Not bad company to keep.
Last year was…
…unexpected. A 13-3 season with a red hot Peyton Manning seemed like a formula for a deep playoff run, but one Mile High Miracle was all it took to end the dream before it started.
Peyton will lead the Broncos to first place in the AFC West. That is the closest thing to a sure bet you’ll get in the NFL this year (you’ll soon find out why as we cover the Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers over the next few days) and is enough to earn the Broncos the #3 spot in the preseason power rankings. But can Peyton overcome his post-season demons (he’s 9-11 with 1 Super Bowl win) to lead the Broncos all the way to a championship? That’s the real question.