If only the Broncos could find a future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback available on the free agent market. Eh, maybe next year.
2011 RECORD – 8-8: Public pressure and/or Kyle Orton’s struggles prompted John Fox to make a change at quarterback after a 1-4 start for Denver. Mixed in with the overall ineptitude of the Oakland Raiders, Denver won the AFC West behind the inspiring, often mediocre, and often perplexing play of quarterback Tim Tebow. When he wasn’t Tebowing, the pride of Urban Meyer’s championship Florida Gator teams was a 46 percent passer last season. Luckily for Denver, Tebow’s inaccuracy was offset by possessing the number one rushing attack in the NFL. While he showed a propensity for late-game heroics, Tebow could not stop a slide at season’s end. Including the playoffs, Denver lost four of its last five games including being on the receiving end of two country whippings from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
LAS VEGAS ODDS TO WIN SUPER BOWL XLVII: 7/1
DON’T TAKE THIS GUY IN YOUR FANTASY DRAFT: Knowshon Moreno. He was the 12th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and now, he may not make the roster. Moreno, who is coming off of a torn ACL injury, faces strong competition in the Denver backfield. Ronnie Hillman and Willis McGahee should eat up the top two spots while Moreno will have a hard time holding off Lance Ball for the third running back spot. After a promising start to his career, it appears injuries and the numbers game may signal an end to Moreno’s time in Denver.
NOTABLE GAME: September 9 vs. Pittsburgh – Denver eliminated Pittsburgh from the playoffs last season but that will be a secondary storyline for their season opener. Broncos fans will get to see Peyton Manning tested by one of the better defenses in the NFL.
BRONCO YOU SHOULD FOLLOW ON TWITTER: DJ Williams. Known as Teflon Dyme on Twitter, the most notable thing about his timeline is the avatar:
Williams faces a six-game suspension for using a banned substance. He’ll have plenty of time to use Twitter and find another avatar.
WHY THEY CAN’T WIN THE SUPER BOWL: Change is good…sometimes. Peyton Manning’s arrival to Denver gives the offense balance. However, questions remain for them. Throwing to Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Jacob Tamme is different than Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, and Dallas Clark. Plus, can Manning take punishment? And most importantly, can he make the tough throws downfield and to the sideline? Defensively, the Broncos ranked 20th overall last year and still have some concerns. They’re going to be without Williams for six games and Elvis Dumervil was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and may face a suspension. Meanwhile, their defense forced a paltry 18 turnovers last year, finishing 28th in that department. That must change.
SONG THAT EMBODIES THE 2012 BRONCOS: WELCOME BACK KOTTER – JOHN SEBASTIAN
An NFL season without Eli’s big brother isn’t quite as fun. It’ll be great to see Peyton back in the mix again. You never want to see one of the all-time greats go out because of injury. This will give him an opportunity to potentially write a finish to his career on his own terms.
Plus, I’m sure he’ll get tired of hearing how great Eli has become and want to win a second Super Bowl ring of his own. Also, having a constant reminder of his greatest professional failure walking around in the locker room should motivate him too.