Peyton Manning had a spectacular 2012-13 comeback season, but Joe Flacco eventually ousted Denver from the playoffs thanks to a once-in-a-lifetime throw and some blown coverage. Will the Broncos not live up to the expectations once again? Those expectations have gotten even bigger in the 2013 NFL odds.
The Broncos were a machine on offense a season ago. Peyton Manning ranked 2nd in the NFL in passing efficiency behind Aaron Rodgers, the Broncos were 4th in the NFL in total yards, and even though they got bounced prematurely from the playoffs, their first season with Manning was nothing to be shamed about.
They went 13-3 SU and a big reason for that was the offense. In fact, if they actually had a running game, they would have almost certainly gotten past the Ravens. The Broncos only averaged 3 yards per carry in that game, and it likely was one of the reasons the Ravens were able to pick off Manning twice. However, the Broncos have gotten a lot better this offseason on offense, if that is even possible, but they aren’t without concern.
The single question with the offense this season is their running game. They ranked 16th in the NFL last year in rushing yards, and it routinely failed them when they needed it the most. Willis McGahee is gone, and the rock will likely be split between the newly drafted Montee Ball, and the sporadic but effective Knowshon Moreno. They resigned Ryan Clady and are trying to extend him long term, and with their already good o-line, the running attack looks better already.
If the Broncos can at the very least have a respectable running game this season, the vicious air arsenal that Manning has at his disposal will easily do the rest of the job.
The offseason the Broncos have put on is awesome. They drafted Ball, signed Clady, and they added Wes Welker to a receiving core that was already diverse and deep. On paper, the Broncos have the best offense in the NFL going into this season, and it is going to be hell to try and stop them. They could potentially line up four or five guys with Pro Bowl talent at any time, and Manning will just pick apart defense by getting the ball to whichever guy will be wide open on that particular play.
The Broncos are by far at the top of the class. You really have to look for weaknesses on both sides of the ball, and even though we have seen “invincible offenses,” go down before; this one is going to be hard to best. The Broncos could be very overvalued in the NFL odds, but their SU winning potential is through the roof thanks to their potent offense. I can think of no better valedictorian for our NFL picks this offseason.
My Grade: A
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