As summer vastly approaches, and the craziness from the draft settles, the conversations of what teams are the favorites for division, conference, and Super Bowl titles are beginning to take fold.
There are many different opinions on just how exactly a team will perform, but none are looked at more than the Vegas odds. After signing Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos chances soared up to 10-1 favorites to win the 2013 Super Bowl, according to sportsbook.ag (h/t National Football Post).
It’s not a stretch to say the Broncos can compete for a Super Bowl in the 2012 season; in fact this team has a much better chance than a lot of people realize. It goes beyond the addition of Manning. Sure, having Manning in command of an offense helps, but overall the Broncos are a complete team.
If there is any doubt about how the Broncos stack up against the best teams in the NFL, just look at last season's Super Bowl teams, the Giants and Patriots. The Broncos finished with a better defense and running game than both the Giants and Patriots in the regular season. What was the X-factor? The Giants and Patriots both have two of the top five quarterbacks in the league.
We don’t know how good Peyton Manning will be, but going off of what he was before missing the entire 2011 season, there is no doubt he is one of the best quarterbacks ever. It would appear that the Broncos were just an elite quarterback away from making a Super Bowl run last season. If the 2010 Manning was with the Broncos last season, then the Broncos would have been a more complete team entering the playoffs than both the Giants and Patriots.
What the offense will look like under Manning has been one of the biggest questions and has sparked a lot of excitement to what the potential is.
Peyton Manning has never had the support of a rushing attack like he will have in Denver. The Broncos had the best running game in the NFL last season. While Tim Tebow deserves some credit for how dangerous it was, even without Tebow, the lowest yards per carry was Lance Ball’s 4.2. The addition of Ronnie Hillman will only bring more of an impact to the running game.
A strong mix of the best rushing attack and a quarterback that makes receivers better is a dangerous combination.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos finished 20th in the league. The amount of improvement the defense showed during the season was only built on during free agency.
The additions of Mike Adams, Tracy Porter and recently Drayton Florence solidify a very strong secondary. The addition of Derek Wolfe’s aggressiveness in the trenches adds another weapon for the defensive line. Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil and Derek Wolfe could potentially cause many problems for opposing offenses.
Let’s not forget that Jack Del Rio is also the man in charge on the defensive side of the ball. What he is able to accomplish with not even the best players is no secret.
Everything is speculation at this point, but the Broncos had a great off-season and have the pieces for a Super Bowl run. How the players pan out is a different story, but the Broncos have made the necessary moves to bring a championship back to Denver.