The Denver Broncos Are Close to Super Bowl Contention

Zach Pugh@@zacherypughContributor IIIMay 18, 2012

DENVER, CO - APRIL 26:  Fans browse the merchandise at the debut of the new 2012 Nike NFL team jersey at the Denver Broncos Team Store at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on April 26, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The team store offered the jerseys, including quarterback Peyton Manning’s first Broncos jersey, in an exclusive 24-hour period on April 26 before they are available anywhere else.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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.

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MARCH 20:  Quarterback Peyton Manning poses with his uniform after the news conference announcing his contract with the Denver Broncos in the team meeting room at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre on March 20, 2012 in Englewood, C
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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.

Denver added two tight ends for Manning, Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme. Both can provide a role that was missed with the offense last season.

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.