Denver Broncos: Predicting Peyton Manning's 2012 Season
Unless you are living under a rock, you are probably aware the Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos a few months back. The move came after Manning, a longtime Indianapolis Colt, was released from the Colts after sitting out the 2011 season with a neck injury.
The “Manning Sweepstakes” captivated the NFL audience for sometime while they waited from him to make his decision. Manning chose the Broncos over the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and the Tennessee Titans.
Once he made his decision, the landscape of the NFL and the Denver Broncos were changed forever.
I don’t have a crystal ball and can’t predict the future, but I am going to try to predict how Manning’s season with the Broncos may unfold in 2012.
The quarterback is arguably the most important position of any NFL team. They are the leaders of the team and, more than any other player, can impact the outcome of a game either positively or negatively.
That being said, the Broncos are looking pretty good with Manning under center.
The Broncos have what appears to be a tough 2012 schedule ahead of them.
These appear to be their toughest games of the year but games against the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens could pose problems for the Broncos. If the Broncos can come away from those six games with at least a 4-2 mark, they should sail to the division title.
The AFC West has fair competition for the Broncos but with the current state of the Chargers, Chiefs, and Raiders the Broncos shouldn’t have too much of an issue coming out with 5-1 or a 4-2 mark in the division.
Peyton Manning is a proven winner in the NFL and that won’t change with the Broncos.
My prediction for the record for the Denver Broncos in 2012 is 12-4 and a division title.
I am not a member of the Denver Broncos' coaching staff so I am not sure of how they will operate offensively in 2012. I do predict though that the Denver Broncos’ offensive will center on Peyton Manning.
According to the Associated Press, the Broncos have already said that they will turn to a Manning’s signature no-huddle offense (via Yahoo! Sports). This will allow Manning to be comfortable with the system in place and require little time to learn it. Look for the Broncos to utilize the running game in certain situations to set up a potent Manning aerial attack.
The Broncos will revert to a pre-Tebow passing attack. There will be little to no options plays in the Denver playbook.
Manning will look to target Eric Decker, Brandon Stokley and Demaryius Thomas through the air. Look for the running backs to contribute to the passing game by taking the short dump off passes if Manning is under pressure.
My prediction is that Manning will complete 58 to 65 percent of his passes, have between 25 to 30 touchdowns passes and throw between 10 to 15 interceptions over the course of the regular season.
Manning’s Effect on the Team and the Fans in Denver
Having a legend like Peyton Manning on ballclub can only help everyone around him.
Manning will teach the younger members of the team what it is to be an NFL professional. He also will teach them what mindset it takes to the win in the NFL. Manning is inheriting a young but somewhat experience football team.
The Broncos made it to the playoffs last year with an inexperienced Tebow, so they shouldn’t have any problem doing it with Manning. Manning will also ignite the fanbase with the hopes of the Broncos returning to being a winner.
Tim Tebow ignited the fanbase with his style of play but it proved to be short-lived. Manning is approaching the end of his career so his time in Denver maybe short lived but should bring with it many wins.
Denver fans are desperately hoping for the Broncos to be relevant again and the addition of Peyton Manning may be the spark that they need to be just that.