Peyton Manning and Broncos Offense Frighteningly Still Have Room to Grow

Jesse ReedCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2013

Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates a touchdown against the New York Giants during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Faytok/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning has the Denver Broncos offense rolling to open the 2013 season, but the scary part is that this unit hasn't even begun to reach its full potential.

Through two games, Manning has passed for 769 yards with an astonishing nine touchdown passes. And the best part is the fact that he's yet to throw an interception. 

In the team's 41-23 beatdown of the New York Giants, Manning became only the third man in NFL history to pass for 60,000 yards, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info:

In the team's first game against the Baltimore Ravens, Manning completed passes that gained at least 15 yards to seven different receivers, and he was just one shy of that mark in Week 2 against the New York Giants. 

This is an offense that is loaded with weapons and that can stretch defenses vertically, horizontally and everywhere in between. 

Yes, life is good for Manning and the Broncos.

Denver has won its first two games by a combined score of 90-50, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

It doesn't matter how good a team may be passing the ball—eventually, being dimensional on offense will come back to bite it against elite defenses.

Therefore, it wasn't a huge surprise when the Broncos drafted stud running back Montee Ball out of Wisconsin with a second-round pick this past April. Denver's offense was one of the NFL's least effective at running the ball in 2012, averaging just 3.8 yards per carry. 

Additionally, John Elway brought in offensive guard Louis Vasquez via free agency from the San Diego Chargers to supercharge the rushing attack. 

Through two games, however, the best one can say about Denver's running game is that it's been a mixed bag. The Broncos have run 52 running plays for 174 yards and two touchdowns—an average of just 3.35 yards per carry. 

Furthermore, Denver has coughed up three fumbles in two games, which is actually fortuitous considering the team has fumbled the ball five times. 

The offensive line is still a work in progress in regards to protecting Manning in the pocket, too. He was sacked three times against the Ravens and was hurried multiple times against the Giants in Week 2. 

And even though Manning appears to be perfectly in sync with his receivers, given the incredible stats he's put up, there's plenty of room for improvement on that front as well. 

Wes Welker wasn't on the same page as Manning against New York, catching just three passes on eight targeted attempts, and Eric Decker couldn't catch a cold in the first game against the Ravens. 

Manning is on pace to throw 72 touchdown passes this year (the all-time record is 50, set by Tom Brady in 2007) after logging nine in his first two games, but the best is yet to come. 

This team has by no means come close to playing a perfect game thus far in 2013. There's plenty of room for improvement for Manning and the Broncos. 

That's a scary thought for the rest of the AFC. 


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