Denver Broncos Look to Return To Playoffs

Bryce BedingerContributor IJuly 10, 2009

This year Denver has had one of the craziest off-seasons in Broncos' history. Our "future star quarterback" was traded, Shanahan was fired, and controversy seems to be the only topic of discussion in the Mile High City.

After Jay Cutler was traded, most people have automatically assumed the Broncos took a huge step down, and will not have even a remote chance at going to the playoffs this season.

While it's true that most of those people are Raiders' fans, a variety of all football fans are giving them a terrible ranking.

I won't lie, I missed Cutler in the first week or so that he was traded and was disappointed. But after seeing pictures of him getting completely wasted at bars (not to mention how much of a chub he's gotten) I couldn't be happier with the switch.

Cutler is on a major downhill slope, and after seeing and hearing how much he drinks (especially with his Diabetes), I understand why star Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers mouthed "The Bar is that Way" to Cutler during one of the games last season.

I've also heard a lot of people say the Broncos have made slight enhancements to their defense. To all of you who think so, where have you been?

Taking away the fact that a lot of our star players on the defense were injured for most of the games last season (Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumervil, D.J. Williams), the Broncos have made major upgrades to the defense.

Of course the Bronocos were in desperate need of a new safety, and got that in future hall-of-famer Brian Dawkins.

Another enhancement was drafting Alphonso Smith (and getting rid of Dre Bly). Smith dominated the back field in college, and he'll improve in the NFL.

Although there are other reasons that Denver's defense will be better, I'll end with Robert Ayers. Ayers should fit right in since the Broncos released Jamie Winborn.

I'm not saying the Broncos defense will be top five, maybe not even top 10. Nonetheless, it is better.

Though Kyle Orton wasn't a step up from Cutler, I believe he is definitely a better leader than Cutler. After all, the Broncos did have one of the best offenses in the league last year, what reason would there be that Orton would change much of that? And after the Bears' Super Bowl appearance in 2006, I know that it doesn't take a franchise quarterback to have a good team.

It won't be an easy task, but I believe the new and improved Broncos have a good shot at making the playoffs.