Now before everybody goes crazy over the headline of this article, the keyword is could, not should.
However, unlike those teams, the Broncos actually have a chance at making it to the playoffs. Is it a long shot? Yes. Have bigger miracles happened before in the past? Yes.
The Chiefs had a QB who was thought of as nothing more than mediocre, an offensive line featuring two past-their-prime players and a defense that was nothing special in years past.
The Chiefs ended up winning the AFC West after leading the race the entire season. The Chargers ended up missing the playoffs for the first time in five years.
The point is that anything can happen. Nobody is expecting anything from the Broncos this season, and although media pundits expect the Broncos to be better than the 4-12 team they were last year, Denver is still expected to finish last in the division in 2011, as it did in 2010.
I don't expect Denver to finish last in the division again. For a franchise that has been one of the winningest franchises in the NFL since Pat Bowlen took over the in the '80s, it's hard to envision the Broncos doing so poorly this year.
Kyle Orton is the Broncos' starting QB entering the season, and although there's a good chance he could lose the job in the middle of the season if the Broncos lose a few games, for now he's the starting QB and, in John Fox's mind, the best option at QB the Broncos have right now.
Here are five reasons why Orton could lead the Broncos to the playoffs in 2011.