NFL Profile No. 3: Denver Broncos

Jason BravermanContributor INovember 25, 2008

I just want to preface this by saying this is going to be my last one for a bit.

Okay, if you thought the Bears (the last team I did this for) were hard to figure out, like I did, you have no idea what you are about to get into by continuing reading this.

The Broncos usually have a solid offensive attack led by Cutler, but on certain occasions, take Week 12 as an example, they will also have a decent game on the ground.

Last week, Peyton Hillis rushed for 74 yards against the putrid rush defense that is the Raiders. Keep in mind, though, that the Broncos standards for a "good" game on the ground are probably much lower than most teams, as Michael Pittman got their sole 100+ rushing attack from a single player in week six against Jacksonville, by getting 109.

Enough banter, let's take a look at Denver's season up to date.

Week One they came out strong, in a game they were supposed to, as Jay Cutler threw for 300 yards, 146 of them to Eddie Royal, en route to a 41-14 slaughter of the Raiders. Then, with the help of Ed Hochuli, the Broncos solidified themselves by beating the Chargers 39-38, as Cutler threw for 350 yards, and Brandon Marshall caught 166.

The Broncos once again scored in the 30s, showing how dangerous their offense can be, as they beat the Saints 34-32. So your thinking, "What's inconsistent about that? Their defense isn't great, but their offense is. They're 3-0, they're for real."

Well, you'd be wrong.

Denver followed this up with a 33-19 embarrassment to the Chiefs, who were winless at the time, despite Cutler's 361 yards. They then surprised me by beating the Bucs 16-13, although their leading rusher, Michael Pittman, had just 39 yards. They were 4-1, and their loss to Chiefs just seemed like a major fluke. 

It wasn't, as the Broncos lost 24-17 to Jacksonville, followed up by a 41-7 beat down by the Pats, both games which Cutler threw under 200 yards.

The Broncos, then sitting at 4-3, a team who had just looked so strong at the beginning of the year, were slipping up. A 26-17 loss to the Dolphins made most think the Broncos hot start was a fluke. That theory was proved once again as the Broncos then barely beat the lowly Browns, 34-30.

Now 5-4, safely atop the AFC West, Denver took on the upstart Matt Ryan and the Falcons. In yet another test of their legitimacy, the Broncos won 24-20. Now, the Broncos were 6-4, two games over the Chargers, and people could begin to rest in solving the mystery that is the Denver Broncos.

In Week 12, the Chargers lost, albeit after the Broncos game, Denver had a golden opportunity to end San Diego's hopes once and for all. Hosting 2-8 Oakland Raiders, the Denver Broncos got crushed, 31-10.

The Broncos now lead the AFC West at 6-5 by two games, but they still have 8-3 Jets, 8-3 Panthers, and 4-7 Chargers, all on the road.  They also have a tough match-up at home, as they host 6-5 Buffalo Bills, and apparently the Chiefs, whom they lost earlier to.

While Denver still remain very hard to figure out, I can't see them missing out on the playoffs with the lead they've built.