Peyton Manning took the Denver Broncos from a barely there wild card team to the brink of the AFC title game. To put it more elaborately, Manning took the Broncos from the depth of a Tim Tebow season to a 13-3 mark and atop the league in regards to total offense.
While Manning broke down and was actually arguably the reason Denver failed to advance past the divisional round of the playoffs for the second year in a row, he’s ultimately the answer to their immediate Super Bowl problem. And with that, he and the Broncos enter the 2013 NFL season with Super Bowl odds of just 7/1, sitting only behind the San Francisco 49ers.
Manning enters his age 37 season in 2013 and is clearly nearing the end of the line, but even after missing all of 2011, put up elite numbers across the board and looked pretty much like his old self. Natural wear and tear will continue to beat him down and at his advanced age he could go down like a ton of bricks at anytime, but for all intents and purposes, the Broncos have no serious problems on offense.
In fact, they added slot machine Wes Welker to an already disgusting air attack, and beefed up their rushing game by drafting Wisconsin bruiser, Montee Ball.
With the offense ready to rock again, the only real question comes on defense, where the Broncos did lost elite pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil and arguably have question at safety if Rahim Moore sticks as a starter.
Overall, the defense is actually rock solid. The run defense has been much improved and should be even better in 2013, while the pass-rush is still anchored by one of the league’s best in Von Miller. If Denver can figure out their safety issue and still get another high-quality season out of aging corner Champ Bailey, their defense should be able to consistently match their offense’s production.
If that all falls into place and Manning can stay on the field, the Broncos absolutely have a real shot at realizing their 2013 Super Bowl odds and taking home the Lombardi Trophy.