A slightly under thrown pass and a Hail Mary, the plays that defined the 2012 Broncos’ season. A season that featured a future hall of fame Quarterback who, with the help of a young, but talented receiving corps, surprised his skeptics and lead a once 8-8 Broncos squad to the AFC Divisional playoff game against the future super bowl champions.
You guessed right.
Peyton Manning and the new look Broncos are back, and after a productive offseason, are better than ever.
The lineup consists of 4-time MVP Peyton Manning (59,487 career passing yards, 436 touchdowns), Erik Decker (1,064 yards, 13 touchdowns), Demaryius Thomas (1,434 yards, 10 touchdowns), 2nd round steal out of Wisconsin in Montee Ball (averaged 1,876.5 yards, 27.5 touchdowns over Junior/Senior season), and one of the most productive and reliable receivers over the past 6 years; Wes Welker (career average of 1,072 yards, as well over 1,300 yards 3 out of last 4 seasons).
To say that this 2013 Broncos’ offense is the most loaded and explosive offense in the NFL would be the biggest understatement of this offseason. All of the ingredients are here for this Denver offense.
Peyton Manning; easily the top 5 best quarterback in the game right now(4,659 yards, 37 touchdowns, 68.6 completion percentage in 2012), Demaryius Thomas; despite some fumbling issues, is one of the games most dangerous deep threats (29 plays of 20+ in 2012, averaged 15.3 yards per catch), Erik Decker; the league’s most potent red zone target last season (13 Touchdowns), and Wes Welker; the most sure handed receiver in the game ( 5 seasons of 100+ receptions ,702 YAC in 2012).
If this Broncos’ lineup can avoid injury issues and remain healthy, this 2013 season could be record breaking up in Denver.
The key for the Broncos is a strong offensive line, in order to properly develop Montee Ball and their running game, as well as keeping Peyton Manning protected long enough for his receivers to make plays.
If the Broncos can establish the run early on this season, Manning can work his play action passing to perfection and perhaps give opposing defenses a run for their money (no pun intended). Unfortunately for Manning however, OT Dan Koppen went down in early preseason with a season-ending ACL tear.
The Broncos will have to mix and match offensive tackles and guards in order to repeat the offensive line of last season (21 sacks allowed, 2nd lowest in the NFL last season). By having OT and OG changing positions and playing at spots in which they are not accustomed or comfortable with may create some problems with the West Coast style zone blacking scheme that offensive coordinator Adam Gase has set up in Denver.
No matter the new coaching, as long as the Broncos can stay healthy throughout the season, Manning and Company will take care of the rest and with a little bit of luck and maybe a Hail Mary or two, make it to the Super Bowl.