Denver Broncos: Super Bowl Rematch With Seattle On Horizon?


After watching Peyton Manning flail ducks and wear that all-to-familiar dejected postseason scowl last season, many have already written off the Denver Broncos and Manning as serious title contenders.

Which is a blessing in disguise for this squad.

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Last preseason when the Broncos were coming off of a record-breaking scoring season of over 600 points Manning found himself cautioning his teammates against over-confidence as early as the preseason. A little bit of humility never hurt any young player.

While Manning was in no need of humbling given his background, having less public expectation on him than maybe he’s ever had in his career has to be an emotional burden lifted. When combined with the team’s strategy to lift on-field burdens, opponents would be wise to remain wary.

Aug 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws in the pocket against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The veteran quarterback has grown accustomed to shouldering the load of an entire team’s title hopes for the better part of 15 seasons while overcoming obstacles such as: no run game, a poor offensive line and an atrocious defense —  often times in the same season.

While it may appear subtle, the Broncos have addressed each of those things and will be fielding one of the most complete rosters Manning has been a part of in his entire career.

From the safety position to the pass rushers, and everything in between, John Elway has spent money and draft picks over the last two seasons to ensure that (if healthy) his roster features a top-ten defense.

On the offensive side of the ball, locking up Demaryius Thomas and the pick up of Emmanuel Sanders last season definitively gives Manning one of the best wide receiver tandems in all of football.

Meanwhile the running game should be formidable with C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman toting the ball behind a bolstered offensive line that sees Louis Vasquez move back to RG (where he was No. 1 ranked in the NFL in 2013) paired with the acquisition of Evan Mathis at LG.

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The AFC has been behind the NFC in terms of overall depth of talented teams for years. While this season the conference will feature more borderline playoff and improved teams, the cream-of-the-crop is still sparse indeed with Manning’s long-time rival New England Patriots squarely at the forefront along with his Broncos.

The Patriots face their own set of issues in a meaner AFC East with the Tom Brady suspension looming unresolved threatening to affect their playoff seeding.

In the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks looked to be perhaps a step behind the Green Bay Packers until wide receiver Jordy Nelson went down.

With the injury to Nelson, the Seahawks not losing much in the offseason and Russell Wilson one year more seasoned; why wouldn’t this squad head back to the Super Bowl? After all, it’s a familiar place for them having been there two years in a row.

A rematch with the Seahawks is enough to make any Broncos fan noxious, but don’t be surprised if it’s Manning behind this much more complete and run oriented team who has the last laugh before riding off into the sunset after 2015.

Will Reeve is a contributing writer to NFL Spin Zone, you can follow him on Twitter @WillReeveJr or connect with him on Facebook here.

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