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Preseason power rankings No. 3: Denver Broncos

John Elway, John Fox AP

Can Peyton Manning win another Super Bowl?

That is the question people ask when they talk about these Denver Broncos. John Elway, John Fox and the rest of the decision makers in Denver answer that question with an emphatic yes, and they’ve made it clear that they’re putting all their chips on the table and trying to win a championship now: Not only have the Broncos given Manning a good corps of receivers, but the Broncos also invested heavily in veteran free agents on defense this offseason, most notably DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward. The plan in Denver is try to win another title while Manning is still on top, and worry about the potential consequences of having a lot of expensive aging veterans on the roster later.

That’s a strategy that makes a lot of sense, but it’s also a strategy that has the potential to blow up in the Broncos’ faces, if Manning and some of the other veterans on the roster begin to show their age more quickly than the Broncos are expecting. Still, the Broncos enter this season looking like the best team in the AFC.

Strengths.

Obviously, it begins with Peyton Manning, the reigning MVP of the NFL, who’s coming off perhaps the greatest season any NFL player has ever had. As long as Manning is healthy, the Broncos will have a great passing offense.

But it goes beyond Manning. If left tackle Ryan Clady is back to form and healthy for 16 games, the offensive line should be better than it was last year, when Clady was lost for the season in Week Two. And the receiving corps, featuring Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker along with new arrivals Emmanuel Sanders and second-round draft pick Cody Latimer, could be better too. And don’t forget that tight end Julius Thomas, who burst onto the scene last year, is still relatively inexperienced and may keep getting better this year.

The Broncos’ run defense was solid last year (stopping Seattle’s running backs was about the only thing the Broncos did well in the Super Bowl), and it could be better this year as well. The Broncos liked the way 2013 first-round draft pick Sylvester Williams played late last year at defensive tackle, and this year there’s every reason to expect a strong second season.

Weaknesses.

Last year the Broncos’ most significant weakness was their pass defense, which is why the pass defense was the top priority in free agency. Can DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward turn that pass defense into a strength? If so, the 2014 Broncos may be even better than the 2013 Broncos. If not, they’re going to need the offense to win a lot of shootouts. The wild card is the return of Von Miller, who was suspended for the first six games of last season and then missed the playoffs with a torn ACL. If Miller is healthy for 16 games and as good a pass rusher as he was in 2012, then maybe we’ll need to list the Broncos’ pass defense under “strengths.”

Middle linebacker Nate Irving could turn out to be a weakness in the Broncos’ defense if he can’t prove he’s ready to handle the starting job on a full-time basis. Wesley Woodyard departed in free agency, and Denver needs Irving to be ready to handle the responsibilities that Woodyard handled last year.

Special teams may turn out to be a weakness for the Broncos as well. Last year they struggled covering kicks (although that was partially masked by the fact that it’s easy to boot the ball into the end zone for a touchback in Denver), and the Broncos still have no idea who will return punts and kickoffs for them.

Changes.

Champ Bailey has meant a lot to this franchise for the last 10 seasons, and it will look a little strange to watch the Broncos’ defense and not see Bailey. But adding both veteran Aqib Talib and rookie Bradley Roby should change the cornerback position for the better.

Eric Decker is also a significant loss at wide receiver, but that may again be a position where the net result of the changes is an improvement. Emmanuel Sanders is an accomplished veteran, and Cody Latimer is a talented rookie. Denver’s front office did a good job of compensating for the departure of Decker.

Position battles.

The No. 1 cornerback is Aqib Talib, but after that there’s plenty of competition at the cornerback position. First-round draft pick Bradley Roby has a good shot at being the No. 2 cornerback, but if Chris Harris is completely healthy (he said in June that he’s 85 percent recovered from a torn ACL), then Harris may beat out Roby to start opposite Talib. Kayvon Webster, a 2013 third-round pick, is also in the mix and will compete to be the Broncos’ nickel corner.

Another interesting competition will take place at right tackle, where Chris Clark currently looks like the favorite. Clark stepped in for injured left tackle Ryan Clady last year and performed well enough that it would seem likely that Clark will remain a starter now that Clady is back on the left side. However, veteran Winston Justice will get a shot at beating out Clark in training camp, and so will rookie third-round pick Michael Schofield.

The backup running back position behind starter Montee Ball appears to be Ronnie Hillman’s to lose, but it wouldn’t be a shock if Hillman does, in fact, lose that battle. C.J. Anderson looked good in limited work last year, and the Broncos really like a couple of undrafted rookies, Juwan Thompson and Brennan Clay. Ultimately, the second-string running back in Denver will probably the running back who proves himself the best pass protector in training camp and the preseason, as protecting Peyton Manning is the most important priority in Denver’s offense.

The most interesting camp competition of all may be for the return job, where the departure of Trindon Holliday in free agency leaves things wide open. On punt returns, Wes Welker is the most experienced man for the job, but given Welker’s age and concerns about whether he’ll stay healthy for 16 games, it seems unlikely that Welker will be the regular punt returner this season. Instead, the Broncos will likely give a number of young and athletic players a shot at earning a roster spot by returning punts. Isaiah Burse, an undrafted free agent receiver, was a good return man at Fresno State and may be the best bet to end up winning the punt return job. Burse can also return kickoffs, and he’ll likely compete with veterans Andre Caldwell and Omar Bolden for that job.

Prospects.

The bottom line for the Broncos? First of all, they still look like the best team in the AFC. And secondly, no one in Denver will be satisfied with just being the best team in the AFC.

It’s a “Super Bowl or bust” year for the Broncos, and that means winning the Super Bowl, not just getting there. If the offense is as good as last year and the defense is better, the Broncos have a real chance of hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy. But with the Super Bowl debacle fresh in our minds, it’s hard to argue that the Broncos are the best team in the NFL.

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82 Responses to “Preseason power rankings No. 3: Denver Broncos”
  1. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Jul 21, 2014 3:02 PM

    3:00 PM ET, January 19, 2014
    Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO

    BRONCOS 26 patriots 16

    Another year without cameras, another embarrassing big game loss.

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 21, 2014 3:08 PM

    They win the AFC again and lose to either the Niners or Hawks in the SB…

  3. gammynomnom says: Jul 21, 2014 3:09 PM

    Post-season Power rankings: Denver #20

  4. Heretopissuoff says: Jul 21, 2014 3:10 PM

    #43-8 manning is a choker and will never be better than brady.
    Khalil Mack>Clowney and Barr

  5. thepftpoet says: Jul 21, 2014 3:11 PM

    Top 5 teams in the NFL :

    1. Minnesota Vikings
    2. San Francisco 49ers
    3. Denver Broncos
    4. New Orleans Saints
    5. New England Patriots

  6. pmgfootball says: Jul 21, 2014 3:12 PM

    49ers are overrated in these power rankings..i’d have them at 4

  7. kremis says: Jul 21, 2014 3:13 PM

    Tom Brady is way better than Peyton Manning

  8. riverhorsey says: Jul 21, 2014 3:14 PM

    Broncos v Niners in SB. You heard it here first.

  9. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 21, 2014 3:15 PM

    They had the hottest offense in the league last season but ran into that Seahawk defense. Interesting to see how they bounce back as a team after such a loss.

  10. pjflynn84 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:17 PM

    Broncos strength: The yellow hankie.

    It truly is AMAZING that for the second time in Payton Manning’s career the NFL has changed the rules on contact with receivers after he was embarrassed the year before in the playoffs. Such a freakin’ joke.

  11. aswaim3 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:17 PM

    I think this is the most overrated roster in the NFL.

    Similar to the 2-14 Indianapolis Colts the year Manning had neck surgery, this team stuggles to be competitive without him.

    Von Miller can be a beast, but like he, Talib, and an aging DeMarcus Ware, injuries have plagued him. The defense is in deep trouble without even 1 of them.

    There’s no depth at running back behind an unproven Ball, virtually no #3 option after Welker and Thomas. Julius Thomas could be a Peyton product.

    Honestly, take Peyton off the roster and insert Brock Osweiler, who last time he started, he got tossed around by Boise State in the Who Cares Bowl. Do they win 2 games? 1?

    Their season hinges on the bum ankles of a 40 year old, similar to the Minnesota Vikings in Brett Favre’s final year. And we all remember how that turned out.

  12. phinfan says: Jul 21, 2014 3:19 PM

    ‘If you’re not first, you’re last!!!”

  13. cccpsimian says: Jul 21, 2014 3:19 PM

    gammynomnom says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:09 PM
    Post-season Power rankings: Denver #20
    —————————–

    So says the sad little Patriots, Raiders, Chiefs, or Chargers fan. Prove it on the field, sport.

  14. brendanragan says: Jul 21, 2014 3:20 PM

    What is all this nonsense about expensive aging veterans on the Broncos? They signed some big free agents (Ward and Talib on EXTREMELY cap friendly deals) and all of the sudden everyone thinks they are mortgaging the future.

    In reality, this is a fairly young team. Manning is 38 and expensive, but clearly worth every penny. Welker is old and a bargain, but is also a free agent after this year and poses no long term cap issue. Ware is the only one on the entire team that even MIGHT be quantified as old and expensive. But more than likely he’ll be worth every penny too.

    Denver’s other star players: Clady, Vasquez, Miller, Harris Jr, Trevathan, Wolfe, Knighton, D. Thomas, J. Thomas, Ball… They are all under 28 years old, bro. And not one of them is overpaid!

    Same old recycled spin.

  15. lunarpie says: Jul 21, 2014 3:21 PM

    Super Bowl was pathetic and this year will be the same. Peyton needs to retire!

  16. huskywolverine says: Jul 21, 2014 3:22 PM

    Everyone knows that the real Super Bowl was the NFC championship game between the 49ers and Seahawks.

  17. coldwater32301 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:25 PM

    They’ve gotten better… the addition of DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib will be very impactful…Im looking for double digit sacks from both Miller and Ware possible AFC Defensive Player of the year from one of them…Indeed…

  18. northeastkiller says: Jul 21, 2014 3:27 PM

    Got a funny feeling that as 09 Favre was to 10 Favre, 13 Peyton will be to 14 Peyton. Skills off a cliff, playing his age, etc.

    However, playing in the AFC, he still certainly could get back to an SB though…and then throw some more interceptions and have the media wipe his nose and blame everyone but him when they lose to the NFC champs. Just hope it’s my Saints once again, hehe.

  19. lowdownmofo says: Jul 21, 2014 3:28 PM

    Strengths.
    Manning’s fivehead

    Weakness.
    Manning’s mechaneck

  20. cccpsimian says: Jul 21, 2014 3:33 PM

    kremis says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:13 PM
    Tom Brady is way better than Peyton Manning
    __________________
    26-16 Broncos OVER Patriots in last season’s AFC Title Game
    Peyton is 2-1 over Brady in AFC Championships

    But don’t let the facts get in the way, Pats fans.

  21. dexterismyhero says: Jul 21, 2014 3:35 PM

    @pjflynn84 says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:17 PM

    Broncos strength: The yellow hankie.

    It truly is AMAZING that for the second time in Payton Manning’s career the NFL has changed the rules on contact with receivers after he was embarrassed the year before in the playoffs. Such a freakin’ joke.
    =================================
    The only joke is you. Learn how to spell a name that has been in the league forumpteen years and shut your Mickey Mouse light off and go to bed.

  22. brendanragan says: Jul 21, 2014 3:36 PM

    “Chris Harris may beat out Roby to start opposite Talib.”

    HAHAHA you kill me. Harris MAY beat out a rookie? Oh dear lord, you obviously have never watched or researched Chris Harris ever. He was the #6 corner in all of football last year, according to Bleacher Report. PFF has him as the 5th best corner in the league.

    Fingers crossed he can beat out a rookie.

  23. 4thquartermagic says: Jul 21, 2014 3:49 PM

    #3 is a fair ranking.

    Name me one team who could have last 3 of their top 4 players (Clady, Miller, Harris) and competed for the Super Bowl?

    Didn’t have these guys for MOST of the season + playoff run and were blowing out teams.

    Adding them back can only make them better then they were last year.

  24. southpaw2k says: Jul 21, 2014 3:52 PM

    Broncos’ best chance at winning a title with Manning was last year. I’m not saying they won’t make the playoffs again (or not win the division again, for that matter), but their window is rapidly closing.

  25. Norseman says: Jul 21, 2014 3:52 PM

    Denver plays the NFC West this year. They played the NFC East last year- Big difference.

    They also have the Patriots on the road.

    Bottom line, the Broncos will not have the best record in the AFC at the end of the year, probably not the 2nd best record either. That means playing on the road- and not making it to the Super Bowl.

    Heard it here first.

  26. fiverings37 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:53 PM

    Forget about winning the title this season. There is a reason why it’s been 40 plus years since a team won the Super Bowl after losing the previous year.

  27. allhailkingflacco says: Jul 21, 2014 3:54 PM

    Ranked #1 for “Team Most Likely To Choke”, let’s not forget that.

  28. kremis says: Jul 21, 2014 3:55 PM

    kremis says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:13 PM
    Tom Brady is way better than Peyton Manning
    __________________
    26-16 Broncos OVER Patriots in last season’s AFC Title Game
    Peyton is 2-1 over Brady in AFC Championships

    But don’t let the facts get in the way, Pats fans

    _______________________________

    Ha, I am not a Patriots fan at all, but Brady has three superbowls and the ones he lost wasn’t because he fumbled/choked the game away.
    Any educated NFL Fans when asked to name a QB come that comes to mind with the following sentence “Who is the biggest choker in big games?” will name Peyton Manning most everytime and will never mention Tom Brady

  29. JaminJake says: Jul 21, 2014 3:57 PM

    huskywolverine says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:22 PM
    Everyone knows that the real Super Bowl was the NFC championship game between the 49ers and Seahawks.
    ________________________________

    Broncos fan here and I completely disagree. The 49ers and Hawks have completely different defenses.

    The 49ers use a stellar front 7 to mask a somewhat suspect secondary. Peyton loves to get the ball of quickly, so this won’t be anywhere near as damaging as the Legion of Boom.

    The Hawks on the other hand have a Stellar back 4 that work with a great front 7. I just don’t see the 49ers or any other teams able to do what the Seahawks did because no one has that level of talent in their secondary. Give me the 49ers defense any day.

  30. adolfoliverbush says: Jul 21, 2014 3:57 PM

    I like the chances of any team that has Peyton Manning on it. The guy is a professional and works harder than most at his craft. The Broncos have added some pieces to their Defense as well. The have a very nice football team, no doubt.

  31. nobby821 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:59 PM

    Cue the Hawks and 9ers fans going battle of black water on this comment feed in …3…2…1….

  32. gashmr says: Jul 21, 2014 4:00 PM

    Broncos were rated no #2 last year. They should be in the top 5 (if Manning stays healthy). Difference between 1-5 is a couple of blown plays/calls or injuries at the wrong time.

    Last year’s PFT preseason ranking had Seahawks at #4. It was a toss up at the end between them and 49ers for the SB, literally a toss up.

    So last year’s # 4 beat last year’s #1 and #2 to win it all. Any of the top 6-8 teams can get hot and win it all.

  33. 4thquartermagic says: Jul 21, 2014 4:03 PM

    kremis says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:13 PM

    Ha, I am not a Patriots fan at all, but Brady has three superbowls and the ones he lost wasn’t because he fumbled/choked the game away.
    ________________________________

    You’re completely right.

    He lost the ones where he didn’t have access to the other teams walkthrough beforehand.

  34. starfan79 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:09 PM

    Denver is winning the superbowl this year.. and possibly next year. Im a dallas fan and have come to the decision to find an AFC bandwagon to jump on… This seems to be the most popular one.

  35. jredshoes says: Jul 21, 2014 4:09 PM

    Broncos are an ultimate feast or famine team. They will either keep rolling or fall off the face of the earth (ala the Philly dream team). Seems if I had to bet on a nearly 40 Manning and a bunch of high priced has beens (Ware, Talib) I’d take the under.

  36. joker65 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:11 PM

    cccpsimian says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:33 PM
    kremis says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:13 PM
    Tom Brady is way better than Peyton Manning
    __________________
    26-16 Broncos OVER Patriots in last season’s AFC Title Game
    Peyton is 2-1 over Brady in AFC Championships

    But don’t let the facts get in the way, Pats fans.

    ________________________________
    Oh, you must mean these facts:
    Brady is 10-5 vs Manning in his career
    Brady has two SB MVPs vs 1 for Manning
    Brady has 3 SB wins, in 5 games vs Mannings 1 in 3 games.

    Yeah, wouldn’t want the facts to get in the way.

  37. beattention says: Jul 21, 2014 4:14 PM

    I can understand the jealously among other teams that can’t beat the Pats but c’mon can we finally stop the cheating thing. The Pats win because have better coaching and Brady.

  38. largent80100 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:16 PM

    Thanks PFT for doing it right.

    Denver is surely in win-now mode considering their free agency, TJ Ward and Talib are studs but the last one is injury prone and comes with a huge contract.

    Sanders is a good replacement to Decker and Ware might still be something left, but they are not above SF and Seattle.

  39. flash1287 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:17 PM

    cccpsimian says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:33 PM
    kremis says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:13 PM
    Tom Brady is way better than Peyton Manning
    __________________
    26-16 Broncos OVER Patriots in last season’s AFC Title Game
    Peyton is 2-1 over Brady in AFC Championships

    But don’t let the facts get in the way, Pats fans.


    Brady 10-4 vs manning all time regular season and playoffs. Don’t let the facts get in your way.

  40. bronco1st says: Jul 21, 2014 4:17 PM

    Denver will be stronger this year. They play a harder schedule and they may not be the AFC #1 seed again, but then again, they just may just do it.

    The playoffs – as we know anybody who makes it can possibly win. I will say this, it WILL be harder for ANY team to beat Denver this year and of course, how the ball bounces and injuries will play an important part in that. All said, I’ll take #3, that means 29 other tams can either shut their mouths or prove different.

  41. pjflynn84 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:18 PM

    dexterismyhero says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:35 PM
    @pjflynn84 says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:17 PM

    Broncos strength: The yellow hankie.

    It truly is AMAZING that for the second time in Payton Manning’s career the NFL has changed the rules on contact with receivers after he was embarrassed the year before in the playoffs. Such a freakin’ joke.
    =================================
    The only joke is you. Learn how to spell a name that has been in the league forumpteen years and shut your Mickey Mouse light off and go to bed.

    =================================

    I am sorry. My office was really loud today and no one told me my office was going to be really loud today and jeez I must had a lapse. I should have prepared better for the noise.

  42. squackduckhawk says: Jul 21, 2014 4:26 PM

    I am a Hawks fan and I have no intention of going battle of the blackwater on anyone. I agree with Jaminjake’s comment above. I am excited about the possibility of a rematch, although it is unlikely that both teams will make it back this year. Good luck this year Donkeys.

  43. voiceofreasonsays says: Jul 21, 2014 4:27 PM

    My bold Power Ranking predictions by the Week 17:

    32. Vikings (pftpoet will be crying his eyes out)
    31. Jaguars
    30. Cowboys (league’s worst defense)
    29. Titans
    28. Jets
    27. Bengals
    26. Texans
    25. Browns
    24. Giants
    23. Packers
    22. Raiders
    21. Rams
    20. Panthers
    19. Redskins (oh no I said the name)
    18. Bills
    17. Ravens
    16. Lions
    15. Buccaneers
    14. Falcons
    13. Chiefs
    12. Chargers
    11. Dolphins
    10. Steelers
    9. Cardinals
    8. Eagles (and this is coming from a Redskins fan)
    7. Colts
    6. Bears (most underrated team of 2014)
    5. Broncos
    4. Saints
    3. 49ers
    2. Seahawks
    1. Patriots

  44. henke1966 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:30 PM

    Manning born 1976, Brady born 1977, Brees born 1979. All still clearly among the best QB’s in the NFL. What else that’s clear is that they are about the same age and that none
    of them are showing any deterioating skills. Look for all 3 to continue their great careers for at least 3 more years and possibly longer.

  45. thefiesty1 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:32 PM

    So that makes San Fran and Seattle 1 and 2 or 2 and 1. Close but Denver should at least be one or two.

  46. Marshawn Lunch says: Jul 21, 2014 4:33 PM

    Go Hawks! #1

  47. gashmr says: Jul 21, 2014 4:37 PM

    If you are in the Top 8 teams and you make the playoffs with the majority of your key players healthy you can get hot and go on a run. Look at the Giants or the Steelers a few years ago.

    #1-5 ranking in preseason is all a guess really. Seahawks could have just as easily been watching the SB fom home as the 49ers, and I am a Hawks fan.

    Who thought the Texans were going to be the WORST team in football last year?
    Who thought the Ravens were going to fall off the face of the Earth?
    Who thought Washington was going to lose its head coach, and its nickname?
    Who thought the Chiefs would have such a great run?
    Who knew Nick Foles at the beginning of the season?
    Who thought Atlanta was going to be 4-12?
    Where did the Cardinals come from? At 10-6 and they could not get to the playoffs only because of the Division they were in.
    The Packers barely squeeze in at the end?
    The Vikings go 5-10-1. WAIT EVERYBODY KNEW THAT.

    This year some team that went 4-12 or something like that last year, (sorry Vikes it ain’t you guys), is going to come on like gangbusters and surprise everybody. Some other team that everybody thought was a lock for a playoff spot is going to sink like a lead weight.

  48. scw1993 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:41 PM

    It’s ironic…donkeys wouldn’t be a half-bad team if they could get a decent qb who doesn’t choke.

  49. cccpsimian says: Jul 21, 2014 4:48 PM

    That’s cute how Pats fans roll out the Brady vs. Manning record but IGNORE the numbers in their biggest match ups, the AFC Title Game… let me remind you again:

    2-1 advantage Manning

  50. bifftannen55 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:48 PM

    1989 Broncos: 11-5; lost to 49ers, 55-10, in Super Bowl XXIV

    1990 Broncos: 5-11; missed playoffs

    The curse of the losing Super Bowl team will strike again.

  51. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 21, 2014 4:50 PM

    I’d go with 4, after SF, NO and Seattle but this is reasonable…. this team has a lot to prove to show it is more than an AFC team….

    and, their greatest strength in the reg season, may be their greatest weakness in the playoffs

  52. thewisemanowns says: Jul 21, 2014 4:58 PM

    “That’s cute how Pats fans roll out the Brady vs. Manning record but IGNORE the numbers in their biggest match ups, the AFC Title Game… let me remind you again:

    2-1 advantage Manning”

    I’m sorry, which one counts counts? AFC Title Game, or Super Bowl?

    Brady: 3 Rings > Manning: 1 Ring (due to the Colts defense)

  53. edithpiaf51 says: Jul 21, 2014 5:02 PM

    I am a long-term Broncos fan but I must admit that Peyton is achoke artist. He may be great in the regular season but chokes in the playoffs. That being said, I do not believe the Broncos will win a superbowl with Peyton at the helm. Edith

  54. deacon85 says: Jul 21, 2014 5:18 PM

    As a Patriots fan, I warn you not to get comfortable until you see Aqib Talib get through an entire AFC Championship game. He was great for us up to that point in both seasons, but his track record of injury in the AFCCG is fact that you can’t avoid. You can’t do anything about it, of course, but I’m glad I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

  55. taintedsaints2009 says: Jul 21, 2014 5:44 PM

    the AFC and NFC championship games will be exactly the same this year but the locations could change.

  56. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 21, 2014 5:44 PM

    Broncos have a much tougher schedule this year playing the NFC West teams. 10-6. They will still win the division but winning the AFC is no lock especially if they have to go on the road in the playoffs which they will because 10-6 won’t be good enough for home field

  57. taintedsaints2009 says: Jul 21, 2014 5:47 PM

    that broncos schedule is brutal. they could easily lost to all the NFC west opponents because all those teams can play defense.

  58. cccpsimian says: Jul 21, 2014 5:50 PM

    How many rings has Brady won without tape of his opponents practices?

    Zero.

  59. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 21, 2014 6:02 PM

    riverhorsey says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:14 PM

    Broncos v Niners in SB. You heard it here first.
    ______________________

    That would have been a great SB…. in 1989.

  60. jayovalentine says: Jul 21, 2014 6:43 PM

    The rest of these rankings are a joke. The REAL SB was between the 49ers & Seahawks. Hail to the REDSKINS ! Native America’s team.

  61. flash1287 says: Jul 21, 2014 6:45 PM

    cccpsimian says:
    Jul 21, 2014 5:50 PM
    How many rings has Brady won without tape of his opponents practices?

    Zero.

    —-
    The correct answer would be 3 since they never taped a teams practice.

  62. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 21, 2014 7:34 PM

    Broncos 6 Losses will be at Seattle, @ NY jets, v 49ers, @ New England, @ KC, @ Cincy

  63. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 21, 2014 8:00 PM

    My Pre – season Power Rankings not taking into account division winners just best to worst

    1. Seahawks
    2. 49ers
    3. Packers
    4. Patriots
    5. Broncos
    6. Cardinals
    7. Steelers
    8. Bengals
    9. Ravens
    10. Colts
    11. Saints
    12. Panthers
    13. Eagles
    14. Bears
    15. Falcons
    16. Lions
    17. Redskins
    18. NY Giants
    19. Chiefs
    20. Chargers
    21. NY Jets
    22. Jaguars
    23. Bills
    24. Buccaneers
    25. Dolphins
    26. Rams
    27. Cowboys
    28. Titans
    29. Raiders
    30. Browns
    31. Texans
    32. Vikings

  64. udontknowjaq says: Jul 21, 2014 8:22 PM

    The Bronco’s should be #2, SF seems like they will take a step back this year a lot of behind the scene distractions this offseason.. The Bronco’s will have a tougher schedule this year by playing the NFCW. But also The NFCW teams that’s #1 & #2 will have a tougher schedule playing the AFCW, last season they played the AFCS.. Getting wins against that div does not come hard these days.. See Arizona last season..

  65. tim3711 says: Jul 21, 2014 8:26 PM

    cccpsimian says:Jul 21, 2014 3:19 PM

    gammynomnom says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:09 PM
    Post-season Power rankings: Denver #20
    —————————–

    So says the sad little Patriots, Raiders, Chiefs, or Chargers fan. Prove it on the field, sport.
    _________________________

    As a Patriots fan, I havn’t been sad in over 13 years!

  66. u4iadman says: Jul 21, 2014 9:05 PM

    brownsmakemecrazy

    You ranked Ravens in the top 10?!!!

    Oh man, it’s going all wrong for ya!

    Not a fan of SF or SEA, but one of them makes it in this year again.

  67. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 21, 2014 9:09 PM

    Ravens are probably Broncos toughest AFC competition but can’t see any AFC team being much of a SB threat, though one will get there.

  68. lesterclan says: Jul 21, 2014 9:36 PM

    How can they be rank this high, they don’t have TEBOW!

  69. sportsfan18 says: Jul 21, 2014 10:00 PM

    Peyton is what a franchise QB is supposed to be.

    He leads. He’s there early. He works with players in the off season.

    He doesn’t coast or expect things because of who he is.

    He’s great in the communities he’s been in. His foundation does a lot of wonderful things. He’s done things in New Orleans, Knoxville, Indy and now Denver .

    He never embarrasses the team or the league.

    He cares.

    None of us expect to hear about him in the news for any bad reason whatsoever.

  70. pencilfart says: Jul 21, 2014 10:51 PM

    KURT WARNER IS THE ONLY QB TO TAKE TWO TEAMS TO THE SB.

  71. tigerlilac says: Jul 21, 2014 11:07 PM

    How does a thread about the Broncos turn into a Patriots love-hate fest?

    Injuries will likely play a part in the AFC this year. The Gronkowski injury was devastating to the Patriots last year, just like it was in 2012. If Gronk was healthy the Patriots win Super Bowl XLVI but even with Gronk I don’t see them beating the Seahawks last year.

    Absent Brady or Manning going down, I think the Patriots are more likely to withstand major injuries, all things being equal. They have a deeper roster. That said, they can’t lose Brady, Gronk or Revis and win a SB.

  72. hardspun says: Jul 21, 2014 11:09 PM

    with Rob Lytle and Haven Moses getting up there in age, Manning has his work cut out for him.

    You know old Red Miller won’t be afraid to put in Norris Weese if Manning falters at all.

    And don’t get me started about the defense. With Gradishar gone, the young guys have gotta step it up.

    And what in the name of Bucky Dilts are they thinking with only using 1 punter this year?

  73. REDSKINSFOREVER says: Jul 21, 2014 11:14 PM

    I know this will be an unpopular comment but how can a team with that dominate of an off that added talib, ware, and ward. This team is damn close to a probowl team. I’m not a broncos fan but this team is straight up scary.

  74. billrussellgreaterthanmjmagiclebron says: Jul 21, 2014 11:33 PM

    If the Broncos win enough games to get home field advantage in the playoffs with their tough schedule, they’ll definitely deserve to be in the SB.
    Now lets see them do it before handing them the Lombardi trophy during the preseason.

  75. seattlemike25 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:13 AM

    43 yrs since a team lost the Super Bowl and came back to win it the next year… 21 yrs since a team lost the Super Bowl and came back to play in the Super Bowl the next year… Just the facts for Super Bowl losers…

  76. thedom2424 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:13 AM

    JaminJake says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:57 PM

    huskywolverine says:
    Jul 21, 2014 3:22 PM
    Everyone knows that the real Super Bowl was the NFC championship game between the 49ers and Seahawks.
    ________________________________

    Broncos fan here and I completely disagree. The 49ers and Hawks have completely different defenses.

    The 49ers use a stellar front 7 to mask a somewhat suspect secondary. Peyton loves to get the ball of quickly, so this won’t be anywhere near as damaging as the Legion of Boom.

    The Hawks on the other hand have a Stellar back 4 that work with a great front 7. I just don’t see the 49ers or any other teams able to do what the Seahawks did because no one has that level of talent in their secondary. Give me the 49ers defense any day.

    _________________________________

    Hawks fan here. You make a lot of points that I actually thought myself when people say 49ers would have done the same thing. I agree with you that they would not have done the same thing to the Broncos (although I think they still would have beat the Broncos; I just think it would have been more competitive).

    Much of football is how you matchup with the team you are playing. The Seahawks defense obviously matched up great against the Broncos offense due to their historically good secondary, their fast LBs and disruptive D-Line. The 49ers have a fantastic defense as well and they would have caused problems for the Broncos offense. But, I think Peyton would have been able to have some success against them; enough to make it competitive at least. I still think the 49ers would have won the game 30-23(ish).

  77. ithrowheat says: Jul 22, 2014 12:55 AM

    how many broncos games did you watch last year, MDS? You think Woodyard was starting all year? He was benched for a good part of the season in favor of the younger guys.

    It also looks like you don’t know much about their free-agent signings because none of the aging guys have been given long term commitments.

  78. napalm101 says: Jul 22, 2014 1:26 AM

    Doug Williams beats John Elway and the Broncos in SB XXII 42-10, And Russell Wilson beats Peyton Manning and the Broncos in SB XLVIII (with John Elway, of coarse) 43-8… The only 2 African American QB’s to win a SB did it against Denver…

  79. natelan says: Jul 22, 2014 7:14 AM

    If Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning both suffered season-ending injuries on their first play of the 2014 season, which team, the Chargers or the Broncos, would have the better record by the end of the season?

  80. boomnutz says: Jul 22, 2014 10:37 AM

    Listen i’m not questioning that the Broncos are certainly one of the top 4 or 5 teams in the league, but I am completely over the off-season lovefest with the Broncos (and the Seahawks, but to a much lesser degree). The Broncos hardly improved this off-season, i can even give you a rational argument as to why they will be worse. Every guy they signed is replacing a guy who had a better year last year, with the exception of TJ Ward (though Ward’s strengths are in the box as a run defender – last i checked Denver had a SICK run defense. Don’t get the fit, as a Pats fan I would have been scared if they added Byrd). Champ may have lost a step but losing him won’t hurt, Harris is coming off a torn ACL, no MLB, lost 2 starters on the OL, no Moreno, and they have to be a little worried about Wes Welker down the stretch. For those of you that are undermining the loss of Moreno, go back and watch the 2012 AFC divisional game against the Ravens. When Moreno left the game is when the Broncos fell apart. He was crucial to their 3rd down offense and their hurry up. Guarantee that Denver takes a small step back and so does Seattle. Superbowl will be NE vs GB or SF

  81. boomnutz says: Jul 22, 2014 10:43 AM

    I know this will be an unpopular comment but how can a team with that dominate of an off that added talib, ware, and ward. This team is damn close to a probowl team. I’m not a broncos fan but this team is straight up scary.

    _________________________________

    Talib was worse than DRC last year (I’m a Pats fan too)
    Ware was worse than Phillips last year
    Sanders was worse than Decker last year (not even close)
    Ward is an upgrade, but again, don’t get the fit
    Lost Moreno, Ayers, Woodyard, Beadles, and Champ.

    If you’re an accountant and did the debits and credits, tell me what equals more????

  82. superjay3282 says: Jul 22, 2014 11:49 AM

    Peyton Manning is the GREATEST QB of ALL-TIME!!!

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