The Denver Broncos had the best offense in NFL history last season. Led by quarterback Peyton Manning who shattered the single-season record for passing yardage and touchdowns, the Broncos broke the record for touchdowns and points in a season.
They won the AFC crown, but failed in the big game, getting trounced by the Seattle Seahawks 43-8 in the Super Bowl. The Broncos still have that sour taste in their mouth from February’s defeat and have added to their offense and revamped their defense, making a historic team even stronger heading into the 2014-2015 season.
On offense, Peyton Manning is entering his age-38 season and while he had his best season as a pro last season, can he get better? He probably will not put up as good of numbers as last season, but even a slight drop off will not hurt Denver.
After all, he did throw for 55 touchdowns last season. Manning’s weapons are very strong with wideouts Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker returning along with tight end Julius Thomas. Thomas is one of the best receivers in the league and Welker is an outstanding slot receiver. Eric Decker departed via free agency but Emmanuel Sanders was brought in and Denver drafted Cody Latimer.
Also gone is running back Knowshon Moreno, one of the better pass-catching and pass-protecting backs in the league. Montee Ball appears to be ready in year two though and has more talent than Moreno.
The biggest upgrade is on the offensive line as former All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady returns from injury to protect Manning’s blindside.
The defense for the Broncos was obviously not at the same level as the offense but it didn’t need to be last season. They just had to make a few key stops here and there and the offense took care of the rest of it.
The off-season saw the departures of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Champ Bailey and Shaun Phillips, but those won’t even be felt. They added cornerback Aqib Talib and talented safety T.J. Ward. The secondary also will welcome first-round pick Bradley Roby, a cornerback from Ohio State, to the mix making it one of the top units in the league.
Add in future Hall-of-Fame defensive end DeMarcus Ware to the fold and the pass rush for the Broncos will improve. The defense doesn’t have to single-handedly win games for Denver because the offense is good.
With a strong unit though, the Broncos will be even more dangerous, especially in the postseason.
Manning’s years are winding down and he badly wants to win another Super Bowl to add to his legacy. This may be his best all-around team he’s ever been on. The offense might dip a little but with an improved defense, Denver will be an even stronger favorite to win the Super Bowl.
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