As I sit and write this article, the Denver Broncos have just a couple minutes left in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs, and are leading 14-3. Earlier today, the Indianapolis Colts played an inspirational game against the Houston Texans and won with Head Coach Chuck Pagano roaming the sidelines after a three month battle with leukemia.
The win by the Colts opened the door for the Broncos to just win and collect the number one seed in the AFC. In crazy twist of fate, the Colts helped give their old quarterback Peyton Manning the opportunity to once again be on top of the football world. The Broncos go into today’s game with a 10 game win streak and Manning has been one of the main reasons for John Fox’s team to be so good.
With a win, the Broncos will also gain five more wins from a year ago when the Broncos were helped by the San Diego Chargers to enter the playoffs with Tim Tebow as their leader. Yes, Tebow also led them to a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it was evident to everyone that the Broncos would never be this good without a traditional quarterback.
Manning will receive his NFL leading fifth MVP award after this season because even though Adrian Peterson and Tom Brady have been incredible themselves, there is really no other choice for the award. Manning was out of football for 19 months with four neck surgeries, came back to play with a new team and offense, and now has the chance to reel off 11 straight wins and garner the number one seed for a team that was 8-8 in 2011.
The 36 year old QB has passed for over 4,300 yards with 35 TDs and only 11INTs in 2012, and has elevated the play of his whole team around him like no other. He has made Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker look like some of the best wide receivers in the game, and simply, no individual has put their team on their back and made them better as Peyton has done.
On the defensive side of the ball, LB Von Miller has the Broncos record for sacks in a season, coming into the week with 17.5. Along with the sacks, he is a more complete player than the other candidates for Defensive Player of the Year, Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers and J.J. Watt of the Texans. The main difference is the fact that in some of the latter’s losses, both Watt and Smith simply disappear. Miller Time is always present.
Miller is not just a sack specialist, as he has an interception, six forced fumbles and can also defend the pass. He has taken this Broncos defense into another stratosphere as they now sit with a top five defense that is simply dominating on all fronts, and Miller is the catalyst. Make that 21-3 with the half coming to a close for the Broncos against the Chiefs.
The final award that the Broncos are almost assured is the Executive of the Year for John Elway. It has been a long time for Broncos fans to be this optimistic about their team’s chances at a Super Bowl win, and it has taken Executive Vice President Elway to bring back the mile high magic. With his vision, he has had a tremendous draft this season and last with LB Von Miller in 2011 winning Defensive Rookie of the Year, and this year, DE Derek Wolfe and RB Ronnie Hillman starting and/or playing in every game.
Don’t forget that Elway was also the man to bring in Manning, C Dan Koppen, S Jim Leonhard, S Mike Adams, LB Keith Brooking, and not trade RB Knowshon Moreno, all who have been tremendous additions that have helped the Broncos to within a half of securing the AFC’s best record.
There is no doubt that there are others who are deserving of these awards, but the Broncos will complete the trifecta while winning their third Super Bowl. Any arguments can be made, but none more than winning and going far in the playoff. Not the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Colts, or even the New England Patriots will have that distinction when all is said and done. So kiss my rant, NFL fans, and just sit back and watch the most complete team in the league finish off the 2012 season in style!
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