Much like the Atlanta Falcons of this past season, the 2013 regular season for the Denver Broncos means very little. Nothing matters until the playoffs. Barring injuries to the wrong players, Peyton Manning, the Broncos are going to win 12 or 13 games again next season. They are also going to win the AFC West going away again. How can I be so sure of that? It’s actually a fairly easy conclusion to reach and here’s why.
Manning has won 10 or more games in every season he has been the starter since his 3-13 rookie season. If he is lining up behind center for all 16 games, then the Broncos are going to win 12 or more of them.
The offense, as good as it was in 2012, will be better in 2013. Manning improved as last season progressed and he will be even better next season. Along with Manning, the players around him will be better with a year in the system under their belts. The timing between Manning, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas will be second nature. The offense under new coordinator, Adam Gase is also going to be more aggressive and that should result in more yards and more points.
The defense will be in the same system for the second year in a row, that hasn’t happened in Denver in nearly a decade. The players will be more comfortable in the system and coordinator Jack Del Rio will have a better feel as well.
The Broncos will be fairly aggressive in the offseason, they know their window with Manning will not be open for long and they are going to do everything in their power to win right now. If John Elway and the front office believe that there is a free agent that might be the final piece, they will find a way to sign that player. It should also be noted that the Broncos, with Manning, are going to be very attractive to free agents.
The final piece is the schedule, it’s very favorable. Granted things change from season to season but the Broncos are going to be favored in nearly every game they play.
Having said all of that, none of it matters. The Broncos could go 16-0 next season and there will be many doubters who will say, it doesn’t matter until they win a playoff game. So prepare yourself if you are a Broncos fan, they are going to get very little respect through the regular season no matter how many games they win. That’s what happens when you go 13-3 and get upset in the first round of the playoffs. On the positive side, the Broncos are a virtual lock to make the playoffs and you can’t win the Super Bowl without making the playoffs. So there is that.
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