5 Denver Broncos Who Need to Perform Well in 2013
5 Denver Broncos Who Need to Produce
The Denver Broncos had one of the best records in the NFL in 2012, and Peyton Manning was a huge reason for that.
Manning had what many would consider to be an MVP-like season last year, passing for over 4,600 yards and 37 touchdowns, leading the Broncos to the playoffs for the second consecutive season. However, the Broncos faced the unfortunate task of playing the eventual Super Bowl champs-- the Baltimore Ravens.
Many people were disappointed that the Broncos won more playoff games with Tim Tebow as their quarterback than they did with a future Hall of Fame QB behind center.
The 2012 season may have just been an adjustment period for the veteran quarterback as he missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury. Manning made coming back and producing after a long layoff look extremely easy, but that's why he makes the big bucks.
Denver knows a thing or two about good quarterbacks, being the home of Hall-of-Famer John Elway. He also knows a few things about winning which is something the Broncos will do a lot of in 2013.
While the Broncos had one of the best passing attacks and best defenses in the entire league, their run game was average at best. Willis McGahee suffered an injury that forced the inconsistent Knowshon Moreno to step in. Moreno filled in adequately, but not enough to earn a starting role in 2013.
In fact, neither running back may have a starting job when the season starts in the fall. The Broncos drafted Montee Ball to possibly fill in if neither can produce.
Here are the five players I believe will need to produce for Denver in 2013 to earn their keep.
Champ Bailey is the type of guy that you want on your team. He's a leader, he's a producer and he's an athlete. Keeping the defense together is his specialty, and he has led one of the best defenses in the league for the past couple of seasons. However, he's getting old and if he doesn't produce like he has in the past, it's only a matter of time before he hangs up the cleats.
Jacob Tamme followed Peyton Manning from the Indianapolis Colts to the Broncos, hoping that would do nothing but help his career. Well, he was right, becoming the No. 1 tight end and one of Manning's favorite sure-handed targets. He had the second-best year in his five-year career in 2012, but Joel Dreessen could step in if Tamme doesn't repeat that in 2013.
Moreno might end up being the third running back on the depth chart come August, but for now he is battling for playing time. He filled in nicely for McGahee after his injury, but he knew he wouldn't get that starting spot back once McGahee returned. Knowshon faces a sure make-or-break season in 2013. It's time to step up or get out.
Mike Adams, like Champ Bailey, is that veteran presence that you would want on your defense. Bailey coupled with Adams provided one of the best pass defense secondaries in the NFL. However, he is also getting old and his 2012 season resulted in his best statistical season as a pro. I would be shocked if he could even approach that same type of play in 2013.
The drafting of Montee Ball is not a great sign for McGahee, and that's especially true since the shelf life of a running back is so short-lived. The 31-year-old running back better stay healthy and produce if he wants to remain a Bronco.