Losing Wes Welker for the remainder of the regular season and postseason would be a crushing blow for the Denver Broncos, and while it would make a run to the Super Bowl more difficult, it would by no means eliminate them from coming out on top in the AFC Playoffs and reaching the Super Bowl.
Obviously, Welker has been a huge addition to the Denver offense this season and is a significant reason why the Broncos have one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history, but the Denver offense is far from a one-man show, and outside of Peyton Manning, one injury is not going to derail the entire team’s hopes of reaching the Super Bowl.
Even without Welker, the Broncos still have one of the top wide receivers in the league in Demaryius Thomas and a great No. 2 target in Eric Decker, who has over 300 more yards receiving than Welker on the same number of receptions, and is capable of playing outside or Welker’s position in the slot. Denver also has a dangerous tight end in Julius Thomas and another quality tight end in Jacob Tamme, who has been underutilized this season with Welker available, but could easily take on a larger role if needed.
Even if their passing attack isn’t quite as dangerous, the Broncos are more than capable of having a balanced attack with a solid running game behind Knowshon Moreno, who may be Denver’s most important player this postseason. With Moreno running the ball and a handful of quality passing targets, the Broncos will manage just fine if Welker remains sidelined due to a concussion.
The loss of Welker may make the Broncos a little worse, but it doesn’t make the rest of the AFC any better. They have beaten the Kansas City Chiefs twice this season, the New England Patriots still have questions about their offense and both the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts don’t look all that threatening.
If Welker is indeed shut down for the remainder of the season and postseason, it will be a set back for the Broncos, but for a team this good, it’s going to take more than a single injury to eliminate them from Super Bowl contention.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.