Webster dictionary’s defines adversity as a difficult situation or condition faced, and boy have the Denver Broncos had to overcome their fair share of adversity this year. When the 2013 training camp started, the Broncos were trying to get over the bitterness of the double overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round of last year’s playoffs. But a bitter playoff loss wasn’t the only thing Denver was up against.
Their best defensive player, Von Miller, started the season not with the team when the league gave him a six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. With Elvis Dumervil not on the team anymore due to “Fax Gate,” the Broncos’ pass rush was sure to take a hit. The Broncos ended up going 6-0 during the suspension but faced even more obstacles as the season chugged along.
The injury bug began to hit the Broncos in a vicious way beginning with losing their Pro Bowl left tackle Ryan Clady in Week 2 against the New York Giants. Injuries also claimed the likes of cornerback Chris Harris, linebacker Von Miller, defensive end Derek Wolfe, safety Rahim Moore and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson all for the entire season. That doesn’t include Champ Bailey who missed majority of the season with both foot and ankle injuries.
If suspensions and injuries weren’t enough and you still aren’t convinced, Denver had to overcome something that most teams never face. The Broncos head coach John Fox missed four games after having to go through emergency heart valve replacement surgery. Jack Del Rio was tagged with interim head coaching duties and was able to lead the Broncos to a 3-1 record during Fox’s absence.
The Broncos have completely bought in to the next man up mentality and played some of their best football so far in the playoffs with their backs against the wall. When the Broncos take the field on Sunday, Feb. 2 to go against the Seattle Seahawks and their No. 1 ranked defense in Super Bowl 48, they will most certainly be ready for the task at hand.