By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on March 31, 2014
The Denver Broncos ended 2013 as the AFC Champions. Although the team did not achieve its ultimate goal of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy when they lost to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Broncos will return in 2014 with motivation. Here are five reasons why the Broncos will continue to be the AFC's team to beat next season.
The Denver Broncos had the best free agency period of any team in the NFL. The franchise added Demarcus Ware, Emmanuel Sanders, T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib to an already stacked roster. Can you imagine Ware and Von Miller forcing pressure on opposing quarterbacks in 2014?
Although a lot can change from now until September, the AFC continues to look like the weaker of the two conferences. The Broncos' biggest rival from within their conference, the New England Patriots, regressed this offseason rather than improved. That is good news considering the Broncos defeated the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game last year.
Although the Broncos lost two key contributors during free agency, receiver Eric Decker and running back Knowshon Moreno, the team returns Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Wes Welker and Montee Ball from last season's record-breaking offense. When you add in the addition of receiver Emmanuel Sanders and the return of quarterback Peyton Manning, how can you doubt this offense in 2014?
The Broncos suffered the third-worst loss in Super Bowl history when they fell to the Seahawks, 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII. The loss wasn't just embarrassing due to the final score, it was embarrassing because the Broncos had a near-perfect season and was absolutely dominated from start to finish in the biggest game of the year. Expect the Broncos to use this loss as fuel for motivation heading into 2014.
The most vital reason why the Broncos will continue to be the team to beat in the AFC? None other than five-time MVP Peyton Manning. During Manning's 15 seasons in the NFL, he has led his teams to at least 12 victories in the regular season on 10 different occasions. With the Broncos upgrading during the offseason with major free agent signings, are we really going to doubt the five-time MVP in leading the Broncos to another great season?
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