By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on June 8, 2014
When the Denver Broncos fell to the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII, Peyton Manning's legacy took a major hit. Manning had won his fifth MVP award in 2013 and had broken single-season records for passing touchdowns and yardage. Yet, all of those things went for naught immediately after Manning and the Broncos laid a dud in Super Bowl XLVIII. Here are five reasons Manning won't have any excuses for not winning a championship in 2014.
The Denver Broncos had the most active free-agent signing period of any NFL team. They added players who were either former Pro Bowlers or who had played prominent roles on teams that went to Super Bowls. DE DeMarcus Ware, CB Aqib Talib, S T.J. Ward and WR Emmanuel Sanders were all added to the Broncos' roster this offseason. With the additions of such big-name free agents, Manning will have even more pressure to win a championship.
Manning has a veteran supporting cast that aided in Manning and the Broncos breaking many NFL single-season records in 2013. Amongst the veteran players who Manning will be playing alongside are Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. With such a stacked offensive supporting cast, Manning will be expected to lead the NFL's No. 1 offense for a third-straight season.
The Broncos are lucky in that they play in the weaker of the two conferences -- the AFC doesn't have many truly elite teams. Outside of the New England Patriots, the Broncos don't seem to have any rivals in the AFC that can match its firepower. Considering the amount of parity in the NFL, anything can happen in 2014. However, similar to the Miami Heat's dominance in the Eastern Conference in the NBA, the Broncos should be the top team in the AFC.
Peyton Manning is entering his third season with the Broncos. At the age of 38, any season could be Manning's last. Considering the point of bringing Manning in was to win a Lombardi Trophy, patience is wearing thin in Mile High. The Broncos have been the AFC's No. 1 seed the past two seasons and have had their seasons end to two opponents they were favored to beat.
Manning's regular-season excellence is unparalleled to the point where you really can't compare any quarterback past or present to Manning's production. Having said that, Manning sets such a high standard in the regular season that he ends up disappointing in the postseason. His postseason results and production rarely mirror his regular-season output. If Manning can't win a Lombardi Trophy in 2014, he will never be considered the G.O.A.T.
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