The Denver Broncos completed preseason with a 3-1 record. The defense looked like it has improved greatly, allowing fewer than 20 points in every contest. Even the offense looks better than in 2013 with the emergence of Montee Ball and arrival of Emmanuel Sanders. This team looks like they can go far in 2014.
So, how will this new team fair in 2014? The Broncos get started on Sunday Night Football when they take on the Indianapolis Colts, who are starting to emerge in the post-Peyton Manning era. Andrew Luck will be a tough start to the season, but the Broncos will prevail, especially with Robert Mathis sitting out of the game due to a suspension. The team then plays their first division opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs, before their long awaited Super Bowl rematch with the Seattle Seahawks. The team should prevail against the Chiefs, however, I just do not see them prevailing against the Seahawks on the road, as they should go 2-1 entering the bye week.
After the bye, the schedule continues the challenging path with teams like the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets and the New England Patriots standing in the team’s path. The next five games after the bye should tell a lot about the team as far as how their fair against these teams. While the opponents will be difficult, I think the Broncos escape with only one loss against the Patriots. At that point, they should be 6-2 halfway through the season.
After their Week 9 game against the Patriots, the schedule gets noticeably easier with only three of their final eight games against playoff teams from last year. (Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals) I said earlier that the team would lose one of those remaining games, which was the rematch with the Chiefs, but with what I have seen from them in the preseason, the Broncos should run the table and win those final eight games and hit the playoffs on a hot streak. They will most likely sweat it out against the Chiefs and the Chargers on the road, but win close games.
As it looks like now, the Broncos will finish the season 14-2, matching their franchise record for wins in a season set by the 1998 team that won their last Super Bowl. The season looks promising for a team on a quest to win the franchise’s third Lombardi Trophy.