7 Reasons the Denver Broncos Will Struggle to Repeat
7 Reasons the Denver Broncos Will Struggle to Repeat
By Wayne Root:
The defending AFC champion Denver Broncos are the popular pick to repeat in their conference in many circles…with some pundits picking them to claim the Lombardi Trophy because they came so close last year.
As THE KING OF UPSETS, I’m aware that “just miss” teams often do come out with a chip on their shoulder the following season in a way that handicappers can repeatedly exploit. But, I’m skeptical that THIS team will be able to pull that off in 2014. Last week I gave you SEVEN reasons why the Seattle Seahawks won’t repeat as Super Bowl champions. I’ll hedge that a little this time. Here are seven reasons why Denver will STRUGGLE to repeat as AFC champs.
Here are SEVEN reasons why…
- Peyton Manning is on the wrong end of the aging curve. You could see that the zip wasn’t there on his passes after his return from neck surgery. He thrived thanks to guile, brains, a manageable schedule, and home field advantage in the playoffs last year. When he faced a quality team away from his home field in the Super Bowl, he and his offense were extremely overmatched.
- Denver’s “first place” schedule this year will have them facing the divisional champs from the AFC East, North, and South. That’s New England, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. Barring injuries, those will be tough teams again this season.
- Denver’s “non-conference” opponents this year will come from the NFC West in the divisional rotation. That’s HORRIBLE news! That’s the toughest division in pro football! Denver visits Seattle in Week 3, and will also play San Francisco and Arizona within their first six games. To this point, we’ve already talked about seven games on the Denver schedule that represent toughies.
- Denver’s division is getting stronger! Both San Diego and Kansas City made the playoffs last year…and both are clear threats to make runs at possible Wildcards again (though those two will also have to face the NFC West!). San Diego finally has a head coach who isn’t overmatched in big games…and quarterback Philip Rivers is finally maturing into a consistently dangerous quarterback. Kansas City made a huge upgrade at head coach last year, which keyed their surge.
- Given that potentially brutal schedule, it’s going to be much tougher for Denver to win home field advantage through the AFC brackets. Both they and Seattle really benefitted last year from hosting playoff games. Neither may get that opportunity in January of 2015. And, heaven forbid Manning has to miss some games this year because of an injury or general wear-and-tear. No margin for error with this schedule!
- Denver only ranked #19 in the NFL last year in total defense. It’s very tough to go the distance without a defense that can get stops when needed. The Broncos were fortunate to face defenses ranked #23 (San Diego) and #26 (New England) in the AFC playoffs last year. They had roughly an average defense, but lucked into facing below average defenses on their way to the Super Bowl. You saw what happened when they faced a good defense! Their luck in this department probably won’t hold two years in a row in the AFC draw.
- Denver’s defense only ranked #6 in the AFC last year in the ability to force turnovers. And, that’s despite playing in a lot of games where opponents had to use a high risk attack when playing from behind. When you make that adjustment for context, Denver was only “average” at this skill set as well. Tough to win a conference in the modern NFL without a defense that can be counted on to make high impact plays.
If I’m right…and I’m very confident that I am…both the NFC and AFC races are going to get very interesting this season. I hope you’re building your bankrolls NOW for the coming season by playing my DAILY baseball. You can purchase BEST BETS right here at this website with your credit card. If you want information about which of my services bets suits your individual needs, please talk to one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. That’s the number to call to enjoy early-bird rates for 2014 pro and college football.
See you again later this week for more handicapping thoughts. I’ll devote time to pro football, college football, and baseball through the fast-moving summer here on these pages. No matter the temperatures outside, it’s always time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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