LOS ANGELES, September 26, 2013 — STOP THE PRESSES!! We’re hearing from multiple sources that Commissioner Roger Goodell has decided to forgo the rest of the NFL season and will crown the Denver Broncos as Super Bowl champions. Okay, so maybe not quite exactly as it is still very early in the year, but no one outside of Broncos fans could have possibly dreamed of this scenario going into week 4.
Sure, most rational people thought they would be good, but who could have possibly predicted the way in which Denver would crush their opponents in such dominating fashion? Yes, there were concerns this year over Peyton’s arm strength, and at running back with Willis McGahee being cut in the offseason.
Also, how would the defense respond to the loss of their top two sack leaders, Elvis Dumerville to Baltimore, and Von Miller for the first six games of the season due to suspension? Winning the AFC West was an obvious given, but anything beyond that had to be punctuated with the proverbial question mark.
So is the fandemonium surrounding Denver based more on hype or actual reality?
The facts are last year the Broncos actually had the second toughest schedule in a season where they went 13-3. Their only losses came against the Texans, Falcons and Patriots. Respectable, but when looking at the Broncos schedule this year, it ranks dead last when comparing against the other 32 teams in the NFL.
Now part of this can be attributed to playing the Raiders, Chargers and Chiefs twice every year as they are division rivals. The other part is out of the remaining ten non-divisional games scheduled and additional three more teams finished below 500 last year. That means only seven teams on their schedule this season actually had winning records from the previous year, and two of them they have beaten already.
While starting 3-0 great, we cannot overlook the fact that the scheduling favors them doing so. They are simply doing what good teams are supposed to do. Yes, one could argue that the Baltimore game was an impressive win, but there were also a lot of new pieces on both defense and offense for Baltimore. That team still has to gel together as a unit, which unfortunately takes more than one game.
The Giants also faced a similar problem as they lost several key players on the defensive side, and have been historically bad early on in the season. How much weight can those victories actually hold being that they came early on in the season?
Denver’s running game is still in question. Peyton’s arm can only carry them for so long. At some point, a reliable run game will have to be established if they expect to make a deep run into the playoffs. In replacing McGahee, so far it has been by committee, which could mean a lack of faith in the individuals they have at the position.
All signs pointed to Montee Ball being that guy, but questions still remain as to whether he can carry the load full time. The Denver Broncos have successfully rushed for over 100 yards twice this season, but outside of Baltimore, have yet to be tested against a solid defensive team. Being able to run the ball against the better defensive teams like New England and Houston will be crucial to ultimately winning the AFC championship.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.