The Denver Broncos have been on a hot streak since signing Peyton Manning before the 2012 season. They are 38-10 with a Super Bowl appearance since luring him to the Rockies. I’m sure many Denver fans expected a Super Bowl win by now, but you can’t be too disappointed, can you?
I’m a life-long fan of the Indianapolis Colts. I understand some of their frustration with making the postseason every year, but often falling short of the main prize. Manning played for the Colts for 13 seasons and managed one Super Bowl win. He is proof that you can have the best quarterback in the league, but you need a complete team (and a little luck) to win the big one.
If Denver doesn’t win the Super Bowl this season, will Peyton’s tenure be viewed as a failure?
Here is the 2015 NFL team preview for the Denver Broncos.
2014 Win/Loss Record: 12-4
Key Additions: TE Owen Daniels, C Gino Gradkowski, TE James Casey, OG Shelley Smith, DE Antonio Smith, DE Vance Walker, ILB Reggie Walker & S Darian Stewart
Key Losses: TE Julius Thomas, WR Wes Welker, TE Jacob Tamme, OG Orlando Franklin, C Will Montgomery, DE Mitch Unrein, DT Terrance Knighton, ILB Nate Irving & S Rahim Moore
2015 Draft Picks: OLB Shane Ray, OT Ty Sambrailo, TE Jeff Heuerman, C Max Garcia, CB Lorenzo Doss, DT Darius Kilgo, QB Trevor Siemian, CB Taurean Nixon & LB Josh Furman
Non-Division Schedule: AFC North, NFC North & (Indianapolis/New England)
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Cody Latimer – Latimer was only used for 35 snaps in 2014, but with Wes Welker no longer around, he’s the favorite to take over his spot. New head coach Gary Kubiak loves tight ends, so it is yet to be seen if he will use more two-tight end sets or if remnants of last year’s offense will still be in place with more wide receivers. Latimer has nice hands and speed, so if given the chance, I expect a breakout year from him. Target him late in the draft to take a chance on him.
Offense – QB Peyton Manning, RB C.J. Anderson, WR Demaryius Thomas, WR Emmanuel Sanders, WR Cody Latimer, TE Owen Daniels, LT Ty Sambrailo, LG Ben Garland, C Gino Gradkowski, RG Luis Vasquez & RT Chris Clark
Defense – DE Derek Wolfe, DT Sylvester Williams, DE Malik Jackson, LOLB DeMarcus Ware, ILB Brandon Marshall, ILB Danny Trevathan, ROLB Von Miller, CB Chris Harris, CB Aqib Talib, SS T.J. Ward & FS Darian Stewart
Team Analysis: Peyton Manning looked like garbage late last season. Many feared Father Time finally caught up to the often-used commercial spokesman, but it was reported that he was playing with a torn right quadriceps. He is coming into this season 100% healthy. Do I expect another 50+ touchdown season from him? No, but he isn’t ready to give the ball to Brock Oswiler either. He is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He will miss Julius Thomas and Wes Welker, but Manning has a way of turning ‘the next guy up’ into a Pro Bowl receiver. Running back C.J. Anderson was able to take the load off Manning late in the season. I expect Denver to lean on him heavily in Kubiak’s offense. Denver will once again win the AFC West and will battle for a shot at a Super Bowl.
2015 Wins Over/Under Line: 10.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 11-5 (1st in AFC West)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.