Many wondered if the Denver Broncos made a mistake by going out and getting Peyton Manning this offseason and if the four-time MVP winner had enough left in the tank to carry the Broncos.
Since the beginning of October, it has been clear that Peyton is nowhere near the end of his career.
Sunday marked the Broncos seventh consecutive victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In that seven game winning streak, the Broncos have averaged just over 30 points a game. Peyton Manning has led an offensive attack unlike any other, ranking fourth in the league this season. Even with the loss of Willis McGahee for the season, Manning has not been phased one bit. Manning’s quarterback rating is at it’s highest since his 2004 campaign, the year he won his second MVP.
Manning’s great play locked up the Broncos trip to the playoffs with their 9-3 record and their abysmal divisional adversaries. Without a doubt Peyton Manning is right there in the MVP conversation looking to earn again, adding to his career record of four.
Peyton has been bolstering astronomical stats through 12 games, but do not overlook Denver’s defense. This defensive unit is in the top 5 of total yards allowed per game at just 308 yards a contest. With Jack Del Rio taking over this season, the Broncos have only improved on the defensive side of the ball, having four less sacks than they did last year with four games remaining.
Another person to thank for such great defensive play is Von Miller. Last year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, Miller has continued to evolve into one of the best pass rushers in the league and is playing well beyond his years. Miller ranks third in the NFL with 14.0 sacks this season and has five forced fumbles to add to the one interception he obtained on Sunday against the Bucs.
As well, the addition of Brian Leonard and Roman Harper has bumped up this secondary to make many forget about the aging Champ Bailey. This secondary only allows 209 passing yards a night and is one of the most prominent reasons that the Broncos have been riding this seven game winning streak.
The Broncos are the most dangerous team in the AFC right now.
Compared to the top of the AFC such as Houston, who has looked mortal since their late-game comeback against the Jaguars in week eleven.
Yes, the Patriots did not only beat the Broncos but they also have another quarterback, Tom Brady, who is playing as great as ever, but the Broncos have a much more fierce defense and are better than their week five showdown.
As well, the AFC North teams continue their inconsistent play after Pittsburgh’s shocking victory over Baltimore with Charlie Batch as the signal caller.
Being the most balanced team in the NFL makes Peyton and his Broncos the favorite in the AFC to go to Super Bowl Sunday and grab his second Lombardi Trophy along with silencing his critics and adding to his record of NFL MVP Trophies.
In what many thought would be a troubling year for Peyton, he may be having his greatest run of his career.