Peyton Manning has had a spectacular career, but when he returned from neck surgery in time for the Broncos’ season opener against the Steelers, he had a ton of doubters.
Now, it’s safe to say that most of the doubters see the bigger picture, and aren’t so critical of Manning.
Not many people expected Manning to sign with the Broncos. when he was a highly touted free agent this offseason. The 49ers didn’t offer him a ton of money, but they provided him the best chance to win. However, Manning felt like Denver was a better fit for him, so he opted to sign with the Broncos. And now, the Broncos are ready to win.
Denver has the second-toughest schedule in the NFL and one of the toughest schedules in NFL history (yes, you read that right). Pittsburgh is just one of many playoff teams the Broncos will play this year. However, great teams like the Broncos know how to beat playoff teams.
Pittsburgh challenged the Broncos and crushed them on third downs, yet the Steelers only scored 19 points and the Broncos’ defense came up with a key stop to end the game. Tracy Porter, an offseason acquisition known for his pick-6 of Manning in the Super Bowl, got another pick-6. But this time, it helped Manning.
Last year, with Tim Tebow at quarterback, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas were just ordinary, unheralded receivers. However, thanks to the addition of Manning, they are able to showcase themselves on a bigger stage with a better quarterback. Thomas caught four passes for 110 yards and a touchdown in the season opener, and Decker caught a few passes as well.
Even though Decker didn’t have a great game, he and Manning clicked during the preseason and he will benefit greatly from the addition of Manning. Jacob Tamme knows Manning from Peyton’s time with the Colts, and he will be another prime target for the Broncos. Manning doesn’t have any stars to throw to, but he has a ton of weapons. When you give a guy like Peyton Manning a weapon to play with, your defense is in trouble.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos have talent. Champ Bailey is still a dominant cover corner, Von Miller is becoming one of the best defensive players in the game, Elvis Dumervil still knows how to get to the quarterback, and Tracy Porter is smart corner. With Miller improving over the offseason, he should be poised for a breakout season.
Manning proved he can still play, and he proved that he still knows how to make his receivers better. He’s one of the smartest and most accurate quarterbacks in history, and he’s still got a lot in the tank. Manning is determined to succeed, and he has a lot of players who will help him on his quest for another Super Bowl. Manning will always have doubters, but he and the Broncos are ready to take off on their journey for greatness.
Because even though no one expects the Broncos to win the Super Bowl, with the talent they have, it’s certainly possible.