Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images
August 18, 2013
Last Season: 13-3, 6-0 division
Playoffs: Lost to Baltimore in second round
Stat Leaders: QB Peyton Manning (4,659 YDS, 37 TDS, 11 INTS); RB Willis McGahee (731 YDS, 4 TDS); WR Demaryius Thomas (1,434 YDS, 10 TDS); LB Wesley Woodyard (117 TACKLES, 5.5 SACKS)
The Buzz: Lesson learned. Don't doubt Peyton Manning. While many were concerned Manning could not recover from multiple neck surgeries, he proved last season he is still one of the NFL's top three quarterbacks. Manning is still a smart quarterback capable of making the most of the team around him. The Broncos picked up Wes Welker from the Patriots, adding Tom Brady's favorite target to an already elite receiving rotation. Former college star running backs Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman give the Broncos a young burst of energy in the rushing attack. Former UCF kicker Matt Prater has tremendous leg strength, another key asset for the Broncos. The defense, once a strength, has room to improve. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie should bolster the secondary, working alongside aging Champ Bailey.
Luck Factor: The Broncos were lucky enough to replace Tim Tebow with Peyton Manning, turning the team into Super Bowl contenders.