Peyton Manning is one of the best active players in the NFL and his four MVP awards only solidify that fact. The Denver Broncos quarterback should be making room on his trophy shelf this season for a fifth MVP, and a Lombardy Trophy. NFL oddsmakers love their chances and have the Broncos as 13/5 odds favorites to win the 2014 Super Bowl. The Seahawks are right there at the top as well, but it all boils down to winning at MetLife Stadium come February. First up for the Broncos is the San Diego Chargers, in Denver, who they lost to in Week 15. If the Broncos can beat the Chargers, as expected, they’ll host the winner between the Patriots and Colts. Below is my Broncos Super Bowl preview for you to ponder and be sure to check out the NFL Divisional Round Point Spreads courtesy of Carbonsports.
The Broncos had five players score 10 or more touchdowns this season, and guess what? They are all healthy again for the first time in what feels like forever. The last time the Five-Ten Club was all on the field at the same time, the Broncos put up over 50 points against the Tennessee Titans. Regardless, Peyton Manning is healthy, his offensive line is healthy, and his targets are healthy. This is a Denver offense that is clicking, and they’ll be able to spread the ball around.
The Broncos relied heavily on their passing attack to score, which isn’t a secret to anyone given Manning’s 55 touchdown passes. Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno is a scoring threat as well, with 10 rushing touchdowns.
No team was better than Peyton Manning and company upon reaching the red zone. In 2013, the Broncos scored a touchdown on a remarkable 76.12 percent of their red-zone attempts, tops in the NFL.
The last time the Chargers faced the Broncos, the Bolts’ defense got a bit of a break. They didn’t have to worry about Wes “Mr. Third Down” Welker in the slot. Third Downs are the most critical situation in the game for Denver. The Broncos need to be able to get off the field, and they need to do better than 2-9 on third downs if they want to beat the Chargers. This team was lethargic the last time it played San Diego, so they need to be fired up and guys are going to have to make plays.
Wes Welker has 73 receptions for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first year as a Bronco. That’s through just 13 games due to sitting out the last three games of the season after suffering two concussions in 22 days. Welker doesn’t just bring the receptions. He brings experience. He brings playoff poise. He brings sure hands on critical downs, which is exactly what the Broncos need to advance.
The Bottom Line: Regardless of circumstance, this is a rivalry game where both teams will be hungry. The Broncos are out for revenge, and I think they’ll get it. I’m not into score predictions, but I’m pretty confident the Broncos will win this game. We recommend you signup with Carbonsports to receive a 10% signup bonus heading into the 2014 Super Bowl.