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2014 NFL Season Preview- Denver Broncos
Following a heartbreaking loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the 2012 playoffs, the Denver Broncos entered the 2013 season as favorites to win it all. However, the team underwent a tumultuous offseason that was dominated by the suspension of All-Pro linebacker Von Miller as well as several injuries to the offensive line. Notable offseason additions include the acquisitions of wide receiver Wes Welker, linebacker Shaun Phillips, safety Quentin Jammer and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Roster departures included wide receiver Brandon Stokley, linebackers Elvis Dumervil and D. J. Williams, and running back Willis McGahee.
Throughout the regular season, numerous individual, team and franchise records were set, including Peyton Manning regaining his new NFL record for passing touchdowns with 55 and passing yardage, as well as the team setting new NFL records for touchdowns and points scored in a single season. During the team's bye week, head coach John Fox received a health scare that resulted in Fox missing four games due to recuperation from heart surgery. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio served as the team's interim head coach during Fox's absence.
The Broncos finished the regular season 13-3 and won their third consecutive AFC West division title, as well as earning a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs for a second consecutive season. The Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers 24–17 in the Divisional round, the New England Patriots 26–16 in the AFC championship game, and faced the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl. This was the Broncos' first Super Bowl berth since winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998. However, the Broncos were unable to recover from a 22–0 halftime deficit, and the Seahawks' No. 1 ranked defense held the Broncos' No. 1 ranked offense to their lowest scoring output of the season, routing the Broncos by a score of 43–8. The loss resulted in Denver becoming the first NFL franchise to lose five Super Bowls.
Broncos 2013 Rankings
Opponent Passing yds
Opponents Rushing yds
NFL Rank- 1st
NFL Rank- 15th
NFL Rank- 27th
NFL Rank- 8th
NFL Rank- 1st
NFL Rank- 19th
After the number one offense in history was shut down in the Super Bowl, team vice president John Elway wanted to be sure the team realized what they accomplished. Elway and John Fox know that changes have to be made in order for the team to achieve their ultimate goal.
The biggest thing they will have to do is prevent the hangover of the massive loss. They will also have to be smart in free agency as several key players from 2013 will not be here in the upcoming year.
Notable additions- WR Emmanuel Sanders, CB Aqib Talib, SS T.J. Ward, LB DeMarcus Ware
Notable departures- WR Eric Decker, WR/KR Trindon Holliday, S Mike Adams, CB Champ Bailey, DE Robert Ayres, RB Knowshon Moreno, LB Shaun Phillips, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Broncos 2013 Highlights
2014 NFL Draft
The AFC Champions held the 31st pick in the draft and planned to use it to fill the voids left by free agency. Most notably at middle linebacker, safety, and wide receiver.
Paris Lenon and Wesley Woodyard proved that they weren't every down linebackers. The team needs a player who can lead the defense at the mid level and change plays at the line.
The team picked up T.J. Ward in free agency but he's mostly known for his tackles . Denver has to get a safety to play opposite Ward that can be a playmaker.
Emmanuel Sanders was brought in to replace Eric Decker. But with Wes Welker already saying this will be his final season with the team, Denver needs to add a slot receiver that can eventually replace Welker.
When it came time for them to pick, the team selected Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby with the 31st pick. Roby was praised for his physicality for his size but criticized for his slow reaction time when it came to losing in on receivers.
The team also drafted Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer in the second round. Latimer possesses a thick athletic frame and has deceptive to break away from defenders. His occasional lack of focus lead to many drops which kept him from being ranked higher.
Bradley Roby Highlights
What to Expect
The thing with Peyton Manning, no matter who the team inserts in the offense Manning will make them look like an Pro Bowler. With the departure of Knowshon Moreno, second year running back Montee Ball will likely be the starter. With tackle Ryan Clady back from injury, the offensive line will be more stable and be able to stand up to stronger defenses.
Teaming up Von Miller with Demarcus Ware gives the team an excellent pair of pass rushers. Having Aqib Talib gives the team a shutdown corner and whoever plays opposite him whether that be Bradley Roby or Chris Harris is going to see a lot of action.
With Peyton Manning at quarterback, the Broncos are going to be successful. As long as the offense can put up points, the team is going to win games. The defense may not have the talent they had last season, but they are more than capable of returning to the Super Bowl.
Best record they can hope for- 12-4