The Denver Broncos, like many teams in the NFL have quarterback attention deficit disorder. In the past nine seasons, eight different players have started at the quarterback position for the Broncos, with only four consistent starters among the group.
In 2005, Jake Plummer led the Broncos all the way to the AFC Championship only to lose to the Steelers 34-17. In 2006 Jay Cutler was drafted and replaced Jake Plummer midway through the season. During following years, Cutler saw some success, but after a fall-out with inexperienced and now former head coach Josh McDaniels, he was traded to Chicago for Kyle Orton. Orton played fairly well in his first two seasons with Denver, but after a 1-4 start to open the 2011 campaign he was replaced by Tim Tebow. Tebow took Denver to the playoffs in 2011, leading the team to a wildcard win. The 2012 offseason was supposed to allow him to get the practice time he missed during the previous year’s strike shortened offseason, but the situation has changed once again. Only two months after the completion of one of the most ridiculous seasons in Broncos history, Tebow is on his way to the New York Jets, and Peyton Manning has come to Mile High.
Now that Tebowmania has moved on to New York where it will coexist with Linsanity, Broncos fans are forced to sit and wait to see how this new era of Denver football will play out. There are so many questions about how the future will unfold. Will Manning stay healthy? Is there enough help around him to make the Broncos successful? Will Manning freeze to death in the harsh Denver winter? (A Denver winter that has experienced 70-80 degree weather in the last two weeks?) As a viral facebook picture has stated, have the Broncos indeed sacrificed a virgin in order to win a superbowl?
The biggest question is Manning’s health. Last year he missed the entire season because of a neck injury that required major surgery. A single hit could knock Manning out for the rest of the season. If that were to happen the Broncos would probably have a season similar to what the Bears had last year when Cutler broke his thumb. The Bears went from being a dangerous NFC threat to finishing a middling 8-8 and missing the playoffs.
Hopefully, this will not happen and Manning will stay healthy. If he does the Broncos will have a much improved season compared to last year. Manning could easily help the team get to a 10-6 record, which will be more than enough to guarantee a playoff spot in the AFC West. Once the Broncos are in the playoffs, anything could happen. By adding Manning, the situation becomes just that much more unpredictable. Dare the Broncos fan dream of a Super Bowl win?
I predict the Broncos will end up going to the playoffs but will probably lose in the divisional matchups or in the AFC Championship game. Of course if Manning gets injured in the first few games they may just have a high first round pick next year and the quarterback merry-go-round in Denver will take one more turn.