After one half of football on Thursday night, the Baltimore Ravens looked like force to be reckoned with. They were ahead of the Denver Broncos, and their defense had all the answers. After a second half of football, something else was apparent. The Denver Broncos are scary good.
With week one of the 2013 season down, we have a chance to catch our collective breath and take stock of what we learned. Some teams performed as predicted while others provided surprising results. The Broncos fall into the former category, and with such a dominating victory over the defending Super Bowl champions, I wonder. Could the Broncos make a realistic push for an undefeated season?
Looking at the schedule, yes, the Broncos could make that push, but they have a handful of tough games to deal with, starting in New York against the Giants. Obviously, with a Manning Bowl so early in the year, Giants fans will make it difficult for Peyton to work with a tough away crowd.
The Eagles’ visit to Denver will provide a unique challenge for the Broncos as well. Unlike most games, it will be up to the Broncos’ defense to deliver the game for Manning. The Broncos will score their fair share of points, but if they can’t keep up with Chip Kelly’s crazy-high-octane offense, the defense will have to step up.
The other two big circle-the-date games come in the latter half of the season in New England and in Houston. Although the Patriots aren’t a complete team, Tom Brady can beat anyone on any given Sunday, and the Houston Texans are an all-around solid team that can play with the best teams in the league.
Beyond those four games, there are a handful of matchups that could trip up the Denver Broncos, but none of them jump out as extremely dangerous games. All NFL contests are hard-fought, but the Broncos are an exceptional team with an once-in-a-lifetime quarterback pulling the trigger.
So, can the Broncos push for an undefeated season? Simply put, yes, they can, but it’s not an easy path. Injuries can change the whole course of a season in a moment, and the Broncos do have to navigate a tough schedule. Still, if I was picking games on an individual basis, I’d pick the Broncos in all 15 of their remaining matchups. Only one team in the Super Bowl era has ever navigated an entire season and postseason undefeated, but the Broncos are an exceptional team. They have as good a chance as any team in recent memory to pull it off.
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