Three reasons why the Broncos can win it all this year
With playoff football on the horizon, it’s Super Bowl or bust for all 12 teams. FOX Sports NFL insider Alex Marvez gives three reasons why each team will win the Super Bowl XLIX.
The "D" is back in Denver: The 2013 Broncos had defensive deficiencies beyond a slew of injuries, particularly with the pass rush and in the secondary. Denver has addressed those issues in fine fashion. Cornerback Aqib Talib, safety T.J. Ward and defensive end DeMarcus Ware became the first trio of free agents to reach the Pro Bowl in their first season together on a new team since 1996. Along with a return to prominence by outside linebacker Von Miller (14 sacks), the Broncos allowed almost 51 fewer yards and three points less per game than in 2013.
Offensive firepower: The Broncos set the bar so high for production in last year’s record-breaking campaign that anything less in 2014 would be considered a disappointment. Denver experienced some rough patches this season in road losses against New England and St. Louis, as well as Peyton Manning’s four-interception outing in a Week 16 loss at Cincinnati. Manning’s arm strength also has come into question. But most teams would love to have Denver’s problems. The Broncos ranked second in the NFL in points per game (30.4) and fourth in yardage (402.9). Manning can wreak havoc with a quartet of dangerous receiving targets — Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders — most opponents usually can’t account for.
C.J. Anderson: The Broncos hoped they could find a replacement for Knowshon Moreno when they let the 1,000-yard rusher leave via free agency during the 2014 offseason. They have — but it wasn’t either of the two leading candidates: Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. Anderson, an undrafted college free agent signed in 2013, began making a splash in Week 10 against Oakland. He rushed for 767 yards in the season’s final eight games with two three-touchdown performances. The 5-foot-8, 224-pound Anderson is sturdy enough to carry a heavy workload — he accumulated 109 carries during one four-game stretch — and helps provide the balance that makes Denver’s offense even more effective.