The Denver Broncos haven't given Bronco Country a lot to cheer for in the first two preseason games. The Broncos would win their first game against the San Francisco 49ers, but in underwhelming fashion with a 10-6 victory. Their second game would provide a nightmare result against the Seattle Seahawks. The Broncos would lose 40-10 in a putrid turnover fest with numerous injuries.
Suffice to say, the Broncos haven't looked like the 2012 team that would win 13 games a year ago and it's causing many fans to overreact mightily.
It seems these people are confusing the preseason with something meaningful like the regular season or playoffs. Yesterday, two NFL match ups would confirm how meaningless preseason games are. The New England Patriots would lose 40-9 to the Detroit Lions. Also, the Carolina Panthers, without even scoring an offensive touchdown, would defeat the Baltimore Ravens 34-27. The Patriots have won 10 games or more every year since 2001, except in 2002 where they won 9 games. They expect nothing less in 2013. To the chagrin of Broncos fans, the Ravens are coming off a Super Bowl championship in 2012. They are hopeful to make another run in 2013.
After two preseason games, neither the Patriots or Ravens look like they did in 2012 or even the last decade. Does this mean both teams are going to be bottom cellars and they should panic? Of course not. And neither should the Denver Broncos or their fans.
Yes, the Broncos are in a little different of a situation. Their best defensive player Von Miller was suspended 6 games. That will certainly make things a bit more difficult. Despite this pessimistic view many are adopting after the Miller suspension and the defense's performances in preseason, this defense isn't void of talent. I won't deny Miller will be missed. Anytime you take away a guy on defense that put up 18.5 sacks a year ago, that defense will suffer. With that said, the defense will survive without him.
Most importantly, let's not forget about who is quarterbacking this offense. Peyton. Freaking. Manning. Manning isn't a stranger to carrying a team on his back. He did it countless times for the Indianapolis Colts and got them to the playoffs on a regular basis.
Fortunately for Manning, he has the talent around him this year that he doesn't have to do it by himself. Just as last year, Manning has the ability to put up 40 points against any defense. Now Manning has Wes Welker, the best slot receiver in the game. Manning will dictate the tempo of the game. He will greatly fatigue the opposing defense. That only bodes well for Denver's defense. They will have fresh legs and have plenty of opportunities to tee off on the quarterback with the lead.
During the first 6 games, the Broncos face: Bal, @NYG, PHI, OAK, @DAL and Jax. Other than the Ravens, not one of these teams made the playoffs a year ago. Yes, some of them do have a fair share of talent. However, this schedule is far from murderer's row. The Broncos have more talent than any of them. It's not that unlikely this team goes 5-1 or even 6-0 during that stretch with a quarterback like Peyton Manning. Though it's highly unlikely, even if they go 1-5, 2-4 or 3-3, the Broncos still will ultimately be in contention for the division with Von Miller coming back.
So for those of you who are having nervous breakdowns, settle down. Step back off that ledge. Stop crying and whining on the radio and social networks. Take a deep breathe and relax. You know who you are. It's good for teams to go through difficulties and adversity early. The AFC West is still Denver's to lose. Be more concerned about how much playoff tickets are going to be rather than being worried about making the playoffs.