Jan 25, 1998; San Diego, CA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway (7) celebrates defeating the Green Bay Packers 31-24 during Super Bowl XXXII at Qualcomm Stadium. It was the Broncos first Super Bowl victory. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
Peter King, a writer for Sports Illustrarted has picked the Broncos to win the AFC, and go to the Super Bowl, to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. It would be a rematch of Super Bowl XXXII. However, he has Denver ultimately losing to the Packers, 33-30. King predicts the Broncos to finish with a 10-6 record and second in the AFC behind the Kansas City Chiefs who also have a 10-6 record. King goes on to predict the Chargers to come in third place with an 8-8 record and the Raiders to come in last with a 6-10 record. King also predicts the awards that are given out at the end of the year. He predicts that Peyton Manning will win the NFL's Most Valuable Player award, and the Comeback Player of the Year. Kings reasoning on picking Manning for the NFL MVP is...
"Reports of his(Mannings) demise were greatly exaggerated. You’ll see when he leads the Broncos deep into January"
- Peter King
A few other notable award winners are, QB Aaron Rodgers as the Offensive Player of the Year, Linebacker Brooks Reed Defensive Player of the Year, QB Andrew Luck as the Offensive Rookie of the Year, Linebacker Bruce Irvin as the Defensive Rookie of the Year, Chiefs Head Coach Romeo Crennel as Coach of the Year, and Texans GM Rick Smith as the Executive of the Year.
Kings reasoning for picking the Broncos to win the AFC? Well it's an obvious choice, Peyton Manning. In the article, King says this about Manning...
"I’m here to say I don’t care. I say if his arm’s 80% of what it was five years ago, Manning will figure it out. Some of the best throws of his life have been short curls and quick outs into tiny windows. I think his arm will be good enough this year because his brain will win so many of the one-on-one battles he’s won in the past."
- Peter King
King predicts that John Elways biggest non Peyton Manning acquisition this offseason will Tight Ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen. Both of which figure to give Manning the same security blanket that Dallas Clark gave him in Indy.
After the Broncos miracle comeback win against the Bears last December, King interviewed star corner Champ Bailey in the locker room after their 5th straight win and another tough defensive performance from the Broncos defense...
"It’s demanding emotionally, mentally, physically, however you want to put it," Bailey said this summer. "You feel drained after games like that. You want to be able to beat teams and beat them good. We’re capable of doing that now."
- Champ Bailey
The acquisition of Manning had to be very exciting for Champ Bailey. His comments there, show his excitement. Manning brings 4 MVP awards, and in 10 of his 13 seasons in Indy, he has lead the colts to a top seven ranking in scoring offense. Elvis Dumervil also shared his excitement with King...
"You know how you’re so excited for something, you don’t even want to talk about it until it happens?" says Dumervil. "This was one of those moments. I’ve played against him and seen what he has done to guys, what he has done to me. I know how hard that no-huddle is. In this altitude it’s insane. If he can stay healthy and get those points like he’s used to doing,our defense is built for the lead."
- Elvis Dumervil
According the King, players on the team speak of Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio with nearly the same reverence as they do of Manning. They do this because of the fact that they know Del Rio is a well established defensive mind in the NFL, and that he played linebacker for 11 years in the NFL. For players like Champ Bailey, that's important...
"To have that guy who understands what we’re going through, that’s big," says Bailey. "I may not be doing it exactly how he’s telling it to us, but he understands that I know my responsibilities. That because he’s played the game, he’s seen me play, and he knows I understand the game."
- Champ Bailey
It's encouraging to read an article like this from a respected writer, and a breathe of fresh air from all the negative articles from the previous years. This just makes me even more excited about the season. Now let's hope Kings only error is his choice of Super Bowl Champion, because we all know it will be the Broncos.