Tom Nalen sees the 1997 Broncos in this year's team

USA TODAY Sports

Tom Nalen --

"I felt like the team has little to no holes, and I felt like with the offseason, the little to no holes they had, they address. They’ve gotten stronger with [WR] Wes Welker and [CB] Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. I don’t know how teams are going to pass the ball on them. I don’t know if they’re going to have time to pass the ball on the defense. I don’t know how teams are going to stop their offense. I guess the only question is the team itself. Probably their most difficult opponent right now is the expectations of the fact that they’re going to have an easy time of it. I think last season, at the end of the year, they didn’t have any challenging games. Then you throw in the bye week and you get a hungry Baltimore team that’s coming into Denver and was embarrassed at home and I think that just that combination of things hurt the team. I draw tons of parallels from that ‘96, ‘97 team to this team coming up, and hopefully the parallels are correct in the fact that they win the Super Bowl. But there are a lot of lessons to be learned from that season last year and the guys they’ve added to that team just make them so strong."

In that way, Tom Nalen is just like a lot of Denver Broncos fans -- we see this offseason as a parallel to the period between the 1996 and 1997 seasons, coming off a huge playoff loss, with a Hall of Fame quarterback in the twilight of his career, and with huge expectations.

And we're all hoping the 2013 season ends just like it did in 1997 -- with a Super Bowl victory.

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