First let's get to know each member a little bit better!
It is my pleasure to be among the first group of community members to write for the mailbag. For those of you who do not know me, I am a true, dyed-in-the-wool Bronco fanatic. I was born and raised in Colorado, rooting for the Broncos with my family, and I have continued the tradition by imparting wholesome, Bronco-loving values to my children (may they never grow up to be Raider fans). I have also been a fairly active member of MHR since January of 2010, and it has become my favorite spot of the entire interwebs!
My complete bio and id at MHR is cheyene kid, which is a nickname my Dad dubbed me with. I loved it when he called me that.. I have been a Broncomaniac for 36 years all the way back to 1977. Was a member of Broncotalk until that morphed away and joined Mile High Report to fill that void. I lived in Denver most of the 80's until an emergency major 12 hr.+ spinal operation to relieve waist down paralysis. Came back to Moline, IL. to heal and recuperate and learn literally how to walk again. Have found 7 men and lady Broncomaniacs that I watch the Broncos with at a sportsbar that I convinced the owner to convert to. Watch at home when I can (9 games last year) and with my Bronco buddies at Wells Fargo Lounge when I can't.
the New Bradfather
Question 1: What is the Broncos' biggest weakness heading into 2013?
It's hard to pick out a glaring weakness in the team, because there really isn't one that stands out in any kind of major way. If pushed to answer, I would have to say middle linebacker is a question mark, but I am also concerned about our kicking game. We were fortunate last season that our offense was prolific enough that we didn't have any games come down to a kick at the gun to win or lose the game. Given Prater's inconsistency last year, I am concerned that we could end up losing an otherwise win-able close game due to a missed kick at the wrong time.
The Broncos have a few moderate weaknesses at this point. Will the committee approach to rushing to replace Elvis be effective? I think Ayers, Phillips, Smith and Danny T. will equal and probably beat Elvis output of 10 sacks. The second weakness is how the injured OL will recover and be effective. The team thinks they will all be back by the start of training camp or shortly thereafter, so no major deal. Biggest thing Is they have to learn new plays and zone blocking as Alex Gibbs Is back on staff as a OL consultant. I think they will be okay by the start of the regular season.
That leaves the Middle Linebacker (Mike Backer). Nate Irving will have first shot with Richard Johnson and Stewart Bradley also competing. This will be the biggest weakness as only Bradley has had some starting experience. Can any of them step up and be a solid Mike this season? That said, they will only play about a third of the downs per game. If any or all of them can play effectively in any chosen gameday, it will approximate what we had with Keith last year who was brought in as a free agent when Mays went down. So if they struggle in pre-season, I expect the Broncos will bring in another FA.
the New Bradfather
the Broncos' biggest weakness is middle linebacker, I honestly believe that, it's partially why I wanted Brian Urlacher so much. Von and Woodyard are studs, Nate Irving, feel free to prove me wrong brah
Question 2: Who are your 6 projected playoff teams from the AFC and what are your round by round matchups?
Division winners, high seed to low seed: 1. Denver, 2. New England, 3. Indianapolis, 4. Cincinnati
Wild cards, high seed to low seed: 5.Houston, 6. Miami
I picked Indy to win the South because I just don't trust Houston, and Cincinnati seems to be a team on the way up in the North, while both Baltimore and Pittsburgh lost some key pieces that I think end up causing them to take a step back and be on the outside of the tournament looking in.
In the wild card round, I see Indianapolis beating Miami and Houston beating Cincy.
Division round, I see Denver manhandling Houston with New England edging Indy in a close one.
Finally, I predict Denver to win a close game in the AFCC.
#1 seed- drumroll.......Our Denver Broncos winner of the AFC West. They are an improved team from last years and I think they have surpassed New England in the AFC this year right from the git-go and they have the motivation of that bitter loss to Baltimore in the playoffs to use as the bit in their mouth as they chase the Lombardi !
#2 seed is the New England Patriots, AFC East champs. They are still a very potent team and will play well enough to attain the #2 slot come playoff time.
#3 seed is the Houston Texans, AFC South champs. They will win the division in a close race with the rapidly re-building Indianapolis Colts.
#4 seed is the Pittsburgh Steelers, AFC North winners. They have a healthy Ben Rothelbuger this season and are smarting after being shut-out of the playoffs last season with those two close losses to their biggest division rival, the Baltimore Ravens. I think they will return the favor to them this season.
#5 seed and first wildcard is the Indianapilolis Colts. They will push the Texans hard but will lose in a close race. They are definitely a team on the upswing.
#6 seed and second wildcard is the Cincinnati Bengals, who will just edge out the Baltimore Ravens, 2012 Super Bowl Champs.
Wildcard round: #6 Cincinnati @ #3 Houston -- Texans win, #5 Indianapolis @ #4 Pittsburgh -- Colts win
Divisional round: #3 Houston @ # New England -- Pats win, #5 Indianapolis @ #1 Denver -- Broncos win
AFCCG: #2 New England @ #1 Denver ???
the New Bradfather
the projected AFC playoff teams are Broncos, Texans, Bengals, Patriots, Dolphins and Colts, Baltimore is due to take a fall, Pittsburgh's too old, I would hope that Miami wins the division and that someone else takes NE's playoff spot but we'll see
Question 3: Which game on the 2013 schedule are you looking forward too the most? Which game do you think will provide the best storylines?
I am picking the first game as the one I look forward to the most for a couple of reasons. One, I always look forward to the first game of the year, and two, I really want to deliver some major payback for the playoff loss. After that, there are a number of games with good story lines. Giants, the Manning Bowl revisited, Redskins, the return of Shanny, New England, need I say more?, and Indy, veteran super star versus his former team and the young gun who replaced him. In short, there are a lot of excellent story lines to watch for the Broncos this season. Can you say tv ratings bonanza?
The game I am most looking forward to is actually a tie. First I am looking forward to the opening game of the season with Baltimore. First chance to see our dynamic team in action. This is the most confident I have been going into a season since 1998. Add in redemption against a team we soundly spanked on their field just a few weeks prior, who came to Denver and with a heartbreaking lucky Hail Mary pass that put the game into OT and knocked us out of the playoffs. So a lot of motivation going into that first game of the 2013 season. And I hope it sets the tone for the rest of the season.
The other game I am equally looking forward to is the Houston game. Big game in Week 16. Could mean playoff position for the Broncos. And I may be there as I will be flying down to Houston this Fall or early Winter to spend time with my Daughter, Son-in-Law and Granddaughter, my Mom and my Half-Sister. I would like it to be then for the game and to spend Chistmas with them for the first tims in awhile. Hopefully it will come together!
The game with the best storyline will be the NY Giant game. Peyton v. Eli and can Peyton finally win one over Eli.? Also it will serve as the first outdoor Northern Stadium game and if successful could benefit Denver's future Super Bowl chances. And as it's the second game it's vital for impetus for both teams.
the New Bradfather
I am a historian as well, so I look forward to the Redskins' game the most, I honestly do. The games with the best storylines are Patriots and Colts obviously and the Ravens game. Let's smack Shanny around for old-times sake :)
Everyone did a fantastic job! Thank you very much for your time and effort--and thank you for representing MHR!
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