The Denver Broncos have the most talented team in the NFL - bar none. Their offensive line is elite. Their wide receiving core is elite. Their quarterback is elite. Their tight end group is good. Their backfield is good. Their defensive line is elite. Their linebacker core is good. Their defensive backfield is elite. And obviously they are now elite on special teams. In fact, the only position I am even mildly concerned about is the middle linebacker position. That is more than just "par for the course", that's nearly a hole in one or an easy eagle opportunity!
The hardest part for me is keeping my homerism in check and trying hard to keep an objective and questioning eye on this team heading into training camp. However, barring injuries at key positions, there is no team in the NFL I'd rather want representing my fan flag this season than the 2013 Denver Broncos.
1. Denver Broncos (2012 Record: 13-3)
For obvious reasons, I was itching to put the Broncos at least #1 or #2, but what exactly have the Broncos done to deserve such an honor? They lost in double overtime to the eventual Super Bowl champions. They added Wes Welker, lost Elvis Dumervil, signed Shaun Phillips and drafted only one player who will likely impact the Broncos 2013 campaign in Montee Ball. To me, that looks like another 12-4 or 13-3 season and a chance in the tournament. From my point of view, it must start with beating the Baltimore Ravens on opening day.
Frustratingly, but understandably, the Broncos drafted for the future for the most part. Almost all of the picks, if they ever become full-time starters will not be ready to compete for the starting jobs for at least a year or more. That, of course, excludes Montee Ball, but young running backs are expected to start early if drafted high enough. Sylvester Williams has the look of a guy who will one day be a pro bowler, but very few defensive tackles start in year 1 and even fewer play at a Pro Bowl caliber their rookie season.
Overall, I think this is the deepest football team I've ever seen the Broncos field and that includes the 1997-1998 squad. Having a complete football team in today's NFL doesn't always equate to championships, however, so the key to success this year is for the Broncos to get hot in the playoffs and ride that wave to a title - much like the Ravens did with Joe Flacco's long bomb after long bomb. They rode that low percentage play all the way to a Lombardi Trophy.