For years now (three, in fact), the Denver Broncos have been outright Super Bowl favorites or co-favorites. Name your outlet. The media? Peyton Manning and the Broncos were darlings. Vegas? Heavy favorites and moneymakers. Blogs and forums and reddit? You bet.
Not this year.
The "Peyton Manning is old" rhetoric has infused every element of NFL prognosticators' routine, to the point where even Jimmy Fallon can't come up with an original joke.
Take a shot every time a broadcaster says Peyton Manning is old this season.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) August 23, 2015
NFL media has similarly abandoned ship when it comes to the Broncos hoisting a Lombardi trophy, with zero out of 48 ESPN analysts picking the orange and blue to win it all.
48 ESPN commentators made their Super Bowl picks. 20 say the Super Bowl champ will be the Green Bay Packers. http://t.co/Z8Dsx1skiG— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 11, 2015
Pin that on the bulletin board, Gary Kubiak.
Vegas and sports betting sites have raised the white flag as well. The Broncos are now 7th in Bovada.lv's odds to win Super Bowl 50 at 14/1 odds entering the 2015 season, behind the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, and Dallas Cowboys.
All that's left are the fans.
Of course, Broncos fans aren't giving up any time soon.
And maybe the Broncos not being media darlings is a good thing. Take away the pressure of "Thirty-five!" and just focus on playing football each week.
What say you, Broncos fans?