According to Bovada, the Denver Broncos will take the biggest step backwards they have had in recent memory. Currently, these Vegas oddsmakers have the Broncos winning nine games in 2016. A whooping 9-7 record for the reigning Super Bowl 50 champions.
Looking at past years, Bovada had the Broncos winning eleven games heading into the 2014 season. That was tied with the Seattle Seahawks as the most in the NFL. Then to start the 2015 season, the Broncos were projected to win 10.5 games. That was tied for most in the AFC.
Today, however, the Broncos are a half game behind the Kansas City Chiefs and a half game ahead of the Oakland Raiders.
Meanwhile, the team that the Broncos utterly dismantled in Super Bowl 50, the Carolina Panthers, is tied for the highest number at 10.5 wins. The other two teams the Broncos took down on their road to a championship also have a 10.5 win projection.
If you think the mostly intact Broncos defense hasn't taken notice to this and other things, then look no further than Darian Stewart's comments just a few hours ago.
If that's not enough, Bradley Roby also had some things to say about how this Broncos defense is being treated by the national media just three months removed from winning the Super Bowl.
Roby: "They doubted us last year and you saw how it motivated us. Do it again this year, we'll see how it goes."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) May 18, 2016
It's hard to imagine a reigning Super Bowl champion already having the motivation to prove all the doubters wrong yet again. It was this kind of rally cry that drove this team all the way to that 24-10 beating of the Panthers.
And it's only May.