The Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl defeat was brutal. It became very clear that the Broncos, who had by far the best offense in the NFL last year could still not even be a match for the Seahawks massive defense.
It was also clear that the Broncos would have to improve on a large scale defensively if they were to challenge for championships. They have Peyton Manning and just about the most dominate passing attack in football perhaps in history. But defense wins championships, and with Champ Bailey, the Broncos just didn’t have it.
With free agency, comes the chance to make improvements and the Broncos have jumped on that opportunity. TJ Ward and Aquib Talib became Broncos last night. They are two defensive studs that can contribute at the highest level. Essentially, the Broncos are swapping out an aging Champ Bailey for Aquib Talib and adding TJ Ward, a Pro Bowl safety who can help out in the run stopping game.
I’m not saying that two defensive free agency moves are the difference between 43-8 Super Bowl destruction and winning that Lombardi trophy but it makes the Broncos relevant immediately.
The best teams in the NFL right now have an almost impregnable defense; the Seahawks, the 49ers and even the Baltimore Ravens of 2012 made their name on stopping the opposition first. The NFL is a quarterback league; if you can stop the quarterback you win the game.
But still, why would the Broncos make such huge moves on the first day of free agency? Why the hurry?
The Broncos have Peyton Manning, perhaps one of the best quarterbacks of all time. They also have him in an era where the game is built around high tempo passing offenses, Manning’s specialty.
The problem? They have him for just a few more years. The amount of those years is unclear at this point. He passed a medical this offseason so he will play again this year but perhaps only one or two after that. So the Broncos must act quickly if they want to deliver a Super Bowl under Manning’s stewardship. It’s hard to find elite level quarterbacks, the Broncos have tried to do it in the past but have ultimately failed since John Elway’s retirement with the exception of Manning.
There is absolutely no guarantee that the Broncos could continue being successful without Manning, in fact just the opposite. Look at what happened to the Indianapolis Colts when Manning was struck down by injury in 2010.
The Broncos are going all-in on the 2014 season with the aim of a Super Bowl or bust, I think they might just get it.