The top headline across all sports news for the past few days was “Wes Welker banned for 4 games for use of amphetamines”, and as sports fans it’s kind of unreal how we focus on news and how it gets presented.
Where am I going with this? Well in the case of Welker, most of the attention was on his history of injuries and impressive seasons with the New England Patriots and last year with the Broncos, as well as of course his talent level.
But it’s most interesting that very little attention was paid to the Denver team and how the Broncos will fair without him. Maybe that was due to the fact that the team, barring any injuries, should still be a contender in not just their division or conference, but the entire league.
Just looking at the stats of the three key receivers for the Broncos during 2013:
Demaryius Thomas: 92 Receptions, 1430 Receiving Yards, and 14 Touchdowns
Eric Decker: 87 Receptions, 1288 Receiving Yards, and 11 Touchdowns
Wes Welker: 73 Receptions, 778 Receiving Yards, and 10 Touchdowns
Now, using the numbers as reference, you can see that Welker, while still effective, was not more significant than Decker (now a member of the New York Jets) or Thomas. It would be premature to say that the team won’t feel his absence but the Broncos still have options to go to in the passing game including Thomas, new Bronco Emmanuel Sanders and a talented and finally healthy Tight End in Julius Thomas.
Peyton is still Peyton
And if Peyton Manning has shown us anything in the past decade and especially last year, it’s that Peyton will do Peyton no matter what. In short, the team is still just as scary as last year because of one key thing - Peyton has nearly the same offense as he did last year with an improved defense including big names such as DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, and T.J. Ward.
Will they break the number of records they did last year? Not necessarily. Will they break any records at all? That remains to be seen as well.
But I think there's no doubt in any NFL fan’s mind that while many believe that Seattle has the potential to return to the Super Bowl, the Broncos have that same potential too.
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