Soven Bery recently wrote on this site that the Broncos are his pick to win the Super Bowl in New Jersey come February. By the way, it’s a great article, be sure to check it out here: Why the Denver Broncos Are Soven Bery’s Pick To Win the NFL’s Super Bowl in the 2013-14 Season.
Since I agree with Bery, I thought I would take a moment to look at the top teams from each conference that pose the greatest threat to the Broncos in their quest to win a third championship.
The AFC is not as loaded as the NFC. Fortunately for the Broncos, three of the five top threats are in the same division. The Bengals, Steelers and the defending champion Ravens all play in the AFC North and will spend the season beating each other up. Despite all of the hype due to being featured on Hard Knocks, I do expect the Bengals to win the North and host a playoff game. I also would not be surprised if the Ravens and Steelers both get in as wildcards.
The two biggest threats to Denver in the AFC are the Patriots and Texans. The Pats because they have Tom Brady and the Texans because of Arian Foster and JJ Watt. Denver will travel to face both teams during the regular season, although the Week #16 matchup in Houston may feature backups if one or both of the teams have clinched their playoff seeding.
Matt Schaub has proven that unless he is playing at home against the Bengals, he is terrible in the playoffs. The Ravens and Bernard Pollard blasted the Patriots in New England last January so they can be beaten. Barring any Rahim Moore-like brain farts or John Fox-like timid coaching, the road appears fairly smooth for the Broncos in the AFC.
That means the biggest threat to the Broncos is whichever NFC team makes the Super Bowl. I expect the Giants to win the NFC East. Atlanta and New Orleans will make it from the NFC South. The Packers will win the NFC North and Seattle and San Francisco will make it in from the NFC West.
While I’m tempted to predict another run by the Giants (based on past history) they seem to have too many holes to be a viable contender. Despite their run to the NFC title game two years ago and the Super Bowl last year, the Niners will take a step back as teams figure out how to defend the read option.
I’m not sold on Mike Smith as a Super Bowl coach. He and Matt Ryan have a great regular season record but are 1-4 in the playoffs. When the stakes are high, they don’t come through. The Saints will always score points as long as they have Drew Brees but their defense just is not good enough to make a deep playoff run.
Thanks to its defense, running game and Russell Wilson, Seattle is the team to beat in the NFC. If the Seahawks get home field advantage, there is no way they are losing as they have proven to be virtually unbeatable at home. They will beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at home in a rematch of the infamous “Fail Mary” game from last season.
That would mean a matchup of Russell Wilson and the Seahawks against Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Sign me up for that!