Landing Peyton Manning in the offseason has resulted in the usual rocky mountain high hopes in Denver soaring even higher.
Fans’ “Super Bowl or Bust” attitude has been amplified as they sense something special brewing with their Broncos.
But they’re not alone, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has picked the Denver Broncos to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this February, in a rematch from Super Bowl XXXII against the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately for Denver die-hards, he says they’ll lose 33-30 to the Pack.
Although, King also thinks Peyton Manning will not only take home the Most Improved Player award, but MVP of the NFL as well.
Bold predictions for a team coming off an 8-8 season.
But where do other national media think the Broncos will finish this season?
Of the 16 writers asked to do predictions for ESPN, only six said they believed the Broncos would win the AFC West, while none picked Denver to win the AFC or for Manning to win either award.
With the tremendous amount of turnover in the Mile High City, including a shift to Manning as the on-field general, it’s difficult to say how well this team will do.
They should win the AFC West, which is currently filled with sub-par teams in San Diego, Oakland and Kansas City, each of which trying to battle through a rash of injuries.
Exactly how far the Broncos can go after that is up to them, though I suspect this is not their season to attend the franchise’s seventh Super Bowl.
If the team stays together, Manning stays healthy and Denver continues to add pieces next offseason, look for the Broncos to make their run at the Super Bowl in 2013.
Denver plays their fourth and final preseason game tonight, at 8 p.m. MT, in Arizona on KTVD in Colorado.
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Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist. You can follow Rich on Facebook, twitter or by clicking “follow” below.