Team Name: Denver Broncos
Division: AFC West
Stadium: Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver, CO)
2013 Record: 13-3
2014 Record: 12-4
Head Coach: John Fox (2011 – present), used to be the head coach of the Panthers, only the 2nd head coach in NFL history to win four straight division titles since joining a new team
Quarterback: Peyton Manning (2012 – present), Papa Johns owner, TV commercial legend, rapper, and one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game
3 Offensive Players You Should Know:
– Demaryius Thomas, Wide Receiver (88) – One of the best wide receivers in the league. He became the 3rd receiver in NFL history to have three straight seasons with 1,450 yards and 10 touchdowns. (Other two were Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison.) Our mom likes picking him for NFL.com’s Perfect Challenge because “he has such a nice smile” in his profile picture. He’s going to be a free agent in 2015 and could command a lot of money on the open market, but he said he would be willing to take a hometown discount to stay with Peyton.
– Emmanuel Sanders, Wide Receiver (10) – This wide receiver came from Pittsburgh in the off-season and 2014 with the Broncos was his best year in the league so far with 9 TDs. He’s also a member of the Nice Smile Club.
– Julius Thomas, Tight End (80) – Drafted by the Broncos in 2011, Thomas has become one of Manning’s favorite targets. Fun fact – he was primarily a basketball player in college and really had to learn football when he came to the Broncos.
3 Defensive Players You Should Know:
– Von Miller, Linebacker (58) – Defensive rookie of the year in 2011, Miller was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2011, 2012, and 2014. In short, he’s a beast. He tore his ACL last year. He’s also a super snazzy dresser and known for his fancy glasses.
– Aqib Talib, Cornerback (21) – Talib left the Patriots for a big old 6-year, $57 million contract from the Broncos in 2014. He’s had his share of legal and conduct issues, but he’s a pretty darn good cornerback when he’s on the field.
– Terrance Knighton, Defensive Tackle (98) – His nickname is Pot Roast and that’s all you really need to know.
What Happened This Offseason:
– The Broncos did a lot to prepare for the 2014 season, including beefing up their defense with some big names. They signed Aqib Talib (cornerback from New England), T.J. Ward (safety from Cleveland), and DeMarcus Ware (defensive end from Dallas).
– They released safety Champ Bailey, who went on to sign a deal with the Saints. When he didn’t make their final roster, he announced his retirement in October and then signed a one-day contract with Denver to retire as a Bronco.
– After tearing his ACL at the end of the 2013 season, linebacker Von Miller was back for the 2014 season and recorded 14 sacks on the year.
– They lost wide receiver Eric Decker to the Jets, but they picked up wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from Pittsburgh.
– They let running back Knowshon Moreno go and he went to Miami. Their whole running back situation was up in the air this year until 2013 free agent signing C.J. Anderson emerged as a beast.
Why You Should Cheer for Them: It’s a pretty classy organization and they’re built to win right now, despite their decline toward the end of the 2014 season. It’s hard not to like Peyton Manning.
2014 Theme Song: Shake It Off (Taylor Swift) – The 2014 Broncos season has been all about shaking off their embarrassing Super Bowl 43-8 loss to the Seahawks in February. Also, I see a lot of similarities between Peyton Manning and Tay Tay. Peyton is one of the best quarterbacks of all times and has some of the funniest commercials on TV. Taylor Swift has some serious talent as a songwriter and performer. Sometimes it kills us to admit these things, but they’re true. Haters gonna hate.
The Last Word: Well, at the time we’re writing this, the Broncos just lost the 2014 AFC divisional game against the Colts. We anticipate significant changes to their roster for the 2015 season. Too soon to say if Peyton Manning will be back and the rumors are swirling around John Fox staying as head coach.
– Michelle and Val