It's Super Bowl or bust this year for the BroncosSep 13, 2013 By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has my attention.
The Denver Broncos are on mind.
I'm pumped for what the 2013-14 season has in store for Denver fans.
High expectations are all over the place.
There is talk if the Broncos don't reach the Super Bowl, then this year is a failure.
I like the attitude.
You need to have confidence in your team and the coaches you have put together. Former Denver quarterback John Elway now makes all the critical football decisions.
He has shown he knows how to get the right mix of players together.
John Fox has proved to be the correct head coach for the Broncos.
I was a little skeptical at first when Fox was named the head coach, but he has proved me wrong.
Fox knows how to get the most out of his players. He manages the superstars. He has a good idea of what it takes to make a good role player or an all-pro.
The biggest superstar on the current team is Manning.
Everything starts and ends with the quarterback, and Manning showed the rest of the NFL he already is in midseason on Thursday, Sept. 5, against Baltimore Ravens. He threw for seven touchdown passes in a 49-27 win in front of the home fans.
Manning has a good supporting cast surrounding him on both offense and defense. The top offensive players are Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas.
The players will have big smiles on their faces all season long with Manning throwing touchdown passes.
There are some concerns. Denver needs to provide a balanced running game to take some of the pressure off Manning.
The defense has to create turnovers and limit the opponents long drives because that keeps Manning on the sidelines.
The Kansas City Chiefs are going to be the most-improved team in the AFC West and could give Denver a challenge for the league crown.
Denver also plays teams from the NFC East. That starts on Sunday when the "Manning Bowl" takes place in New York. Eli Manning is the quarterback for the New York Giants.
I'm looking forward to the Oct. 6 game at Dallas. Other key games on Denver's schedule are Oct. 27 vs. the Washington Redskins and the Nov. 24 game at the New England Patriots.
Another huge game is the Dec. 22 battle at the Houston Texans.
I would be shocked if the Broncos don't win 10 games.
It would be icing on the cake if Denver puts together a 14-win season.
The biggest test in the AFC for the Broncos should come from the Texans. Houston has a powerful offensive and is primed to make a Super Bowl run.
The Broncos are an overwhelming favorite to head back to the playoffs. Denver should come out of the AFC and clinch a spot to make a return trip to New York for the right to play in the Super Bowl.
The NFC is a little more wide open than the AFC. The experts think San Francisco, the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks are the leading contender for the other slot in the Super Bowl.
In the end, the Broncos have made it clear it's Super Bowl or bust.
The 2013 NFL season is going to be a special one if you are a Broncos fan.