Peyton Manning can't do it alone

In the final five games of the regular-season, Manning handed the ball off for a touchdown in goal-to-go situations only twice, with Moreno and Ball each scoring a rushing touchdown late against Tennessee in Week 14. Denver scored 10 passing touchdowns in those five games in goal-to-go situations.

Like all teams, the Broncos will spend the next several months retooling their roster. They need to add toughness on defense. They will likely need at least one cornerback. Chris Harris tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a divisional playoff game against San Diego. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be a free agent.

Denver's best pass-rusher, Von Miller, also is coming off an ACL tear.

The Broncos need to address their offensive line. They will likely need to find a replacement for wide receiver Eric Decker, who is a free agent and should command top dollar after his second consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season.

But the most important thing Denver can do is alleviate some of the pressure from Manning's capable shoulders by building a team that relies on the running game in the red zone.

In 2014, Denver will try to become just the third team to follow a Super Bowl loss with a Super Bowl victory. Dallas lost Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts, and then beat Miami in Super Bowl VI. The next year, the Dolphins beat Washington to win Super Bowl VII.

Manning makes the Broncos a legitimate contender. He is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He makes everyone on the team better.

It is fantastic news for Denver that, at age 38 (his birthday is March 24) Manning will be back for a 17th run at a title. To maximize Manning, the Broncos need to have a reliable running game so Manning doesn't have to do quite so much.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 22761691.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...