The nation is looking forward to the emergence of the new and improved Denver Broncos, complete with star quarterback Peyton Manning. Columnists everywhere are lining up to predict the Broncos to take the AFC West.
Question: How does Denver find a way to win the division after starting 1-6?
Yes, that's right. They will be starting the season 1-6 and that is only if they are lucky enough to find a way to beat Oakland at home, which they probably will.
This is not to say that Tim Tebow is somehow better than Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning is an uncontested, first-ballot, Hall-of-Fame quarterback. Tim Tebow is a passing fad that will crash and burn before he is cast away into distant memory.
The glaring issue is not with the quarterbacks. It's with the team. This team, its players, and the rest of the nation are all operating under the assumption that this is an 8-8 football team that won a playoff game last year.
They are living the lie and it is going to cost them.
People will protest and pull out their record books from last year.
Lasy year was an anomaly. The Broncos weren't an 8-8 football team last year. They were a 3-13 football team that served as an object lesson to the league.
Don't disrespect anybody!
Teams didn't play the Denver Broncos last year, they played with them. They toyed with them and they took their time plodding through the games so that they could collect their win and move on. Denver responded by doing what professional teams are supposed to do. They punched them in the mouth.
Tim Tebow ran around and performed his little antics. Teams payed little attention and they suffered for it.
It was a farce.
Now we fast-forward to 2012.
There is a collection of teams throughout the NFL that were publicly embarrassed by the Broncos last year. They quietly sit back and bide their time, but make no mistake, they're coming for blood.]
Tim Tebow was an afterthought for most teams. With the worst completion percentage in the league and a silly, gimmicky offensive scheme, why prepare? But when it comes time to compete against the great Peyton Manning, people sit up and take notice. They not only prepare for that week, they mark their calanders and save something special for the occasion.
Peyton Manning makes the Broncos a better team, but not nearly enough to cope with the impending doom that awaits. The Broncos opening to the 2012 season presents six games they have absolutely no shot at winning. The rest are just challenging.
Once they make it through the first half of the season, the qualitiy of Peyton Manning will make them a .500 team for the rest of the season. But this team won't do any better than 6-10 this season.