As the 2014 NFL season marches closer and closer to dominating our hearts and minds. Training Camps are slated to begin all over the country. For some, dreams will be realized and seasons could be forged. For my beloved Denver Broncos, this could be a chance at redemption. There is no doubt that the Broncos will be loaded for bear again this season, with as cornerback Chris Harris put it a "Super Bowl" or bust season.
After a thumping by the Seattle Seahawks in the big game last year, Denver has something to prove heading into training camp. This article takes a look at 3 bold predictions for the Broncos as we head into training camp.
1. Peyton Manning could throw for 50 TD passes again this season.
Manning is hungry and focused. We all know about Manning's legendary preparation and how it consumes him during the season. Camp will provide a chance for Manning to sync with off season acquisition Emmanuel Sanders and for Ryan Clady and the offensive line to gel together as a unit. If the line survives camp intact, and the Broncos can develop a killer instinct that eluded them at times last season, Denver could be right back in the mix for Super Bowl contention and barring significant injuries, has the talent to match up with anyone in the league.
2. Derek Wolfe and Demarcus Ware will turn heads.
Word out of OTAs in the offseason is that Derek Wolfe is gaining back the weight he lost from illness last season and has regained much of the pre-injury form that he had. If Wolfe continues to progress at this rate, he could be in the running for comeback player of the year in 2014. If he and Demarcus Ware stay healthy, they could be Denver's dynamic duo on the defensive side of the football.
Like Derek Wolfe, Demarcus Ware also has something to prove, his 2013 season for Dallas was dismal by his previous standards. It was Ware's first single digit sack effort since his rookie campaign. If Ware can regain that former chip on his shoulder and return to some semblance of his old self, Denver will be formidable on defense. Word out of Dove Valley is that Ware has slimmed down, and has been showing the explosiveness and quickness, that he last displayed in 2012.
3. CJ Anderson will emerge as the 2nd running back for Denver.
Barring injuries, Montee Ball is the clear cut starter for Denver. However, the Broncos have always relied on multiple running back talent to carry the load. That will be especially true with last year's starter Knowshon Moreno in Miami. Even with veteran speedster Ronnie Hillman in camp, Anderson is said to have the quickest burst on the roster. Look for Anderson to get plenty of carries, as he has dropped to 213 lbs, but still runs with plenty of power to bang out yardage between the tackles. Depending on how much Denver decides to run the ball this season, one could even go so far as saying that Anderson could have a break-out season. This is unlikely, but possible given his talents.
2014 could be an exciting season for the mile high faithful, if Denver can exit training camp without major injuries and can remain relatively injury free during the season, the sky is the limit. Time will tell, but September can't get here soon enough. Until next time...