NFL: The 5 Teams That Can Beat the Denver Broncos

By Kyle Lutteroty
October 09, 2013 9:27 pm
34,756 Views 15 Comments

Peyton Manning is having a ridiculous year. Not that that is anything new to hear. If Manning continues on his pace, not only will he be the third player to ever win the MVP unanimously, but he will also shatter records and quite possibly be labeled as the best season a player has ever had.

Some people may refute the latter of those predictions claiming the NFL is now a pass happy league in which defenses can no longer keep up. That may be true, but the point is moot.

None of this, however, matters to Manning. He could break every record in the book. But if he does not win the Super Bowl, the season will be a disappointment.

So far in this young season, the Broncos are Super Bowl favorites by a long shot. They have steamrolled every opponent they have faced, except for last week. Last week, the Cowboys nearly pulled an upset and beat the Broncos. Although the Cowboys ultimately lost 51-48 in the fourth highest scoring game of all time, they may have gave some teams hope that they can beat the Broncos. All they have to do is out duel them and play mistake free offense. With that being said, here are the five teams that I believe can beat the Broncos in the playoffs.



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23 months ago
umm didn't the Bengals beat 2 of the teams on this list yet are not listed themselves..I admit the stars may have to align and Andy would need a perfect game, however we do have the D that can move Manning from the spot!
23 months ago

Thanks for the comment. I think the Bengals will go as far as Dalton will take them. Their defense is playing as expected, but their offense sputters from time to time. This is ultimately the same situation going on in San Fransico.
The Bengals would of been the next team on the list, but I chose the 49ers ahead of them because of their experience. Cincinnati is a fairly young team.
23 months ago

It's "would HAVE been". Jebus! People like you drive me nuts! And you fancy yourself a writer???????
23 months ago
Of course any of these five teams COULD beat the Broncos. Outside of maybe Jacksonville and Tampa, I'd give the other 29 teams in the league an "Any Given Sunday" shot.

But I think you're definitely wrong with the 49ers pick. You say, "if their defense can return to form" while forgetting that their defense is missing a fairly key component in Ian Williams. So saying "if they can return to form" is a lot like saying "if Michael Crabtree can come back healthy next week ..." They are what they are NOW, not last year. And right now, the 49ers don't look like a dominant team in the NFL.

Neither do the Packers, for that matter. Without Jennings, the Pack doesn't have the weapons to match up with the Broncos. Finley is well touted, but drops a ton of passes he SHOULD catch. And Cobb / Nelson / Jones is nowhere near Thomas / Decker / Welker. It could turn into a duel, sure, but it would be one that Denver would likely win.

New England? Again, lets look at what they are NOW, and what they are now is a below-average team with one of the best QBs in the NFL. Next year, after the rookies have a bit of polish and after the Pats get Wilfork back, sure, they're going to be a force again. This year? This is as "rebuilding" as a Brady / Belichick team gets.

Ahead of all three of these teams, I'd put the Indianapolis Colts (who beat two of the teams on your list) and the Kansas City Chiefs (who get two cracks at the Broncos this year).

The other two teams you mentioned have legitimate shots though. Seattle's running game won't scare Denver's top ranked rushing defense, though. And with the Broncos getting two of their top defensive players (CB Champ Bailey and LB Von Miller) back in the next couple of weeks, look for Denver's defense to get a LOT better. Which brings me to the only team that could REALLY beat the Denver Broncos right now ... and that's the Denver Broncos.

If Denver's offense keeps playing at the level at which they're playing, and if their defense can simply be average (and like I said, they're looking to get better than average here soon), there is no team in the NFL that can stop them ... unless Denver finds a way to shoot themselves in the foot (like the turnovers in Atlanta last year, or the collapse of the deep ball defense against Houston and Baltimore in the playoffs). But if that doesn't happen, Denver rolls.
23 months ago

I think the Colts need to be on this list, which we will see in 9 days.

I disagree with Aaron about the Packers and think they should be on the list. Yes, Thomas, Decker, Welker, and J Thomas are slightly better than Nelson, Cobb, Jones, and Finley. But Denver's pass defense is allowing nearly 60 ypg more than GB and 3.5 ppg more. I think it would come down to a turnover battle and WHEN HEALTHY, the Packers have way too many weapons in the secondary. We haven't even been able to see Casey Heyward yet this year.

Denver should cruise to the SB, but they will get a good game against seattle/NO/GB/SF.
23 months ago

The colts are certainly on their way, but I think they're too young to upset the veterans in Denver. Like you said we will see soon. How crazy would it be if the Andrew Luck and the Colts gave the Broncos their first loss.
23 months ago

Let's see now... The Colts were even less experienced - and YOUNG last year when they got further than sooo many good teams with many VETERANS. Hmmm. Your logic doesn't make any sense. Let me help you out; styles make fights. Match-ups will determine the results. And that includes Chuck Pagano out-coaching John Fox. I can see that happening. And Robert Mathis getting to Peyton? I bet he does.
23 months ago

The 49ers defense give up the second least amount of passing yards in the league and quarterbacks have the second worst completion percentage against them. It is their run defense that is lacking, and the 49ers would be thrilled if the Broncos tried to beat them on the ground.
The Packers still have a lot of weapons and I'm sure you would choose Cobb/Nelson/Jones/Finley over the Cowboys Bryant/Williams/Witten team that put 48 points on the board.
New England was the toughest sell, but like I said Belichick and Brady usually have the upper hand.
It would have been clever to put the Broncos on this list. It does seem, at this point, that they are their worst enemy. However, as it gets colder and teams start to get on tape what works and doesn't work against them, I would not be surprised if they start to falter. Especially in the playoffs, because stats will show Manning is not the same quarterback in the playoffs as he is in the regular season.
23 months ago

True, I'd take the Packers' weapons over what the Cowboys put up, but you have to look at the Cowboys game as an outlier more than as a standard. The Broncos were already down Von Miller and Champ Bailey going into that game, so pass defense would of course be suspect. But then they lost Harris (their 2nd best CB), Ayers (their leading pass rusher), and Woodyard (their defensive leader) to injuries early on in that Cowboys game. The 'Boys were literally playing against Denver's 3rd string defense. When Miller and Bailey come back, we'll see a totally different Broncos defense as a result.

You are completely right, however, in that the Broncos' biggest obstacle(s) will come in the playoffs. This season is like 20 pre-season games with the playoffs in store for the Broncos. They'll be challenged a bit by the Colts, Chiefs, Patriots, and Chiefs again--and San Diego generally plays ONE hard game against Denver, at least--but it looks like some of their other "challenges" this season (the Ravens, Giants, Texans) have regressed a bit. And of course weather will be a concern for a passing-based offense like Denver's, but I think that's why we're seeing the three-headed monster in the backfield now (while the weather is good and they don't have to lean on the running game as much) ... so that the proven veteran (Moreno this year) has some competent backup (Hillman and Ball).

I still believe that if Denver can keep up their current level of play on offense, and with the return of Bailey and Miller on defense ... there isn't a team in the NFL that can go toe-to-toe with the Broncos barring injury or self-inflicted damage (turnovers / penalties) on the Broncos' part.
23 months ago

When Miller comes back; yes. Bailey? Not so much. (anymore; he's not that great now) He ain't no Aqib Talib; (who will shut down their #1 receiver).
23 months ago

I couldn't agree more with EVERYTHING you said in this post! haha!
23 months ago

New England? Again, lets look at what they are NOW, and what they are now is a below-average team with one of the best QBs in the NFL. Next year, after the rookies have a bit of polish and after the Pats get Wilfork back, sure, they're going to be a force again. This year? This is as "rebuilding" as a Brady / Belichick team gets.

HAHAHAHA!!! Really Aaron?? After what they just did what they did to what most people believed was the 2nd, if not BEST team in the NFL?? In case you didn't know quite a few people thought the Saints were better than the Broncos. So NE below average??? Obviously you were sooo wrong there, Aaron. Even without Gronk and Vereen (who is SO amazing - if you don't know), let alone no Wilfork or Tommy Kelly!! Just think Aaron; we WILL have Gronk and Vereen back WHEN THEY PLAY EACH OTHER!! Let's not live in fantasy land, Aaron! Being real is allowing what WILL BE when they DO play one another!! I'll bet you right now (I'm not kidding; I'm asking you to bet me in the REAL WORLD)that the young receivers will be MUCH better by then as well. Dobson IS anther Randy Moss type receiver only needing time, and Thompkins just proved the same thing yesterday!! And Amendola is actually better than Welker in FIVE ways, YES; if he can stay healthy. But we're talking reality, right? That means we're not PROJECTING that he will be injured when the two teams meet. This Pats team will be MUCH better than last years team when everyone is healthy. And those who aren't now are due back by then. Those are the facts, jack.

To your other points, though, I couldn't agree more on KC and Indy. And I'd add SD if Rivers plays as he did in all but week 5. The Broncos have to play one game in SD, one in Indy, one in NE, and one in KC. And I can see them quite possibly losing each of them. The end.
23 months ago
There is also a team in KC you know that seems to have one of if not the best D's in the NFL.
23 months ago

I've been saying this all season. If defenses still win championships, you can stuff Denver... and perhaps everyone.
23 months ago
So basically only one of the five teams might be able to beat the Broncos, according to the 2013 schedule. This is like comparing earthquake damage between California and Florida or tsunami damage in Arizona, a veritable fantasy. Compare teams that will actually play against each other in the current season and rewrite your article to reflect the play-offs as well. I think the Miami Heat might be contenders against the Broncos because they can jump!

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