The Denver Broncos are back in the playoffs for the second year in a row, but with one rather sizeable change: Peyton Manning in- Tim Tebow out. Upon second thought, sizeable does not do the change justice. The magnitude of the swap, dare I say it, is Tebow-like. Yes, only Tim Tebow has the ability to generate more time on ESPN as a second (sometimes third) string quarterback than the latest and greatest REAL sports news. With all this said, the Broncos look to be the most complete team this postseason. The offense has vastly improved under the leadership of the unflappable Manning.
With the exception of offensive rushing yards per game, the Broncos rank fifth or better in five of the other major offensive and defensive categories. So how do you beat a complete team that has won eleven games in a row? All this writer can find is to play aggressive defense. Running back Willis McGahee is out due to a leg injury, so former first round pick Knowshown Moreno will be handling duties in the back field once again. Moreno has nine fumbles in 604 career carries, averaging a fumble every 67 carries, a very poor average. Given Moreno’s propensity for coughing up the ball, defenses will need to hit Moreno and attempt to strip him. With Manning’s ability to dissect defenses with pinpoint precision, defenses will have to simply hope to contain him and put emphasis on forcing errors from Moreno.
Along with stripping Moreno, teams will have to hit Manning. Manning missed all of last season due to neck surgery, but has come back better than ever. However, if Manning gets sent to the turf a few times, there’s no denying it’ll rattle him a bit. Manning may not get tentative if hit often, but pressure on any quarterback undoubtedly gets into their head. Despite his penchant for his cerebral game, Manning could become prone to an error. And in the playoffs, one error can change a game.
*Stats obtained from NFL.com*