John Elway acquired Peyton Manning two years ago for the sole purpose of leading the Broncos to their first Super Bowl championship since Elway himself retired following the 1998 season.
After falling agonizingly short a year ago, Manning now has guided his team into position to complete the franchise’s stated goal of winning a league championship come hell or high water. Whether or not they’ll complete their stated mission remains to be seen, but let’s take a look at how the Broncos have arrived at this season’s big dance.
With Super Bowl 48 set to get underway in a mere matter of days, let’s get started by looking at Denver ‘s regular season in four equal, four-game sections.
First Quarter (4-0 SU, 3-0-1 ATS) of 2013
- Baltimore 49-27
- At New York Giants 41-23
- Oakland 37-21
- Philadelphia 52-20
Analysis: Fans and opponents everywhere quickly found out just how explosive the Broncos would be this season as they ‘opened up a can of whup ass’ against each of their first four opponents. Okay, so we now know that Baltimore , New York and Oakland were all mostly pitiful teams this season, but hey, they still put on four, fun-filled performances that had NFL fans everywhere wondering what was coming next. Oh, did I forget to mention the Broncos recorded a nearly perfect ATS mark during the stretch?
Second Quarter (3-1 SU, 1-3 ATS) of 2013
- At Dallas 51-48
- Jacksonville 35-19
- At Indianapolis lost 39-33
- Washington 45-21
Analysis: Ho-hum…the second quarter of Denver ‘s regular season produced nearly identical results to their first four games. After embarrassing Dallas (as much as possible) in their exciting 51-48 win in Week 5, the Broncos routed abysmal Jacksonville – before suffering their first loss of the season at the hands of talented Indianapolis . Never mind, the Broncos bounced back better than a 1970s ‘super ball’ by spanking dysfunctional Washington in their next contest.
Third Quarter (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) of 2013
- At San Diego 28-20
- Kansas City 27-17
- At New England lost 34- 31 in overtime
- At Kansas City 35-28
Analysis: After a much-needed bye week, the Broncos got right back to business by squeaking past a pair of division rivals that both reached the postseason. First, Denver took out San Diego on the road as a 7-point favorite before doing the same to Kansas City at home as a 7.5-point fave. Denver then suffered a heartbreaking 34-31 road loss to New England in overtime before bouncing right back with another narrow, but impressive win over the Chiefs. More importantly for their betting backers, Denver posted a bankroll-boosting 3-1 ATS mark during the stretch.
Fourth Quarter (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) of 2013
- Tennessee 51-28
- San Diego lost 27-20
- At Houston 37-13
- At Oakland 34-14
Analysis: Denver then began its final quarter of the regular season by laying a huge smackdown on Tennessee – before getting man-handled by San Diego in an eye-opening game that revealed a lot about the Broncos. A pair of blowout road wins over lowly Houston and Oakland didn’t really mean much at all after their Week 15 defeat to the Chargers, but another 3-1 ATS mark, meant a lot to bettors.
Playoffs (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
- San Diego 24-17
- New England 26-16
Analysis: The Broncos have looked very good defensively in both of their playoff games – until the Chargers and Pats started throwing the ball late in an effort to catch up. Still, it was a case of too little, too late for Denver ‘s opponents this postseason, though the Broncos can’t expect to Seattle to let them get such a huge first half lead in their Super Bowl showdown.
The Broncos averaged a whopping 37.9 points per game this season while allowing 24.9 per contest defensively. Denver ‘s 10-5-1 ATS mark tied Cincinnati for second-best ATS mark in the league behind only Seattle , San Francisco and Arizona , all of whom went 11-5 ATS during the regular season.