The Denver Broncos look unstoppable at the moment as quarterback Peyton Manning leads the NFL in completions (117), completion percentage (75.0%), yards (1.470), touchdowns (16) and passer rating (138.0). Let’s take a closer look at the Broncos to determine whether they are a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Denver is averaging 44.7 points per game on 4.0 yards per rush play, 9.2 yards per pass attempt and 483 total yards (6.9 yards per play; 10.8 yards per point). Overall, the Broncos are 0.1 yards per rush play, 2.0 yards per pass attempt, 1.2 yards per play and 2.4 yards per point better than average offensively in 2013. “He’s efficient, man,” defensive back Champ Bailey said of Manning. “And hopefully he gets better – I don’t know how, but hopefully he does – because this guy’s a prime example of what it takes to be a great quarterback in this league. I know a lot of quarterbacks wish they could do it like that.”
Denver is limiting opponents to 22.7 points per game on 3.2 yards per rush play, 7.3 yards per pass attempt and 5.9 yards per play. Overall, the Broncos are 1.2 yards per rush play better than average defensively, but 0.3 yards per pass attempt and 0.1 yards per play overall worse than average defensively in 2013. “It’s still early in the season and I expect us to get better,” Denver head coach John Fox said. “People look at me funny when I say that, but there’s still a lot of areas we need to improve at and can improve at.”
The improvement has to begin on the defensive side of the ball as the Broncos are being exploited through the air by opposing quarterbacks who are averaging 390 passing yards per game at 7.3 yards per pass attempt. Denver travels to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon, and the technical situations seem to favor Peyton Manning & Co. The Broncos are 10-1 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points, 11-3 ATS following two or more consecutive wins and 9-2 ATS after the first month of the regular season, whereas Dallas is a money-burning 1-8 ATS after failing to cover the point spread.
Lay the points with Denver on Sunday? Yes. Will the Broncos find themselves in the Super Bowl in February? Possibly, but stay tuned for further data before I reach that conclusion.