NFL

Why the Denver Broncos Won’t Repeat As Champs

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Winning a Super Bowl is already difficult enough, but repeating is nearly impossible.

Throughout the history of the NFL, only eight teams have repeated as Super Bowl champions. The most recent team to pull off the feat was the New England Patriots back in 2004, after defeating the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles.

Ironically, the Seattle Seahawks had the opportunity to repeat last year, but they fell a couple yards short against none other than the Patriots.

As we fast-forward to the here and now, the Denver Broncos will be looking to become the ninth team in NFL history to repeat as Super Bowl champs.

Broncos legend and current general manager John Elway knows a thing or two about repeating, as he led Denver to back-to-back titles during the late 90s.

However, things won’t come as easy for this bunch of Broncos.

Last year, Denver presented one of the best defensive units we’ve ever seen.

This defense led the league in four different categories. Total defense, yards allowed per play, pass defense and sacks. Also, they were third against the run and fourth in scoring defense.

Their performance against Cam Newton and the Panthers offense in the final game was the icing on the cake. Carolina was the highest scoring offense in the regular season, averaging 31 points per game, so to hold them to only 10 points was simply incredible to say the least. 

“You look at that performance in the Super Bowl, they’re in the argument to be among the best ever and, you know, it’s hard to say that they’re going to be that, but they’re in the argument,” Elway stated. “That’s a hell of a compliment to them.”

Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. agrees.

“You got to put us up there, up with the best all time,” Chris Harris Jr said. “Look who we played this season, look who we played in the playoffs and we finished it out.”

Considering all of the great defenses this league has seen over the years, it’s hard to call anyone the best, but Denver does present a good argument. Holding Ben Roethlisberger’s offense to 16 points and Tom Brady’s bunch to only 18 points is nothing to sneeze at.

However, it’s hard to imagine this defense being as good this year without the services of Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan. Having said that, even if Denver’s full compliment of guys returned, it would’ve been difficult to expect them to repeat what they did last year.

Nonetheless, Denver’s defense will still be the strength of this ball club.

Offensively is where the major concerns lie.

Sure, Peyton Manning was awful last year, but one thing you can’t take away from him is his leadership on and off the field. For the past four years, we figured former second round pick Brock Osweiler was going to be Manning’s successor, but Elway allowed him to walk to Houston.

Now, the Broncos are unsure who their signal caller will be.

Mark Sanchez or Travis Siemian?

Neither option is too enticing, but it’ll be very important for head coach Gary Kubiak to figure this out sooner rather than later. 

“I think Trevor and Mark have kind of looked each other in the eye the whole offseason,” Kubiak  stressed. “When I sit there and watch them practice, I think they’re right there banging on each other, and I think the young kid [Lynch] is extremely talented and young and does a lot of great things, and has his troubles. So we’re trying to find the consistency somewhere.”

All things considered, the odds are greatly against Denver in terms of repeating. As mentioned before, the defense won’t be as good, the quarterback situation is very unclear and talent wise, Denver may not even be  tops within their own division, as arch rival Oakland has shown great improvement and we can’t forget about Kansas City.

At the end of the day, repeating is just hard.

Everyone will be gunning for Denver and considering they didn’t get better in the off-season, that’s a bad recipe for Elway’s team.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.