Kickoff season previews  


Denver Broncos 2012 NFL Season Preview, Predictions

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Denver Broncos
2011 record: 8-8 (First in AFC West)

Fearless Forecast

  • Bucky Brooks

    Peyton Manning can mask some of the Broncos’ deficiencies, if healthy. However, he hasn’t been up to par during the preseason and his inconsistencies as a passer could be problematic for a team built to attack through the air.
    Prediction: 8-8, third in AFC West

  • Daniel Jeremiah

    If they can survive a brutal schedule to start the season, Peyton Manning and the Broncos should pile up enough wins over the second half to repeat as division champs.
    Prediction: 9-7, first in AFC West

  • Adam Schein

    I know who the quarterback is. I'm still worried about Peyton's health after missing a year. And the defense overachieved last season.
    Prediction: 9-7, third in AFC West

  • Steve Wyche

    Peyton Manning can't get the evolving Broncos going against a brutal early schedule and it comes back to haunt them.
    Prediction: 7-9, third in AFC West

In The Spotlight
Ryan Clady | #78 | OT

Peyton Manning can turn Eric Decker or Demaryius Thomas into potential Pro Bowl players. Manning can even make Willis McGahee’s job in the running game easier, too. But he can’t do any of it from his back. Manning will need proper protection more this season than any other point in his storied career, and Clady is the man who will provide it on Manning’s blindside. This offensive line is under more pressure than any other unit in the league.

3 Pivotal Games
Week 1 vs. Steelers
Many will want to reference the Broncos’ playoff win against the Steelers last season as incentive for Pittsburgh, but this game will actually be more riveting because of Peyton Manning’s future rather than Tim Tebow’s past.
Week 5 at Patriots
Something didn’t feel right last year without the healthy rivalry between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. So even if Manning will be wearing a different uniform, it should still feel like old times as the pair of NFL greats square off on one another’s defense.
Week 15 at Ravens
The Broncos stand to make a solid run at the playoffs, but barring unexpected domination this late-season showdown against a perennial postseason contender could have major implications for Manning’s debut season in Denver.



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