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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Broncos season prediction: 12-4

By Jeff Legwold


Yes, they have created more drama than your average reality show this past offseason. Yes, they have questions on the offensive line. And yes, Von Miller is suspended for the first six games of the season. But the Broncos have quarterback Peyton Manning, and Manning, regardless of the circumstances and the personnel around him in his career, has had nine 12-win seasons.

So should the Broncos keep Manning healthy, upright and throwing to a deep receiving corps, the Broncos have to like their odds to again win the AFC West and get the kind of playoff position they let slip away last year in their double-overtime loss to the Ravens in the divisional round of the postseason. Make no mistake, though, Miller’s loss will sting plenty, and it will be made even worse if he doesn’t do his part during the time away and come back in Week 7 -- for Manning’s first game in Indianapolis since the Colts released him -- ready to be an impact presence on defense.

Overall, the Broncos are solid all over the depth chart, and the threat of an up-tempo, no-huddle attack at altitude should make an already top-shelf home-field advantage even better.

All in all, the Broncos are surrounded by rebuilding projects in their division, and players like Manning and Champ Bailey want a Super Bowl shot.

Predicted finish in AFC West: first